Inhibition by serum of encephalitogenic activity of myelin basic protein

Claude C. Bernard, Gilles Lamoureux

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Basic protein of myelin from bovine brain (B-BPM) in Freund’s complete adjuvant (FCA) is highly encephalitogenic for the guinea pig. However, when B-BPM is mixed with serum from various species it loses its encephalitogenic effect but not its immunogenic properties. When the synthetic tryptophan peptide matching residue 115-126 of human BPM is mixed with normal human serum it loses both its encephalitogenic and immunogenic effects. The time of exposure to serum necessary for complete inhibition of encephalitogenic activity of B-BPM varied: Rat, horse, sheep and human sera produced their inhibitory effect immediately after mixing, whereas guinea pig serum required 8 h. The capacity of serum to abrogate the encephalitogenic effects of B-BPM was not due to complete degradation of the molecule by proteinases in serum, because all animals injected with the B-BPM serum mixture gave cutaneous delayed hypersensitivity reactions to B-BPM. The inhibitory effect could be attributed to a factor in serum which is non-dialysable, thermostable at 56 °C, for 1 h, and present in high concentration in fetal calf serum. It may be an a2 macroglobulin which can act selectively on the main encephalitogenic determinant, around or within residues 115-126 of the basic protein of myelin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1975
Externally publishedYes

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