Selective suppression of cerebellar GABAergic transmission by an autoantibody to glutamic acid decarboxylase

Ann Neurol. 1999 Aug;46(2):263-7.


Humoral immune response to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of stiff-man syndrome and cerebellar ataxia, but the underlying pathomechanism is unclear. Using a whole-cell patch-clamp technique with rat cerebellar slices, we found that immunoglobulins present in the cerebrospinal fluid of an ataxic patient acted presynaptically to cause a selective suppression of GABAergic transmission. This synaptic depression was most likely elicited by an autoantibody to GAD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / immunology*
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / pathology
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / physiopathology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Time Factors
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase