CNS syndromes associated with antibodies against metabotropic receptors

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Purpose of review

Autoantibodies to Central nervous system (CNS) metabotropic receptors are associated with a growing family of autoimmune brain diseases, including encephalitis, basal ganglia encephalitis, Ophelia syndrome, and cerebellitis. The purpose of this review is to summarize the state of knowledge regarding the target receptors, the neurological autoimmune disorders, and the pathogenic mechanisms.

Recent findings

Antibodies to the γ-aminobutyric acid B receptor are associate with limbic encephalitis and severe seizures, often with small cell lung cancers. Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) antibodies associate with Ophelia syndrome, a relatively mild form of encephalitis linked to Hodgkin lymphoma. mGluR1 antibodies associate with a form of cerebellar degeneration, and also Hodgkin lymphoma. Antibodies to Homer 3, a protein associated with mGluR1, have also been reported in two patients with cerebellar syndromes. Dopamine-2 receptor antibodies have been reported by one group in children with basal ganglia encephalitis and other disorders.


CNS metabotropic receptor antibodies may exert direct inhibitory effects on their target receptors, but the evidence is more limited than with autoantibodies to ionotropic glutamate receptors. In the future, improved recognition of these patients may lead to better outcomes. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the diseases may uncover novel treatment strategies.

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