Heterogeneous autoantibody reactivity in CSF antibodies from Relapsing remitting MS. Heatmap in which each column represents an RRMS patient, and each row shows the antibody reactivity to an antigen according to the colorimetric scale shown on the left.
The role of autoreactive antibodies in multiple sclerosis (MS) has received intense attention since the discovery of oligoclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) bands in the majority of patients with MS. However, many questions remain. It is still possible that the intrathecal production of antibody is an epiphenomenon of CNS autoimmunity, resulting from growth factor-driven expansion of long-lived B cells in the meningeal compartment. Alternatively antibody production from antigen-driven proliferation of B-cell clones could be a component of CNS immunopathology. Antibodies from oligoclonal bands is produced by B lineage cells within the CNS. These have been shown to recognizes epitopes of multiple neurotropic viruses and Epstein-Barr virus antigens. However, as this study shows anti-myelin antibodies also occur in the serum and CSF of patients with MS.
The array contained a large number of myelin protein epitopes that could be probed to see what antibodies were present in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of MSers but these were largely linear peptide sequences of about 20 amino acids (proteins are often around 300-400 amino acids) and thus would fail to detect antibodies that detect conformational epitopes, which detect three-dimentional structures that have been found to be more important with regard to pathogenic-disease causing antibodies. There were some whole proteins and tissue extracts on this arrray.
As found previously in animal autoimmunity, there can be a wide diverisity of autoantibody (antibodies that react to the body) response and that this can broaden with time. There was alot of diversity seen between individuals and there was not one protein that everybody reacted to but it was evident that everyone with MS was reacting to at least one of the proteins. This occurred with relative high frequency for some of the epitopes such as over 60% of MSers vereses 0% in health individuals. However myelin is being damaged in MS and one wonders if this triggers an antibody response so it is secondary to the problem rather than being a primary problem.
If you get immunosuppression with your drug of interest, it may be hoped that the antibody responses would be reduced. This may be a new tool to detect this.
Labels: autoimmunity, Microarray