Antibodies and the Brain: Antiribosomal P Protein Antibody and the Clinical Effects in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Curr Opin Neurol. 2018 Jun;31(3):300-305. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000549.


Purpose of review: Analysis of antiribosomal P protein autoantibodies (anti-P) pathogenicity in diffuse brain manifestations of neuropsychiatric lupus, emphasizing cognitive dysfunction and the recently emerged role of cross-reacting neuronal surface P antigen (NSPA) in α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid and N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor glutamatergic transmission.

Recent findings: Circulating anti-P antibodies associate with executive planning dysfunction and attention impairments in lupus patients and perturb glutamatergic transmission through NSPA in mice hippocampus, translating into impaired synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Planning impairment impacts quality of life.

Summary: In addition to the known association with lupus psychosis, new clinical and experimental evidence reveal a pathogenic role of anti-P antibodies in cognitive dysfunction, mechanistically explained by the anti-P interaction with NSPA as a target involved in glutamatergic synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies*
  • Brain / immunology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Ribosomal Proteins / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Ribosomal Proteins