There is considerable evidence that multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease characterized by infiltration of inflammatory cells into the CNS and demyelination. Several myelin proteins may be encephalitogenic, including myelin basic protein, proteolipid protein and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), the latter being expressed on the external layer of myelin sheaths and hence accessible to antibody attack. We investigated MOG autoreactivity in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by ELISA, employing the recombinant extracellular domain of MOG as antigen. We tested serum samples from 262 MS patients (175 relapsing-remitting, 43 primary progressive and 44 secondary progressive), 131 patients with other neurological diseases (OND) and 307 healthy controls. No patients or controls were receiving immunomodulating treatments. We found anti-MOG antibodies in the serum of 13.7% MS patients, mainly in those with secondary progressive MS (25%), in 13.7% of OND patients and in 6.2% of controls. We found a direct correlation (R2 = 0.6, P = 0.002) between disease severity and anti-MOG titer only in patients with primary and secondary progressive MS. Anti-MOG antibodies were present in the CSF of 11.4% MS patients and 18.9% OND patients. Intrathecal synthesis of anti-MOG antibodies was demonstrated in four (4.5%) of MS patients and no OND patients. Anti-MOG antibodies are not specific for MS; however, they may characterize a subset of MS patients and this may be revealed by serial assays in relation to changing disease phase.
- Antibody index
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein
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