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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02066

Innate immunity in the central nervous system: A missing piece of the autoimmune encephalitis puzzle?

 Robb Wesselingh1, 2, Helmut Butzkueven1, 2, Katherine Buzzard3, 4, David Tarlinton1,  Mastura Monif1, 2, 3* and Terence J. O'Brien1, 2
  • 1Monash University, Australia
  • 2The Alfred Hospital, Australia
  • 3Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia
  • 4Box Hill Hospital, Australia

The autoimmune encephalitides are a group of autoimmune conditions targeting the central nervous system and causing severe clinical symptoms including drug-resistant seizures, cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disturbance. Although these disorders appear to be antibody mediated, there is increasing evidence of the involvement of the innate immune system. Infiltrating monocytes and microglial proliferation, seen in neuropathological specimens, may provide the pro-inflammatory molecules seen early in the disease and contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease through blood brain barrier breakdown, and the recruitment of effector T and B cells. Finally these pro-inflammatory molecules may drive ongoing seizure activity and contribute to structural changes resulting in the long-term neurological sequelae that can impact on ongoing patient morbidity and quality of life, providing a potential target for future translational research.

Keywords: autoimmune encephalitis, Innate immnuity, neuroimmunology, Microglia, Monocytes, Epilepsy, Blood Brain Barrier (BBB)

Received: 27 May 2019; Accepted: 15 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Wesselingh, Butzkueven, Buzzard, Tarlinton, Monif and O'Brien. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Mastura Monif, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, mastura.monif@monash.edu