Lack of KIR4.1 autoantibodies in Japanese patients with MS and NMO

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To examine anti-KIR4.1 antibodies by 2 different assays in Japanese patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) or neuromyelitis optica (NMO).


One hundred sixty serum samples from 57 patients with MS, 40 patients with NMO/NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD), and 50 healthy controls (all were Japanese) were tested with ELISA using a synthetic peptide of the first extracellular portion of human KIR4.1. In addition, we attempted to detect anti-KIR4.1 immunoglobulin G in the serum by the luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS) with the full length of human KIR4.1 produced in a human cell line, which is highly sensitive to single or multiple epitopes.


We failed to detect antibodies to the peptide fragment KIR4.183–120 in any case of MS and NMO/NMOSD using ELISA. Antibodies to the recombinant full length of KIR4.1 protein were detected in only 2 patients with MS and none in the patients with NMO/NMOSD by the LIPS assay.


We developed 2 different methods (ELISA and LIPS) to measure autoantibodies to KIR4.1 in serum. We detected anti-KIR4.1 immunoglobulin G at a very low frequency in Japanese patients with MS or NMO/NMOSD. Serologic testing for human KIR4.1-specific antibodies is unlikely to improve the diagnosis of MS or NMO/NMOSD in Japanese patients.

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