Blood lymphocytes from 83 subjects were evaluated for the presence of cellular hypersensitivity to peripheral and central-nervous-tissue antigens by means of the in vitro production of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF). In the group of 25 patients with peripheral neuropathies, only lymphocytes from patients with the Guillain-Barré syndrome produced MIF in response to peripheral-nerve antigen. Lymphocytes from five of 15 patients with multiple sclerosis produced MIF when incubated with central-nerve antigen. An unexpected finding was that MIF was produced in response to central-nervous-tissue antigen by lymphocytes from six of nine patients who had had cerebrovascular accidents. Although these results further demonstrate that cellular hypersensitivity to components of nervous tissue is present in some neurologic diseases, the data from studies in patients with cerebrovascular accidents suggest that cellular hypersensitivity can be present as a result of nervous-tissue damage.
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