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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1991 Mar;58(3):331-42.

Lymphokines and immunoregulatory molecules in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033.


Frozen brain specimens from six patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) were analyzed immunohistochemically for the presence of leukocyte subpopulations and specific cytokines. In brain regions demonstrating perivascular cell infiltration and gliosis, CD4 and CD8 positive cells were identified within the brain parenchyma. Cytokine analysis revealed cells staining positively for tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma. These results were similar to those observed in multiple sclerosis (MS) and progressive rubella panencephalitis tissue and were different from other predominantly noninflammatory neurologic diseases and normal controls. Although SSPE and MS differ significantly in their etiology and histopathology, the similarities in leukocyte and cytokine staining patterns suggest a common mechanism of disease progression.

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