Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Leucine-rich glioma inactivated 1 (LGI1) is a component of the voltage-gated potassium channel complex. IgG antibodies against LGI1 are associated with immunotherapy-responsive encephalitis and epilepsies. LGI1-antibody concentrations are 10-100 times greater in serum than in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Oligoclonal IgG bands are rarely found in patients with LGI1-antibody encephalitis or epilepsy. These observations raise questions about the sources of the B cells that result in production of LGI1 antibodies and how the IgGs reach the brain. We aimed to investigate the migration and expansions of peripheral and central B cells to the production of LGI1-specific IgG. METHODS: We performed PCR amplification and next generation deep immune repertoire sequencing of immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy chain variable regions (VH) from CSF and subsorted peripheral blood B-cell populations from two patients with limbic encephalitis and faciobrachial dystonic seizures associated with LGI1 antibodies. Bioinformatics clustering of related IgM-VH or IgG-VH transcripts was used to determine whether active B-cell diversification could be observed, and whether intrathecal B-cell repertoires, if present, were related to peripheral B cells. FINDINGS: We identified clusters of related Ig-VH transcripts in the CSF of both patients. Within these clusters there was a range of somatic hypermutations along the IGHV germline segment-derived portion. In addition, we identified a large number of closely related Ig-VH clusters that were common to both CSF and peripheral blood, including a small number of dominating Ig-VH clusters that might represent the most active clonally related B-cell populations. INTERPRETATION: Our data suggest that some B-cell affinity maturation occurs inside the CNS compartment in LGI1-antibody encephalitis. Somatic hypermutation rates point to a CSF antigen-driven activation of clonally related B cells that shape the intrathecal immune repertoire. The target antigen or antigens of these clonally related B cells remain unknown; our work continues to determine the relative contribution of intrathecally activated and peripheral LGI1-specific B cells in this autoimmune CNS disease. FUNDING: Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship to SRI, Fulbright-MS Society, Epilepsy Research UK, BMA Vera Down Research Grant.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



385 Suppl 1