The autoimmune features of acute transverse myelopathy

Ann Neurol. 1977 Jul;2(1):36-40. doi: 10.1002/ana.410020106.


Lymphocytes from patients with acute transverse myelopathy (ATM) were shown to undergo a specific and significant transformation when cultured in vitro in the presence of either the central nervous myelin basic encephalitogenic protein (BE) or the peripheral nerve myelin P2 protein. A similar pattern of response was demonstrated in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and in acute myeloradiculitis. Lymphocytes from patients suffering from other autoimmune neurological disorders or other neurological diseases affecting the spinal cord showed no response to there immunologically related antigens, which have previously been found to have the capacity of inducing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, either alone or with experimental allergic neuritis, when injected into animals. The specific in vitro response to BE and P2 suggests that in vivo sensitization of lymphocytes to such self-antigens occurs in ATM and than a cell-mediated, probably postinfecious autoimmune mechanism may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of the disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Encephalomyelitis / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelin Basic Protein / immunology
  • Myelin Proteins / immunology
  • Myelitis / immunology*
  • Myelitis, Transverse / immunology*


  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Myelin Proteins