Immunoreactive material that appears to be a peptide encompassing all or a portion of residues 80 to 89 of myelin basic protein is present in normal unconcentrated urine and is increased in certain patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Compared with normal controls, urines collected randomly from 158 MS patients or in a clinical research unit from 8 patients with MS had higher mean values of urinary MBP-like material (MBPLM). The level of MBPLM in urine showed no direct relationship to MBPLM in cerebrospinal fluid and did not correlate with clinical relapses of disease. In the other neurological disease control group (26 patients), some patients with other inflammatory diseases, but not stroke or early phase Guillain-Barre syndrome, also showed elevations. Among the subtypes of MS, those with secondary chronic progressive disease had the highest values. Urinary MBPLM showed no definite correlation with or effect of treatment with glucocorticoids and immunosuppressants except that a lower level of urinary MBPLM showed a weak relationship with improvement following treatment with methylprednisolone/prednisone. In a serial study of 8 patients with unenhanced cranial magnetic resonance imaging and 20 patients with gadolinium-enhanced cranial magnetic resonance imaging, urinary MBPLM did not show a direct correlation with new or enhancing lesions. Urinary MBPLM does not parallel acute myelin damage but appears to reflect an ongoing process, possibly linked to attempted efforts at remyelination.
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