Lipid microarrays identify key mediators of autoimmune brain inflammation

Nat Med. 2006 Jan;12(1):138-43. doi: 10.1038/nm1344. Epub 2005 Dec 11.


Recent studies suggest that increased T-cell and autoantibody reactivity to lipids may be present in the autoimmune demyelinating disease multiple sclerosis. To perform large-scale multiplex analysis of antibody responses to lipids in multiple sclerosis, we developed microarrays composed of lipids present in the myelin sheath, including ganglioside, sulfatide, cerebroside, sphingomyelin and total brain lipid fractions. Lipid-array analysis showed lipid-specific antibodies against sulfatide, sphingomyelin and oxidized lipids in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) derived from individuals with multiple sclerosis. Sulfatide-specific antibodies were also detected in SJL/J mice with acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Immunization of mice with sulfatide plus myelin peptide resulted in a more severe disease course of EAE, and administration of sulfatide-specific antibody exacerbated EAE. Thus, autoimmune responses to sulfatide and other lipids are present in individuals with multiple sclerosis and in EAE, and may contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune demyelination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology*
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalitis / pathology*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Microarray Analysis / instrumentation
  • Microarray Analysis / methods*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Lipids
  • Sulfoglycosphingolipids