Immunological Expression of Gangliosides in Multiple Sclerosis and in a Demyelinating Model Disease in Rabbits
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease of an unknown aetiology characterized by the destruction of myelin in the central nervous system (CNS). One possible mechanism implicated in the process of demyelination and plaque formation is an autoimmune response to a nervous system antigen(s), and the search continues to identify myelin components which might provoke such postulated autoimmune reactions. T-cell-dependent cellular immunity has been suggested as playing a role in the pathogenesis of MS,1,2 as shown in numerous reports on the specific sensitization of peripheral blood lymphocytes from MS patients to myelin basic protein. Similarly, a humoral (B cell) response against myelin glycolipid components, such as galactocerebroside3 and galactosyl digly-ceride,4 were also investigated. Studies on the possible involvement of myelin gangliosides as potential target antigens in the pathological autoimmune process in MS are presently summarized. These studies were initiated following reports on the emergence of anti-ganglioside antibodies in sera of MS patients5,6 and by the consideration that gangliosides are exclusively located on the external (intraperiod line) apposition of myelin, and are thus rendered accessible for an autoimmune attack.
KeywordsMultiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Patient Myelin Basic Protein Optic Neuritis Control Rabbit
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