MULTIPLE sclerosis (MS) and the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) are demyelinating diseases of improven aetiology and pathogenesis, in which infectious and immunological factors have been suggested to have a role 1-3. The notion that sensitisation to basic proteins from myelin might be involved has arisen from certain similarities between these human diseases and the autoimmune demyelinating diseases of animals, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) and experimental allergic neuritis (EAN) 4. EAE is caused by sensitisation to the encephalitogenic basic protein from central myelin (CNS-BP) and EAN by sensitisation to peripheral myelin. One of the two basic proteins of peripheral myelin, P2 protein 5, is considered a likely candidate for the neuritogenic factor 6. To help determine whether sensitisation to myelin basic proteins is involved in the pathogenesis of MS and GBS, we have used horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labelled myelin basic proteins7,8 to seek evidence of an antibody of this specificity in nervous system plasma cells in these diseases. Our negative findings do not support a pathogenetic role for myelin basic proteins in MS or GBS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas