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J Neuroimmunol. 2001 Feb 1;113(1):119-28.

Cross-reactive phage-displayed mimotopes lead to the discovery of mimicry between HSV-1 and a brain-specific protein.

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Clinica Neurologica, Universita' di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.


We previously reported the selection of several families of phage-displayed peptide mimics (mimotopes) recognized by oligoclonal immunoglobulins present in the CSF of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. To search for the natural antigens recognized by these antibodies, anti-sera were raised against one of the mimotopes and used as a probe in ELISA, Western blotting and immunoprecipitation experiments. Anti-mimotope IgG were found to cross-react with an epitope shared by a brain-specific factor conserved from rodents to humans, and the surface glycoprotein gB of HSV-1. These findings support the hypothesis that common viral infections are the triggering agents of self-reactive CSF antibodies, whose role in MS still remains to be elucidated.

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