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Vet Clin Pathol. 2008 Jun;37(2):217-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-165X.2008.00020.x.

Detection of oligoclonal bands in cerebrospinal fluid from German Shepherd dogs with degenerative myelopathy by isoelectric focusing and immunofixation.

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.



Detection of intrathecal IgG synthesis is important in evaluating inflammatory diseases in the central nervous system. Isoelectric focusing (IEF) is currently the most sensitive method to demonstrate intrathecal IgG synthesis and may have diagnostic value for German Shepherd degenerative myelopathy (GSDM).


The objective of this study was to adapt a modified IEF and immunofixation method for the detection of oligoclonal bands in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from dogs with GSDM.


Serum and lumbar CSF samples were collected from 6 German Shepherd dogs clinically diagnosed with GSDM. Samples were also collected from 6 clinically healthy dogs for comparison. The concentration of IgG was measured by quantitative ELISA and the concentration of total protein was measured by the Bradford protein assay. The presence of oligoclonal bands was evaluated by use of modified IEF followed by immunofixation.


The concentrations of total protein and IgG, and the IgG/total protein ratio in CSF samples, were not significantly different between GSDM patients and control dogs. Four GSDM patients had oligoclonal bands in their CSF based on IEF-immunofixation. No oligoclonal bands were found in CSF from control dogs.


The results suggest that the detection of oligoclonal bands by IEF-immunofixation may have diagnostic value for GSDM, and support the idea that humoral immune responses may play a role in the pathogenesis of GSDM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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