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J Comp Neurol. 2005 Jun 6;486(3):254-66.

Expression of citrullinated proteins in murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

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Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35249-7340, USA.


In this study, we demonstrate for the first time the immunohistochemical expression of citrullinated proteins in the central nervous system (CNS) of mice with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). By using an established monoclonal antibody (F95) against natural and synthetic citrullinated proteins (Nicholas and Whitaker [2002] Glia 37:328-336), numerous, small, previously unrecognized "patches" of citrullinated proteins were discovered throughout EAE brains, whereas EAE spinal cords showed similar but much larger lesions. On dual color immunofluorescence, these lesions were found to contain citrullinated myelin basic protein (MBP) and were surrounded by astrocytes immunoreactive for both glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and F95. These lesions became evident about the time when EAE mice became symptomatic and increased in size and number with increasing disease severity. In some sections of spinal cord but not brains of severely debilitated EAE mice, a widespread gliotic response was seen, with astrocytes containing citrullinated GFAP spread throughout the gray and white matter. Western blot analysis of acidic proteins from the brains and spinal cords of EAE mice had higher levels of multiple citrullinated GFAP isoforms compared with controls, with more F95-positive bands in the EAE brains vs. spinal cords. These results raise the possibility that citrullination of both GFAP and MBP may contribute to the pathophysiology of EAE and that the brains of EAE mice may contain more pathology than previously realized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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