Background: A recent publication suggested molecular mimicry of a nucleoprotein (NP) sequence from A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (PR8) strain, the backbone used in the construction of the reassortant strain X-179A that was used in Pandemrix® vaccine, and reported on anti-hypocretin (HCRT) receptor 2 (anti-HCRTR2) autoantibodies in narcolepsy, mostly in post Pandemrix® narcolepsy cases (17 of 20 sera). In this study, we re-examined this hypothesis through mass spectrometry (MS) characterization of Pandemrix®, and two other pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1)-2009 vaccines, Arepanrix® and Focetria®, and analyzed anti-HCRTR2 autoantibodies in narcolepsy patients and controls using three independent strategies. Methods: MS characterization of Pandemrix® (2 batches), Arepanrix® (4 batches) and Focetria® (1 batch) was conducted with mapping of NP 116I or 116M spectrogram. Two sets of narcolepsy cases and controls were used: 40 post Pandemrix® narcolepsy (PP-N) cases and 18 age-matched post Pandemrix® controls (PP-C), and 48 recent (6 months) early onset narcolepsy (EO-N) cases and 70 age-matched other controls (O-C). Anti-HCRTR2 autoantibodies were detected using three strategies: (1) Human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293T cells with transient expression of HCRTR2 were stained with human sera and then analyzed by flow cytometer; (2) In vitro translation of [35S]-radiolabelled HCRTR2 was incubated with human sera and immune complexes of autoantibody and [35S]-radiolabelled HCRTR2 were quantified using a radioligand-binding assay; (3) Optical density (OD) at 450 nm (OD450) of human serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding to HCRTR2 stably expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO)-K1 cell line was measured using an in-cell enzyme-linked immunosor-bent assay (ELISA). Results: NP 116M mutations were predominantly present in all batches of Pandemrix®, Arepanrix® and Focetria®. The wild-type NP109-123 (ILYDKEEIRRIWRQA), a mimic to HCRTR234-45 (YDDEEFLRYLWR), was not found to bind to DQ0602. Three or four subjects were found positive for anti-HCRTR2 autoantibodies using two strategies or the third one, respectively. None of the post Pandemrix® narcolepsy cases (0 of 40 sera) was found positive with all three strategies. Conclusion: Anti-HCRTR2 autoantibody is not a significant biological feature of narcolepsy or of post Pandemrix® autoimmune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)