“In the HERV (human endogenous retrovirus virus) MS field some groups think HERV-W is the culprit. This study looked at antibody responses to the virus in MSers, The idea being if the virus was active and expressing its outer coat protein, or envelope (env) protein. It looks as if the hypothesis is holding true with higher antibody levels against the virus in MSers compared to controls with a reduction after 66 months interferon-beta therapy. Just may be interferon beta is working by suppressing HERVs? What do you think?”
Mameli et al. Epitopes of HERV-Wenv induce antigen-specific humoral immunity in multiple sclerosis patients. J Neuroimmunol. 2015 Mar 15;280:66-8
To verify the serological response mounted against antigenic peptides from HERV-Wenv protein, we analyzed 80 multiple sclerosis (MS) serum samples, 27 of which were re-analyzed after a 6-month follow-up IFN-β therapy, and 73 healthy controls. Indirect ELISAs were carried out to detect antibodies specific for all the synthetic peptides derived from HERV-Wenv. Two antigenic peptides, HERV-Wenv93-108 (31.25%, p<0.0001) and HERV-Wenv248-262 (15%, p=0.02), were highly recognized by MS patients’ antibodies when compared to healthy subjects. Moreover, antibody titer against these two peptides slightly decreased after six months of IFN-β-based therapy.