Identification of a second T cell epitore of human proteolipid protein (residues 89-106) recognized by proliferative and cytolytic CD4+ T cells from multiple sclerosis patients

Clara M. Pelfrey, John L. Trotter, Laura R. Tranquill, Henry F. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research into the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) has focused on myelin antigens as potential targets of autoimmune attack. Proteolipid protein (PLP) is the most abundant myelin protein comprising more than 50% of central nervous system myelin. Although PLP is a hydrophobic membrane protein which has made it difficult to study, the use of synthetic peptides based on the PLP sequence provides an alternative method for studying the immunological properties of PLP. Using peripheral blood lymphocytes from MS patients, long-term TCL established in the presence of PLP reacted weakly to PLP in proliferation assays; however,these same lines were much more reactive to synthetic peptides of PLP. Thus, we established short-term T cell lines (TCL) from the peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) of MS patients in the presence of five separate synthetic PLP peptides. In 6/7 MS patients, proliferative responses were elicited most often to PLP 40-60 compared to four other PLP peptides (PLP 89-106, 103-120, 125-143, and 139-154) (Pelfrey et al., 1993). Interestingly, however, the magnitude of the proliferative response was greatest in response to PLP 89-106. Characterization of PLP 89-106-responsive TCL from several MS patients, indicated that TCL proliferating to the peptide also lysed PLP 89-106 pulsed autologous targets. The majority of cytolytic PLP 89-106 TCL were CD4+ and MHC class II restricted and the predominant restriction elements were those most commonly found in MS patients. These suggest that the use of synthetic peptides represents a viable alternative approach to the study of PLP reactivity in humans. We report here that MS PBL recognize several PLP peptides, with the predominant responses to PLP 40-60 and PLP 89-106. Since these cells have both helper (CD4+) and cytolytic capabilitiesm, it is possible that they may play a role in the pathogenesis or progression of MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytolytic CD4 T lymphocytes
  • Mucltiple sclerosis
  • Myelin proteolipid protein
  • PLP peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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