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Assays & screens

Orexin (hypocretin; HCRT)-based immunoassays to diagnose narcolepsy

Immunoassays to determine T cell reactivity to two HCRT epitopes could be used to diagnose narcolepsy. Narcolepsy has been associated with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DQ0602, but no molecular diagnostics for the condition exist. In coculture with an HLA DQ0602-specific T-B fusion cell line treated with HCRT56-68 or HCRT87-99, T cells obtained from narcoleptic individuals showed strong HCRT peptide-specific CD4+ T cell reactivity. Statistical analysis of the assay identified 19 of 23 patients with narcolepsy and 24 of 24 unaffected individuals. Next steps could include using the assay on larger patient cohorts and evaluating association of T cell reactivity with HCRT levels in patient spinal fluid (see Diagnosing narcolepsy, page 9).

SciBX 7(3); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.99
Published online Jan. 23, 2014

Patent application filed by Stanford University for HCRT epitopes for narcolepsy diagnosis; licensing status unavailable

De la Herrán-Arita, A.K. et al.
Sci. Transl. Med.
; published online
Dec. 18, 2013;
Contact: Emmanuel Mignot, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.
Contact: Elizabeth D. Mellins,
same affiliation as above