The recent retraction of a paper in Science Translational Medicine reporting “one of the biggest things to happen” in narcolepsy research has claimed a bystander: A letter that commented on the no-longer-landmark article.
The authors of the letter are with GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine division. Here’s the new notice:
Our Letter “Comment on ‘CD4+ T cell autoimmunity to hypocretin/orexin and cross-reactivity to a 2009 H1N1 influenza A epitope in narcolepsy’ ” (1) discussed the article by De la Herrán-Arita et al. (2). That article provided evidence for CD4+ T cell cross-reactivity between epitopes in hypocretin, the neuropeptide whose absence is associated with narcolepsy, and an epitope in hemagglutinin from the 2009 pandemic influenza strain A(H1N1). However, De la Herrán-Arita’s article has been retracted due to a failure in reproducing key findings (3). Although we consider that the hypothesis of CD4 T cell cross-reactivity, also referred to as molecular mimicry, remains valid, we feel it is appropriate to retract our Letter in light of the retraction of De la Herrán-Arita’s article.