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A 2-day closed workshop was held in Liverpool, United Kingdom, to discuss the results of research concerning symptom-based disorders (SBDs) caused by autoantibodies, share technical knowledge, and consider future plans. Twenty-two speakers and 14 additional participants attended. This workshop set out to consolidate knowledge about the contribution of autoantibodies to SBDs. Persuasive evidence for a causative role of autoantibodies in disease often derives from experimental "passive transfer" approaches, as first established in neurological research. Here, serum immunoglobulin (IgM or IgG) is purified from donated blood and transferred to rodents, either systemically or intrathecally. Rodents are then assessed for the expression of phenotypes resembling the human condition; successful phenotype transfer is considered supportive of or proof for autoimmune pathology. Workshop participants discussed passive transfer models and wider evidence for autoantibody contribution to a range of SBDs. Clinical trials testing autoantibody reduction were presented. Cornerstones of both experimental approaches and clinical trial parameters in this field were distilled and presented in this article. Mounting evidence suggests that immunoglobulin transfer from patient donors often induces the respective SBD phenotype in rodents. Understanding antibody binding epitopes and downstream mechanisms will require substantial research efforts, but treatments to reduce antibody titres can already now be evaluated.

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Journal article


Pain Rep

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