Aspects of CNS lupus: mouse models of anti-NMDA receptor antibody mediated reactivity

Methods Mol Biol. 2012;900:181-206. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-720-4_9.


This chapter describes methods utilized in establishing a mouse model of neuropsychiatric lupus encompassing both cognitive and emotional dysfunction, and a model of the influence of maternal antibody on the developing brain. The antibody of interest binds the N-methyl-D: -aspartate receptor (NMDAR), a receptor for glutamate that is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain involved in synaptic plasticity, in memory and learning, and in emotional responses.We introduce basic concepts of these models and provide protocols for the following: (1) the induction of anti-dsDNA, anti-NMDAR antibodies, (2) testing serum antibody titer by ELISA, (3) breaching blood brain barrier (BBB) integrity with LPS and epinephrine, (4) passive transfer of pathology by injecting human and mouse brain-reactive antibodies into adult mouse as well as injecting the antibody into gestating mice and transfer of antibody from dam to fetus, (5) blocking NMDAR-mediated pathogenicity in vivo, (6) evacuation of blood from the brain by cardiac perfusion to preserve the brain for histology, (7) evaluating injured/apoptotic neurons in brain histology, (8) preparing membrane-enriched brain -fractions for NMDAR analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / drug effects
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / pathology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Central Nervous System / immunology*
  • Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epinephrine / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Membranes / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Perfusion
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Epinephrine