An expanded parenchymal CD8+ T cell clone in GABA A receptor encephalitis

Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2020 Feb;7(2):239-244. doi: 10.1002/acn3.50974. Epub 2020 Jan 14.


The role of T cells in autoimmune encephalitis syndromes with autoantibodies against cell surface antigens is still enigmatic. Here we analyzed the T cell receptor repertoires of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in a patient with "idiopathic" gamma-aminobutyric-acid-A receptor (GABAA -R) encephalitis by next-generation sequencing and single-cell analyses. We identified a CD8+ T cell clone that was strongly expanded in the cerebrospinal fluid and in the hippocampus but not in the operculo-insular cortex. By contrast, CD4+ T cells were polyclonal in these tissues. Such a strong clonal expansion suggests that CD8+ T cells may play a significant role in the pathogenesis.

Publication types

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