Class II antigen expression in peripheral neuropathies

G. W. Mitchell, G. S. Williams, E. P. Bosch, M. N. Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The expression of class II antigen was studied in sural nerve biopsies from patients with peripheral neuropathies. These included patients with chronic demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), non-immune mediated neuropathies of diverse etiologies and controls without evidence of neuropathy. The major finding in CIDP was a marked increase in class II expression on Schwann cells. Endoneurial Schwann cell staining to the same degree as in CIDP was seen in diabetic symmetric proximal motor neuropathy, neuropathies associated with monoclonal gammopathies and hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 1. In the control nerves and the other non-immune mediated neuropathies class II expression was mainly restricted to endothelial and perineurial cells. Increased endoneurial expression of class II antigen was found to correlate with elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protein levels but not with other clinical variables or demyelination as defined by electrophysiologic criteria or teased fiber analysis. The increased expression of class II antigen on Schwann cells may be indicative of a breakdown in immunological tolerance but should not be used as a diagnostic marker for dysimmune neuropathies due to overlap with non-immune mediated neuropathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-176
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1991


  • Chronic demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
  • Class II antigen
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Monoclonal gammopathy
  • Neuropathy
  • Schwann cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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