Epitope specificity of anti-synapsin autoantibodies: Differential targeting of synapsin i domains

Robert Mertens, Sarah Melchert, Daniel Gitler, Morten Brix Schou, Sverre Georg Saether, Arne Vaaler, Johannes Piepgras, Elena Kochova, Fabio Benfenati, Gudrun Ahnert-Hilger, Klemens Ruprecht, Markus Höltje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective To identify the specific domains of the presynaptic protein synapsin targeted by recently described autoantibodies to synapsin. Methods Sera of 20 and CSF of two patients with different psychiatric and neurological disorders previously tested positive for immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies to full-length synapsin were screened for IgG against synapsin I domains using HEK293 cells transfected with constructs encoding different domains of rat synapsin Ia. Additionally, IgG subclasses were determined using full-length synapsin Ia. Serum and CSF from one patient were also screened for IgA autoantibodies to synapsin I domains. Sera from nine and CSF from two healthy subjects were analyzed as controls. Results IgG in serum from 12 of 20 IgG synapsin full-length positive patients, but from none of the healthy controls, bound to synapsin domains. Of these 12 sera, six bound to the A domain, five to the D domain, and one to the B- (and possibly A-), D-, and E-domains of synapsin I. IgG antibodies to the D-domain were also detected in one of the CSF samples. Determination of IgG subclasses detected IgG1 in two sera and one CSF, IgG2 in none of the samples, IgG3 in two sera, and IgG4 in eight sera. One patient known to be positive for IgA antibodies to full-length synapsin had IgA antibodies to the D-domain in serum and CSF. Conclusions Anti-synapsin autoantibodies preferentially bind to either the A- or the D-domain of synapsin I.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0208636
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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