Mutation of the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) gene in a T-cell is believed to be an indication that the T-cell has been activated and has proliferated in vivo. HPRT mutant T-cell lines were generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with MS and control subjects. More lines were isolated from the MS patients than from the control subjects. Using stringent criteria for recognition, none of the lines from MS-affected or control subjects recognized intact myelin basic protein (MBP) or myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) molecules. Using stringent criteria, two of the 10 MS patients harbored mutant lines each recognizing distinct PLP peptides (PLP peptide 40-60 recognized by 3 lines from one patient and PLP peptide 178-191 recognized by 2 lines from the other patient). A single line recognizing PLP peptide 89-106 was derived from 1 of 7 normal controls. HPRT mutant lines recognizing multiple epitopes of PLP which spanned much of the molecule could be isolated from MS patients, and to a lesser extent, normal subjects.
- multiple sclerosis
- myelin proteolipid protein