Activated PI3Kδ syndrome, an immunodeficiency disorder, leads to sensorimotor deficits recapitulated in a murine model

Brain Behav Immun Health. 2021 Oct 19:18:100377. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2021.100377. eCollection 2021 Dec.


The phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) family plays a major role in cell signaling and is predominant in leukocytes. Gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in the PIK3CD gene lead to the development of activated PI3Kδ syndrome (APDS), a rare primary immunodeficiency disorder. A subset of APDS patients also displays neurodevelopmental delay symptoms, suggesting a potential role of PIK3CD in cognitive and behavioural function. However, the extent and nature of the neurodevelopmental deficits has not been previously quantified. Here, we assessed the cognitive functions of two APDS patients, and investigated the causal role of the PIK3CD GOF mutation in neurological deficits using a murine model of this disease. We used p110δE1020K knock-in mice, harbouring the most common APDS mutation in patients. We found that APDS patients present with visuomotor deficits, exacerbated by autism spectrum disorder comorbidity, whereas p110δE1020K mice exhibited impairments in motor behaviour, learning and repetitive behaviour patterning. Our data indicate that PIK3CD GOF mutations increase the risk for neurodevelopmental deficits, supporting previous findings on the interplay between the nervous and the immune system. Further, our results validate the knock-in mouse model, and offer an objective assessment tool for patients that could be incorporated in diagnosis and in the evaluation of treatments.

Keywords: APDS; ASD; Mouse; PID; PIK3CD; Primary immunodeficiency.