A unique population of circulating autoantibodies promotes central nervous system remyelination

K. Asakura, M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In previous studies we demonstrated that the humoral immune response directed against unique central nervous system (CNS) antigens enhanced CNS remyelination in the Theiler's virus experimental model of multiple sclerosis (MS). To expand on this observation, a mouse IgMκ monoclonal antibody (mAb) which enhances CNS remyelination, was raised against normal mouse spinal cord homogenate. Characterization of this mAb revealed that it is polyreactive towards variety of intracellular antigens but also reacts to an unidentified surface antigen on oligodendrocytes. The mAb is encoded by germline immunoglobulin genes without somatic mutations consistent with the observation that it is a natural autoantibody. Recently we generated another mouse IgMκ mAb raised against normal spinal cord homogenate, which also promotes CNS remyelination. Further characterization revealed that both mAbs which promote remyelination have similar binding characteristics. Conventionally Abs which recognize normal CNS components, especially oligodendrocytes or myelin, have been considered to be a disease marker or be involved in the pathogenesis of MS. However, we have identified a unique population of circulating autoantibodies which are beneficial for myelin repair. Therefore this observation indicates the need to reevaluate autoantibody production against myelin components in CSF and blood as markers of disease activity versus repair in MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1998


  • Immunoglobulin
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Natural autoantibody
  • Remyelination
  • Theiler's virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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