Using immunoprecipitation techniques, we have analyzed measles-specific antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) as well as in sera from patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). We confirm previous reports that SSPE sera contain a relative lack of M protein-specific antibodies, and report that CSF also have antibodies specific for all measles polypeptides except the M protein. We have also found that Vero cells infected with one of the SSPE viruses used in this study, the cell-associated IP-3 strain, completely lack expression of detectable M protein. Thus, the lack of M protein-specific antibody in the CSF of SSPE patients may be the result of a lack of expression of this polypeptide in the cells of the central nervous system.
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