The macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) assay and the lymphoblastic transformation (LBT) technique were utilized simultaneously to measure immune responses to peptide Y, the 17 amino acid C-terminal fragment of basic myelin protein, in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Ten normals and 67 MS patients from the Montreal Neurological Hospital and affiliated institutions were examined. A prospective attempt was made to correlate the measured responses with phasic clinical activity of the disease. The LBT results indicate some degree of cellular sensitization to peptide Y which parallels the clinical course of the illness, and resembles earlier positive findings obtained with the whole basic myelin protein molecule. These findings, however, are in contrast to a negative MIF response to the Y peptide used in the present study and further contrast the positive MIF results obtained earlier using the whole protein. It is not evident from the results of the present study whether sensitization may be of any pathogenetic significance, but the findings show that differing portions of the basic myelin protein molecule may selectively stimulate specific lymphokine elaboration by sensitized lymphocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology