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Mimicry between HTLV-I and myelin basic protein: no response in HTLV-I-associated myelopathy patients

Davies, J.M., Sonoda, S., Yashiki, S., Osame, M. and Carnegie, P.R. (1992) Mimicry between HTLV-I and myelin basic protein: no response in HTLV-I-associated myelopathy patients. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 41 (2). pp. 239-243.

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The reactivity to a peptide from the HTLV-I polyprotein (FKLPGLNSR) and a similar sequence from myelin basic protein (MBP) (FKLGGRDSR) was examined in relation to the proposal that mimicry of MBP by HTLV-I could be involved in autoimmune responses in HTLV-I-associated myelopathy (HAM). It was found that rabbit antibodies raised against the HTLV-I peptide recognised both peptides, with a titre of 1/10240 to the HTLV-I peptide and 1/5220 to the MBP peptide. Human sera from HAM patients and a HTLV-I carrier without HAM showed slightly higher responses to the HTLV-I peptide compared to the responses from uninfected human sera. HAM patients had greater responses to the HTLV-I peptide than to the similar MBP peptide and an unrelated bovine MBP peptide. There was no recognition of the peptides by peripheral blood lymphocytes from HAM patients or a HTLV-I carrier without HAM. It was concluded that although cross-reactivity was demonstrated in rabbits and the HTLV-I peptide was recognised by sera from HAM patients, the epitope does not appear to evoke a mimicking response to the similar region in MBP. Hence it is not likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of HAM through molecular mimicry.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
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