Background: Antibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4) are found in a fraction of Japanese opticospinal multiple sclerosis (OSMS) patients. However, it remains unknown whether anti-AQP4 antibody-positive and negative OSMS patients possess an identical disease. Objective: The objective of the current study was to clarify immunological differences between the two groups of patients. Methods: We studied the serum antibody titers against AQP4 in 191 patients with idiopathic central nervous system demyelinating diseases and clarified their relationships with immunological parameters. Results: Anti-AQP4 antibody positivity rate was higher in patients with OSMS (21/58, 36.2%), idiopathic recurrent myelitis (4/17, 23.5%), and recurrent optic neuritis (7/26, 26.9%), than in conventional MS (CMS) patients (6/90, 6.7%) and patients with other diseases (0/87). Anti-AQP4 antibody titer was significantly higher in patients with SS-A/B antibodies than in those without them. Anti-AQP4 antibody-negative OSMS patients showed significantly higher CD4+ IFN-γ+IL-4γT cell percentages and intracellular IFN-γ/IL-4 ratios than anti-AQP4 antibody-positive patients, anti-AQP4 antibody-negative CMS patients, and healthy controls, and CD4+IFN-γ+IL-4-T cell percentages were negatively correlated with anti-AQP4 antibody titers. Conclusion: Anti-AQP4 antibody-positive patients are immunologically distinct from anti-AQP4 antibody-negative OSMS patients owing to a Th2 shift in the former group in comparison to a Th1 shift in the latter.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology