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J Immunol. 1988 Aug 15;141(4):1126-30.

A synthetic peptide from myelin proteolipid protein induces experimental allergic encephalomyelitis.

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Department of Biochemistry, E.K. Shriver Center, Waltham, MA 02254.


Immunization of animals with proteolipid protein, the major protein constituent of central nervous system myelin, produces experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. The goal of the present study was to identify an encephalitogenic determinant of this protein. For this purpose, SWR mice were immunized with five groups of pooled synthetic peptides corresponding to various regions of the myelin proteolipid protein sequence. Clinical EAE was observed in only one group. Inguinal lymph node cells from animals in this group responded ([3H]thymidine incorporation) to a peptide within the pool containing residues 103-116 YKTTICGKGLSATV. Mice subsequently immunized with 50 nmol of this peptide developed severe EAE within 3 wk, and their T cell-enriched inguinal lymph node cells responded specifically to this peptide. Control mice immunized to proteolipid peptide 202-217 DARMYGVLPWNAFPGK did not develop experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, and their inguinal lymph node cells were unresponsive to either peptide. Thus, a peptide corresponding to a sequence within the proteolipid protein can produce classical acute experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. This is the first report of a synthetic encephalitogenic peptide from myelin proteolipid protein.

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