Predominance of the autoimmune response to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) in multiple sclerosis: Reactivity to the extracellular domain of MOG is directed against three main regions



Our previous analysis of the T cell reactivity to myelin antigens in a group of 24 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and 16 control individuals revealed that the autoimmune response to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) predominates in MS over that to myelin basic protein (MBP), proteolipid protein or myelin-associated glycoprotein, suggesting a prevalent role for the autoimmune response to MOG in the pathogenesis of MS. Using a recombinant human MOG (rhMOG) preparation corresponding to the extracellular immunoglobulin-like domain of the MOG molecule, we have now analyzed another group of 52 MS patients and 49 control individuals for reactivity of their peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) to rhMOG and to MBP concomitantly. Of the 52 MS patients tested 24 responded to MOG and 10 out of 49 responded to MBP, whereas only 5 MOG-reactive and 4 MBP-reactive control individuals were detected out of the 49 tested. These results are therefore highly confirmatory of the predominant reactivity to MOG in MS. The analysis of the primary proliferative response to 11 synthetic overlapping peptides (phMOG) spanning the extracellular domain of human MOG by PBL from 9 MS patients and 15 control individuals (9 healthy controls and 6 patients with neurological diseases other than MS) further supports a prevalent role for the autoimmune response to MOG in MS, as only 1 of the 15 controls tested showed reactivity to any of the phMOG, whilst 5 out of the 9 patients studied reacted to at least 1 of the phMOG. PBL from 10 MS patients, and from 4 controls, were selected in vitro with each of the phMOG. Of the 10 patients studied 7 reacted to at least 1 phMOG upon secondary stimulation and the reactivity was mostly directed to epitopes localized within three main regions (amino acids 1–22, 34–56 and 64–96), as was observed for the primary response of PBL. The predominant response to MOG of PBL from MS patients as demonstrated in two separate studies using native MOG and rhMOG as antigens, and the high incidence of reactivity of these PBL compared to the lack of response to phMOG by control PBL, emphasize the relevance of MOG in MS pathogenesis and support a primary role for the autoimmune T cell response to MOG in disease development.