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.

Rasmussen's encephalitis is a rare progressive childhood disorder characterized by frequent severe seizures, hemiparesis, encephalitis and mental deterioration, and associated with severe unilateral neuroinflammation. Autoantibodies, particularly to the GluA3 subtype of the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole-4-propinonic acid receptor (AMPAR) were reported in the 1990s but not always confirmed. To explore further, sera from 52 patients with Rasmussen's encephalitis were tested by cell-based assays for antibodies to AMPAR GluA1/2/3, N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA NR1/2b), γ-aminobutyric acid type A and B (GABAAR α1/γ2/β2 and GABABR b1/b2) receptors, for potassium channel complex proteins, and for binding to live cortical and hippocampal neuronal cultures. Two patients' sera (3.8%) bound to HEK cells co-transfected with the GluA2 and GluA3 subunits. One additional patient had a low level of VGKC-complex antibodies. These three, and seven additional, sera bound to hippocampal cultures. No other antibodies were detected. Thus, despite the rarity of GluA2/3 antibodies, 10 patients (19.2%) had evidence of antibodies to neuronal antigens. Whether these antibodies play a primary role in RE, or appear secondary to the neuro-inflammatory damage in this highly destructive disease, requires further study.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Paediatr Neurol

Publication Date





222 - 227


AMPA receptors, Autoantibodies, Rasmussen's encephalitis, Autoantibodies, Autoantigens, Encephalitis, Humans, Middle Aged, Receptors, AMPA