Objective: The gamma-aminobutyric acid type B receptors (GABAR(B)) are G-protein coupled receptors for GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. We identified GABAR(B) subunits as candidate antigens in patients with SLE using a random peptide display library. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible link between anti-GABAR(B) antibodies and disease activity and NPSLE.
Methods: ELISA was performed with recombinant proteins of GABAR(B1b) and GABAR(B2) on serum samples from patients with SLE (n = 88), scleroderma (n = 20), myositis (n = 20) or vasculitis (n = 20) as well as healthy subjects (n = 20). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 23 patients with SLE was also examined.
Results: Autoantibodies to GABAR(Bs) were exclusive to patients with SLE (P < 0.001) and positively associated with SLEDAI (anti-GABAR(B1b), P = 0.001; anti-GABAR(B2), P < 0.001). Of note, autoantibodies were positively linked with NPSLE (anti-GABAR(B1b), P = 0.02; anti-GABAR(B2), P = 0.03). Moreover, anti-GABAR(Bs) was detected in 61.5% of CSF samples from patients with active NPSLE, a frequency that was significantly higher than that for patients with non-SLE syndromes.
Conclusion: Anti-GABAR(B) antibodies could represent novel candidate markers for disease activity and NPSLE.
Keywords: GABAB receptor; autoantibody; disease activity; neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus; systemic lupus erythematosus.
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