Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a rare CNS inflammatory disorder that predominantly affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. Recent serological findings strongly suggest that NMO is a distinct disease rather than a subtype of multiple sclerosis. In NMO, serum antibodies, collectively known as NMO-IgG, characteristically bind to cerebral microvessels, pia mater and Virchow-Robin spaces. The main target antigen for this immunoreactivity has been identified as aquaporin-4 (AQP4). The antibodies are highly specific for NMO, and they are also found in patients with longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis without optic neuritis, which is thought to be a precursor to NMO in some cases. An antibody-mediated pathogenesis for NMO is supported by several observations, including the characteristics of the AQP4 antibodies, the distinct NMO pathology--which includes IgG and complement deposition and loss of AQP4 from spinal cord lesions--and emerging evidence of the beneficial effects of B-cell depletion and plasma exchange. Many aspects of the pathogenesis, however, remain unclear.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/ncpneuro0764

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Clin Pract Neurol

Publication Date

04/2008

Volume

4

Pages

202 - 214

Keywords

Antibodies, Aquaporin 4, Binding Sites, Antibody, Humans, Neuromyelitis Optica