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Can J Neurol Sci. 2008 May;35(2):220-5.

Effect of ALS IgG on motor neurons in organotypic spinal cord cultures.

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Department of Neurology, the Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, People's Republic of China.



Reports about the role of autoimmunity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are inconsistent. The aim of this work was to investigate the effect of IgG from patients with ALS on motor neurons in a physiological-like surrounding.


Using affinity chromatography, IgG from six ALS patients, four disease controls and five healthy subjects was purified. Organotypic spinal cord cultures, which conserve the structure of the spinal cord in a horizontal plane and are suitable for studies with long-term treatment, were used and IgG with different concentrations ranging from 0.05 mg/mL to 0.5 mg/mL was added to the culture medium. Ventral motor neuron survival was evaluated by morphology and SMI-32 immunohistochemistry staining. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level in the culture medium was measured by colorimetry.


After cultures were treated with ALS IgG for three weeks, the number and morphology of motor neurons showed little change. In addition, there was no significant difference in lactate dehydrogenase release between cultures treated with medium alone, normal control IgG, disease control IgG or ALS IgG.


The results indicate that IgG from these ALS patients was insufficient per se to induce motor neuron death in organotypic slice cultures. However, this does not preclude the possibility that other changes may have occurred in the motor neurons. This work offered a new model to evaluate the role of IgG in the pathogenesis of ALS. Organotypic cultures contribute to study of the impact of IgG on motor neurons by mimicking physiological conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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