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J Neuroimmunol. 1986 Nov;13(1):99-108.

Cell-mediated immunity to myelin-associated glycoprotein, proteolipid protein, and myelin basic protein in multiple sclerosis.


Peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from active and stable multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, patients with other neurologic diseases (OND), and control subjects were tested for sensitization to two myelin antigens not previously examined in multiple sclerosis, using a [3H]thymidine incorporation assay. The antigens investigated were myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) and proteolipid protein (PLP). In addition, sensitization to myelin basic protein (MBP) was also tested. Lymphocyte stimulation indices in active MS patients that were greater than 2 standard deviations above controls were as follows: 9/30 for MAG, 0/17 for PLP, and 8/81 for MBP. No control subjects responded to MAG or PLP, and only 1/29 control subjects responded to MBP. Three of the patients that responded to MAG also responded to MBP. Although the mean proliferative response to MAG and to MBP was greater in the population of active MS patients than in stable MS, ONDs, or controls, the difference was not statistically significant. The OND group was the only population which proliferated to PLP (6/16). The only statistically significant differences among the groups for all myelin antigens tested were the proportion of individuals with active MS vs. controls that responded to MAG (P less than 0.05), and OND vs. controls and active MS that responded to PLP (P less than 0.025). The greatest individual responses to the three antigens tested were to MBP in active MS patients. Elimination of the T8 (cytotoxic/suppressor) subset amplified the responses to myelin antigens in some patients and ONDs studied. These studies have demonstrated reactivity to MAG but not PLP in some patients with active MS, and reactivity to PLP in some patients with other neurologic diseases.

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