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Mult Scler. 1998 Feb;4(1):16-21.

Myelin basic protein in cerebrospinal fluid and other body fluids.

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Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.


Myelin basic protein (MBP) or a fragment thereof may enter cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and other body fluids in an etiologically nonspecific fashion to provide information about the status of central nervous system (CNS) myelin damage. MBP immunochemically detected is referred to as MBP-like material (MBPLM). The clinical utility of the assay for MBPLM in CSF is to document the presence, continuation, or resolution of CNS myelin injury. The analysis of CSF for MBPLM is subject to many variables, among which are the antisera and the form of the assay utilized. The dominant epitope of CSF MBPLM is in the decapeptide of 80-89 from the intact MBP molecule of 170 residues. Normally, CSF has no detected MBPLM. Following an acute relapse of MS, MBPLM rises quickly in the range of ng/ml and rapidly declines and disappears. The presence of MBPLM in CSF in chronic and progressive phases of the disease is unusual, but it may sometimes be detected in low levels, depending on the assay used for detection. The level of CSF MBPLM is related to both the mass of CNS myelin damage and how recently it occurred. The level of CSF MBPLM rarely is elevated in optic neuritis. The level of CSF MBPLM is unrelated to CSF protein level, level of IgG, presence of oligoclonal bands or pleocytosis. CSF MBPLM has the potential of serving as a marker of therapeutic effectiveness in MS and does have predictive value for response to glucocorticoids given for worsening of disease. The detection of MBPLM in body fluids other than CSF would be of great value because of the resulting improved feasibility for objectively monitoring the natural history of MS and response to therapy. Studies on blood have yet to produce a valid assay of MBPLM. Urinary MBPLM, though different in its features from that in CSF, may provide a correlate, not with acute demyelination in MS as is the case for CSF, but with progression of disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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