J Clin Neurosci 2003 Jan;10(1):63-6
Pender MP, Csurhes PA, Wolfe NP, Hooper KD, Good MF, McCombe PA, Greer JM.
Department of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
We have previously shown that patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) have significantly elevated plasma levels of antibody to GM3 ganglioside compared to patients with relapsing-remitting MS, healthy subjects and patients with other neurological diseases.
Anti-GM3 antibody levels were elevated also in patients with secondary progressive MS but to a lesser extent than in primary progressive MS.
As gangliosides are particularly enriched in the axonal membrane, these findings suggested that antiganglioside immune responses might contribute to the axonal damage in progressive forms of MS.
The present study was performed to determine whether peripheral blood T cell responses to GM3 are also increased in progressive MS.
Blood was collected from 98 untreated patients with MS (40 with relapsing-remitting, 27 with secondary progressive and 31 with primary progressive MS), 50 healthy subjects and 24 patients with other disorders of the CNS, and reactivity to GM1, GM3, GD1a, GD1b, GD3, GT1b, GQ1b and sulphatide was assessed by 6-day T cell proliferation assays.
Increased T cell reactivity to GM3 and GQ1b occurred significantly more often in patients with primary progressive MS than in healthy subjects and patients with other CNS diseases.
These findings suggest that ganglioside-specific T cells may contribute to the axonal damage in primary progressive MS.