Neuronal Nuclear Autoantibodies, Type 1 (Hu)

Federica Pelizza, Eduardo Nobile-Orazio, Bruno Giometto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Antineuronal nuclear autoantibody type 1 (Hu) was initially described in two patients with sensory neuronopathy (SN) and small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). Hu antibodies (Hu-ab) recognize nuclear antigens called Hu, which are members of a family of human neuronal ribonucleic acid (RNA)-binding proteins probably necessary for development and maintenance of the neuronal phenotype through the control of the expression of multiple neuronal genes. Hu antigens are 35-40-kDa proteins mostly expressed by the nuclei of neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system and by SCLC cells. Hu-ab is a polyclonal, complement-fixing immunoglobulin (Ig)G. It is present in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with particular types of paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes (PNS) and SCLC. It is detected by immunohistochemistry on brain sections and confirmed by immunoblot of purified antigen (HuD). Normal subjects are seronegative. Hu-ab can be detected at low titer in the sera of about 15% of patients with SCLC in absence of a specific neurologic syndrome. High titers are restricted to patients with PNS, almost always associated with SCLC and less with other tumor types. Hu-ab have a specificity of 99% and a sensitivity of 82% in detecting PNS (sensitivity changes for different PNS).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutoantibodies: Third Edition
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780444563781
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Anti-Hu antibody
  • Antineuronal nuclear autoantibody type 1
  • Chronic gastrointestinal pseudo-obstruction
  • IgG
  • Limbic encephalitis
  • Neuronal proteins
  • Paraneoplastic encephalomyelitis
  • Paraneoplastic neurologic syndrome
  • Sensory neuronopathy
  • Small cell lung carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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