Autoreactivity to myelin antigens: myelin/oligodendrocyte glycoprotein is a prevalent autoantigen

J Neuroimmunol. 1999 Sep 1;99(1):36-43. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(99)00099-5.


Autoreactive T cells specific for myelin antigens are thought to play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). We compared T cell proliferative responses in peripheral blood following challenge in vitro with myelin/oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (recombinant protein, rMOG), myelin basic protein (MBP) and proteolipid apoprotein (PLP) in 50 patients with MS and 40 healthy controls. T cell reactivity against rMOG (defined by a specific stimulation index of 2.5 or greater) was present in 13 (26%) MS patients and 12 (30%) healthy controls and was MHC-restricted, as anti-MHC class II antibodies abolished all proliferative responses. By contrast, reactivity against PLP was present in only one (2%) MS patient and six (15%) controls, and no reactivity against MBP was found in any subject. Thus, by the criteria of the present study, an increased reactivity of circulating T cells to MOG is present to a similar degree in healthy individuals and in patients with MS. This finding raises the possibility that additional factors contribute to the pathogenicity of these autoreactive T cell populations in demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphokines / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / blood
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Myelin Basic Protein / immunology
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin Proteolipid Protein / immunology
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / immunology*
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Reference Values
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Lymphokines
  • MOG protein, human
  • Mog protein, rat
  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin Proteolipid Protein
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Recombinant Proteins