Antibodies against myelin can be damaging in humans as well as mice

Tsuburaya RS, Miki N, Tanaka K, Kageyama T, Irahara K, Mukaida S, Shiraishi K, Tanaka M. Anti-myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies in a Japanese boy with recurrent optic neuritis.Brain Dev. 2014 Feb 28. pii: S0387-7604(14)00040-0. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2014.02.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Background: Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) localizes on the outermost surface of the myelin sheath and oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). Autoantibodies against MOG are reportedly found in patients with spectrum of inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the CNS, including acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, and neuromyelitis optica. In addition, recent studies have emphasized an association between anti-MOG antibodies and optic neuritis. Patient: We present the first case report of a 7-year-old Japanese boy who was positive for anti-MOG antibodies. He experienced four episodes of unilateral optic neuritis and one seizure event. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed T2-hyperintense lesions in the subcortical white matter and midbrain. Although he fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis, recombinant interferon beta did not prevent recurrence. Established cell-based immunoassays revealed that he was positive for anti-MOG antibodies and negative for anti-aquaporin 4 antibodies. Conclusions: Our case report supports the relationship between anti-MOG antibodies and recurrent optic neuritis. Additional studies are needed to establish the clinical significance of anti-MOG antibodies for diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

Neuromyelitis optica is an MS-like variant associated with antibody-mediated damage and the presence of optic nerve and spinal cord lesions, which does not appear to respond to beta interferon. People with NMO also get brain lesions. (Long Y, Chen M, Zhang B, Gao C, Zheng Y, Xie L, Gao Q, Yin J. Brain gadolinium enhancement along the ventricular and leptomeningeal regions in patients with aquaporin-4 antibodies in cerebral spinal fluid. J Neuroimmunol. 2014 Feb [Epub ahead of print]). Although many NMOers have antibodies reactive to astrocytes (Aquaporin 4 water channel is on astrocytes) some have antibodies against MOG. These anti-MOG antibodies can be shown to bad news in Mice (click here), indicating there is an autoimmune component. Likewise,  MSers can also have damaging antibodies in their circulation also suggesting an autoimmune component.

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  • With the many years that have been spent looking for a autoantigen in MS, you would think that one would have been found by now. From a layman's point of view this seems like a simple task but I'm sure there is much more involved. It would be great to hear an explanation some time about the difficulties faced when trying to identify auto antibodies in MS.

  • There have been lots found the problem is it is not just one but many different ones and these differ netween different individuals

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