Tissue preconditioning may explain concentric lesions in Baló's type of multiple sclerosis

Christine Stadelmann, Sam Ludwin, Takeshi Tabira, Andras Guseo, Claudia F. Lucchinetti, Lorant Leel-Össy, Artemio T. Ordinario, Wolfgang Brück, Hans Lassmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Lesions of Baló's concentric sclerosis are characterized by alternating layers of myelinated and demyelinated tissue. The reason for concentric demyelination in this variant of multiple sclerosis is unclear. In the present study we investigated the immunopathology in autopsy tissue of 14 patients with acute multiple sclerosis or fulminant exacerbations of chronic multiple sclerosis with Baló-type lesions in the CNS, focusing on the patterns of tissue injury in actively demyelinating lesions. We found that all active concentric lesions followed a pattern of demyelination that bears resemblances to hypoxia-like tissue injury. This was associated with high expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase in macrophages and microglia. At the edge of active lesions and, less consistently, in the outermost layer of preserved myelin, proteins involved in tissue preconditioning, such as hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and heat-shock protein 70, were expressed mainly in oligodendrocytes and to a lesser degree also in astrocytes and macrophages. Due to their neuroprotective effects, the rim of periplaque tissue, where these proteins are expressed, may be resistant to further damage in an expanding lesion and may therefore remain as a layer of preserved myelinated tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-987
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Baló
  • HIF-1α
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • hsp70

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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