Protein array-based profiling of CSF identifies RBPJ as an auto-antigen in multiple sclerosis

This study from Australia looked at cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with MS with raised immunoglobulin G and controls with other inflammatory neurological diseases, in order to identify MS specific autoantigens.

The CSF was screened against a protein array made up of 9,393 proteins. ELISA and immunocytochemistry were used to confirm any reactivity to a candidate protein identified using these arrays.

Antibodies against one protein, recombination signal binding protein for immunoglobulin kappa J region (RBPJ), were detected. This protein, which plays a role in Epstein-Barr virus infection, discriminated between patients and controls. There was a higher prevalence of these autoantibodies against RBPJ in CSF of MS patients (12.5%) compared to controls (1.6%). Serum activity did not differ between patients and controls.

These results indicate that RBPJ, which is a protein of the Notch signalling pathway which plays an important role in EBV infection, is a new autoantigen found in a subset of MS patients.

Authors: Querol L, Clark PL

Source: Neurology, 2013 Aug 6. [Epub ahead of print]

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