Compromised immune/inflammatory responses in Rett syndrome

Free Radic Biol Med. 2020 May 20;152:100-106. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2020.02.023. Epub 2020 Feb 28.


Mutations in X-linked gene methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2), a key transcriptional regulator, account for most cases of Rett syndrome (RTT), a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder with no known cure. Despite extensive research to elucidate MeCP2 functions, the mechanisms underlying RTT pathophysiology are still unclear. In addition to a variety of neurological symptoms, RTT also includes a plethora of additional phenotypical features including altered lipid metabolism, redox imbalance, immune dysfunction and mitochondrial abnormalities that explain its multisystemic nature. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge on the potential role of dysregulated inflammatory and immune responses in RTT. The findings show that abnormalities of humoral and cell-mediated immunity together with chronic low-grade inflammation in multiple organs represent not only clinical manifestations of RTT but rather can contribute to its development and deteriorating course. A future research challenge could be to target therapeutically immune dysfunction as a novel means for RTT management.

Keywords: Autoantibodies; Cytokines; Hydroxyoctadecadienoic acids; Inflammasome; NF-κB; Neurons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 / genetics
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Rett Syndrome* / genetics


  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2