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Presynaptic inhibition of cerebellar GABAergic transmission by glutamate decarboxylase autoantibodies in progressive cerebellar ataxia

Abstract

Autoantibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) have been found in stiff-man syndrome, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, and progressive cerebellar ataxia. A patient with progressive cerebellar ataxia is described who was positive for GAD autoantibodies, and had Sjögren's syndrome. Immunohistochemical studies using CSF and serum samples from the patient showed immunoreactivities in axon terminals of cerebellar GABAergic neurons. A whole cell patch clamp technique recording from rat cerebellar slices showed that the CSF, presumably through GAD autoantibodies, presynaptically inhibited GABAergic transmission. Intravenous administration of immunoglobulin failed to improve clinical symptoms and immunoreactivities examined after therapy. The findings suggest that GAD autoantibodies play a pathogenic part in reducing GABA release in in vitro slices.

  • GAD autoantibodies
  • patch clamp
  • cerebellar ataxia
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