IgG reactivity against citrullinated myelin basic protein in multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol. 2001 Jul 2;117(1-2):149-55. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(01)00312-5.


An increased level of citrullinated myelin basic protein (MBP-C8) has been reported in the brains of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. However, the involvement of the immune response to post-translational modified MBP in the pathophysiology of MS remains speculative. The aim of this study was to compare the levels of immunoglobulin G antibodies to several MBP epitopes, before and after citrullination, in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and sera of MS patients using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We analyzed antibody reactivity against various MBP-peptides in the CSF and sera of 60 MS patients, and 30 patients with other neurological diseases (OND) as controls. The peptides tested were: MBP(75-98) (peptide 1), native (peptide 2) and citrullinated (peptide 3) MBP(108-126) (ARG(122)-->Cit(122)), and native (peptide 4) and citrullinated (peptide 5) MBP(151-170) (ARG(159, 170)-->Cit(159, 170)). All selected peptides could support an immune reactivity in CSF and sera of MS and OND patients. A higher reactivity against peptide 4 was found in the CSF of MS patients compared with OND patients (P<0.0001), but not against citrullinated peptides (peptides 3 and 5). However, we observed that the citrullination state of peptide 2 modified the patterns of immune reactivity more markedly in MS patients (P<0.0001) than in OND patients (P<0.02). Although some MBP epitopes could be a potential target in MS, our data did not demonstrate any difference of antibody response to MBP peptides in their citrullinated forms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Citrulline / metabolism*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Myelin Basic Protein / immunology*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Citrulline