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J Autoimmun. 1992 Dec;5(6):745-57.

Anti-peripheral nerve antibodies in leprosy patients recognize an epitope shared by the M. leprae 65 kDa heat shock protein.

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Immunologie Cellulaire, Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal.


Binding of leprosy sera to peripheral nerve from different species (mouse, guinea pig and rabbit) was evaluated by ELISA. A majority of sera, whatever the clinical form of leprosy, bind to these antigens. Absorption with Mycobacterium bovis BCG demonstrated that these antibodies recognize cross-reactive epitopes between peripheral nerve and mycobacteria. In immunoblot analysis, both leprosy patient sera and a monoclonal antibody directed at the 65 kDa heat shock protein of M. leprae were shown to react with a heat-shock 67-68 kDa sciatic nerve protein. Binding of the monoclonal antibody to this sciatic nerve antigen was prevented by incubation with lepromatous patient sera, showing that some peripheral nerve epitopes recognized by patient antibodies are shared by the 65 kDa heat shock protein of M. leprae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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