To clarify the significance of immunoglobulin G autoantibody specific for the astrocyte water channel aquaporin-4 in cerebrospinal fluid, aquaporin-4-immunoglobulin G from a neuromyelitis optica patient was administered intrathecally to naïve mice, and the distribution and pathogenic impact was evaluated. A distinct distribution pattern of aquaporin-4-immunoglobulin G deposition was observed in the subarachnoid and subpial spaces where vessels penetrate the brain parenchyma, via a paravascular route with intraparenchymal perivascular deposition. Perivascular astrocyte-destructive lesions were associated with blood-borne horseradish peroxidase leakage indicating blood-brain barrier breakdown. The cerebrospinal fluid aquaporin-4-immunoglobulin G therefore distributes widely in brain to initiate astrocytopathy and blood-brain barrier breakdown.
Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 2015, Vol 2, Issue 8, p. 857-63