Study Objective: Recent studies have found increased autoantibodies against Tribbles homolog 2 (anti-TRIB2) and anti-streptolysin O (ASO) in narcolepsy. In this study, we replicated this finding with a primary focus on recent onset cases.
Participants and Methods: Participants included (1) 90 cases with cataplexy, (2) 57 cases without cataplexy, and (3) 156 age-sex matched controls, including 73 human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQB1*0602 allele carriers. A radioligand binding assay was used to detect anti-TRIB2 antibodies.
Results: Anti-TRIB2 antibodies were prevalent in HLA-DQB1*0602 positive cases with cataplexy (25.0% of 76) and rare in cases without cataplexy (3.5% of 57, OR = 9.2, 95% CI = 2.5 - 33.5, P = 6.0 x 10-4) or controls (4.5% of 156, OR = 7.1, 95% CI = 3.1 - 16.2, P = 9.3 x 10-6). Anti-TRIB2 positivity in controls was not associated with DQB1*0602. In DQB1*0602 narcolepsy-cataplexy cases, the presence of anti-TRIB2 was associated with short disease duration (2.3 years from cataplexy onset), with 41.0% positive in this group (OR = 7.4 versus cases with onset > 2.3 years, 95% CI = 1.9 - 28.5, P = 9.0 x 10-4). Anti-TRIB2 positivity in 39 DQB1*0602 positive recent onset cases was associated with increased ASO antibody (> 200 IU) (OR = 6.2, 95% CI = 1.6 - 24.6, P = 0.01), but did not correlate with age, gender, or body mass index.
Conclusion: Anti-TRIB2 autoantibodies are strongly associated with narcolepsy close to cataplexy onset (≤ 2.3 years). Anti-TRIB2 was rarely found in cases without cataplexy or with distant onset.
Keywords: Human narcolepsy, Tribbles homolog 2 (TRIB2), autoantibody, anti-streptolysin O (ASO)