H1N1 hemagglutinin-specific HLA-DQ6-restricted CD4+ T cells can be readily detected in narcolepsy type 1 patients and healthy controls

M. S. Schinkelshoek, R. Fronczek, E. M.C. Kooy-Winkelaar, J. Petersen, H. H. Reid, A. van der Heide, J. W. Drijfhout, J. Rossjohn, G. J. Lammers, F. Koning

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Following the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, an increased risk of narcolepsy type 1 was observed. Homology between an H1N1 hemagglutinin and two hypocretin sequences has been reported. T cell reactivity to these peptides was assessed in 81 narcolepsy type 1 patients and 19 HLA-DQ6-matched healthy controls. HLA-DQ6-restricted H1N1 hemagglutinin-specific T cell responses were detected in 28.4% of patients and 15.8% of controls. Despite structural homology between HLA-DQ6-hypocretin and -H1N1 peptide complexes, T cell cross-reactivity was not detected. These results indicate that it is unlikely that cross-reactivity between H1N1 hemagglutinin and hypocretin peptides presented by HLA-DQ6 is involved in the development of narcolepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019


  • Cross-reactivity
  • H1N1
  • Hypocretin
  • Narcolepsy
  • T cells

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