Anti-dopamine D2 receptor antibodies in chronic tic disorders

Francesco Addabbo, Valentina Baglioni, Anette Schrag, Markus J. Schwarz, Andrea Dietrich, Pieter J. Hoekstra, Davide Martino, Maura Buttiglione*, Zacharias Anastasiou, Alan Apter, Juliane Ball, Erika Bartolini, Noa Benaroya-Milshtein, Benjamin Bodmer, Emese Bognar, Bianka Burger, Judith Buse, Francesco Cardona, Marta Correa Vela, Roberta CretiNanette M. Debes, Androulla Efstratiou, Maria Cristina Ferro, Carolin Fremer, Blanca Garcia-Delgar, Maria Gariup, Marianthi Georgitsi, Mariangela Gulisano, Annelieke Hagen, Julie Hagstrøm, Tammy J. Hedderly, Isobel Heyman, Chaim Huyser, Monica Imperi, Iordanis Karagiannidis, Giovanni Laviola, Simone Macri, Marcos Madruga-Garrido, Immaculada Margarit, Anna Marotta, Ute C. Meier, Pablo Mir, Natalie Moll, Astrid Morer, Kirsten Müller-Vahl, Alexander Münchau, Peter Nagy, Valeria Neri, Thaïra J.C. Openneer, Graziella Orefici, Peristera Paschou, Angela Periañez, Vasco Alessandra Pellico, Onofrio Petruzzelli, Kerstin Plessen, Cesare Porcelli, Marina Redondo, Renata Rizzo, Paolo Roazzi, Veit Roessner, Daphna Ruhrman, Jaana M.L. Schnell, Gregor A. Schütze, Paola Rosaria Silvestri, Liselotte Skov, Tamar Steinberg, Sara Stöber, Marco Tallon, Friederike Tagwerker Gloor, Susanne Walitza, Jennifer Tübing, Victoria Turner, Elif Weidinger, Zsanett Tarnok

*Corresponding author for this work
2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To investigate the association between circulating anti-dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) autoantibodies and the exacerbation of tics in children with chronic tic disorders (CTDs). Method: One hundred and thirty-seven children with CTDs (108 males, 29 females; mean age [SD] 10y 0mo [2y 7mo], range 4–16y) were recruited over 18 months. Patients were assessed at baseline, at tic exacerbation, and at 2 months after exacerbation. Serum anti-D2R antibodies were evaluated using a cell-based assay and blinded immunofluorescence microscopy scoring was performed by two raters. The association between visit type and presence of anti-D2R antibodies was measured with McNemar’s test and repeated-measure logistic regression models, adjusting for potential demographic and clinical confounders. Results: At exacerbation, 11 (8%) participants became anti-D2R-positive (‘early peri-exacerbation seroconverters’), and nine (6.6%) became anti-D2R-positive at post-exacerbation (‘late peri-exacerbation seroconverters’). The anti-D2R antibodies were significantly associated with exacerbations when compared to baseline (McNemar’s odds ratio=11, p=0.003) and conditional logistic regression confirmed this association (Z=3.49, p<0.001) after adjustment for demographic and clinical data and use of psychotropic drugs. Interpretation: There is a potential association between immune mechanisms and the severity course of tics in adolescents with CTDs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1205-1212
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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