Effects of Anti-NMDA Antibodies on Functional Recovery and Synaptic Rearrangement Following Hemicerebellectomy

Daniela Laricchiuta, Virve Cavallucci, Debora Cutuli, Paola de Bartolo, Paola Caporali, Francesca Foti, Carsten Finke, Marcello D’Amelio, Mario Manto, Laura Petrosini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The compensation that follows cerebellar lesions is based on synaptic modifications in many cortical and subcortical regions, although its cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Changes in glutamatergic receptor expression may represent the synaptic basis of the compensated state. We analyzed in rats the involvement of glutamatergic system of the cerebello-frontal network in the compensation following a right hemicerebellectomy. We evaluated motor performances, spatial competencies and molecular correlates in compensated hemicerebellectomized rats which in the frontal cortex contralateral to the hemicerebellectomy side received injections of anti-NMDA antibodies from patients affected by anti-NMDA encephalitis. In the compensated hemicerebellectomized rats, the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited a marked decompensation state characterized by slight worsening of the motor symptoms as well as severe impairment of spatial mnesic and procedural performances. Conversely, in the sham-operated group the frontal injections of anti-NMDA antibodies elicited slight motor and spatial impairment. The molecular analyses indicated that cerebellar compensatory processes were related to a relevant rearrangement of glutamatergic synapses (NMDA and AMPA receptors and other glutamatergic components) along the entire cortico-cerebellar network. The long-term maintenance of the rearranged glutamatergic activity plays a crucial role in the maintenance of recovered function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroMolecular Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 30 2016


  • Anti-NMDA encephalitis
  • Cerebellar compensation
  • Glutamate receptors
  • Morris water maze
  • Postural and motor behaviors
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of Anti-NMDA Antibodies on Functional Recovery and Synaptic Rearrangement Following Hemicerebellectomy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this