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J Neuroimmunol. 1988 Aug;19(1-2):21-32.

Characterization of a major encephalitogenic T cell epitope in SJL/J mice with synthetic oligopeptides of myelin basic protein.

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Department of Neurology, Stanford University, CA 94305.


The C-terminal 89-169 amino acid fragment of myelin basic protein (MBP) causes experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) in SJL/J mice. In order to identify the encephalitogenic T cell epitope, we have examined the fine specificity of encephalitogenic SJL/J T cell clones with synthetic peptides derived from the C-terminal 89-169 amino acids of MBP. These peptides were examined for their immunogenic and encephalitogenic activity in the SJL/J mouse. The SJL/J-derived, encephalitogenic T cell clone, 4b.14a, was shown to be responsive to rat myelin basic protein synthetic peptides pR89-101 (VHFFKNIVTPRTP) as well as to intact MBP. Its response was effectively blocked by mAb 10-2.16 (anti-I-As) as was the response to intact MBP. Furthermore, pR89-101 was revealed to be highly immunogenic for the (PLSJ)F1 mouse in terms of lymphocyte proliferation, but not for the PL/J mouse, in spite of the fact that there exists a strong bias to H-2u restricted responses in the (PLSJ)F1 mouse at the T cell level. By using pR89-101, T cells of (PLSJ)F1 origin were revealed to recognize the peptide in association with the I-As molecule on (PLSJ)F1 antigen presenting cells (APC). When examined for encephalitogenicity for the SJL/J mouse, pR89-101 was found to be as encephalitogenic as intact rat MBP. These results demonstrated that MBP peptide pR89-101 is a major encephalitogenic determinant for the SJL/J mouse.

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