Autoantibodies in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Carolin Hoffmann, Shenghua Zong, Marina Mane-Damas, Peter Molenaar, Mario Losen, Pilar Martinez-Martinez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Little is known about the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. The identification of autoantibodies targeting the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R), which causes neurological and psychiatric symptoms, has reinvigorated the hypothesis that other patient subgroups may also suffer from an underlying autoimmune condition. In recent years, a wide range of neuropsychiatric diseases and autoantibodies targeting ion-channels or neuronal receptors including NMDA-R, voltage gated potassium channel complex (VGKC complex), -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPA-R), -aminobutyric acid receptor (GABA-R) and dopamine receptor (DR) were studied and conflicting reports have been published regarding the seroprevalence of these autoantibodies. A clear causative role of autoantibodies on psychiatric symptoms has as yet only been shown for the NMDA-R. Several other autoantibodies have been related to the presence of certain symptoms and antibody effector mechanisms have been proposed. However, extensive clinical studies with large multicenter efforts to standardize diagnostic procedures for autoimmune etiology and animal studies are needed to confirm the pathogenicity of these autoantibodies. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of neuronal autoantibodies in the major neuropsychiatric disorders: psychotic, major depression, autism spectrum, obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • autoantibody
  • neuronal surface antigens
  • neuropsychiatric disorders
  • effector mechanisms
  • immunoglobulin
  • blood brain barrier
  • NMDA-R
  • VGKC complex
  • AMPA-R
  • GABA-R
  • DR

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