A murine model for neuropsychiatric disorders associated with group A β-hemolytic streptococcal infection

Hoffman, Kurt L.; Hornig, Mady; Yaddanapudi, Kavitha; Jabado, Omar J.; Lipkin, W. Ian

A syndrome of motoric and neuropsychiatric symptoms comprising various elements, including chorea, hyperactivity, tics, emotional lability, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, can occur in association with group A β-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) infection. We tested the hypothesis that an immune response to GABHS can result in behavioral abnormalities. Female SJL/J mice were immunized and boosted with a GABHS homogenate in Freund's adjuvant, whereas controls received Freund's adjuvant alone. When sera from GABHS-immunized mice were tested for immunoreactivity to mouse brain, a subset was found to be immunoreactive to several brain regions, including deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN), globus pallidus, and thalamus. GABHS-immunized mice having serum immunoreactivity to DCN also had increased IgG deposits in DCN and exhibited increased rearing behavior in open-field and hole-board tests compared with controls and with GABHS-immunized mice lacking serum anti-DCN antibodies. Rearing and ambulatory behavior were correlated with IgG deposits in the DCN and with serum immunoreactivity to GABHS proteins in Western blot. In addition, serum from a GABHS mouse reacted with normal mouse cerebellum in nondenaturing Western blots and immunoprecipitated C4 complement protein and α-2-macroglobulin. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that immune response to GABHS can result in motoric and behavioral disturbances and suggest that anti-GABHS antibodies cross-reactive with brain components may play a role in their pathophysiology.


Also Published In

Journal of Neuroscience

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Infection and Immunity
Published Here
March 21, 2011