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Keywords:

  • Biomedicine;
  • Inflammation;
  • Mass spectrometry;
  • Neurodegeneration;
  • Protein expression

The induction of autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in Lewis rats results in a period of exacerbation followed by complete recovery. Therefore, this model is widely used for studying the evolution of multiple sclerosis. In the present investigation, differentially expressed proteins in the spinal cord of Lewis rats during the evolution of EAE were assessed using the combination of 2DE and MALDI-TOF MS. The majority of the differentially expressed proteins were identified during the acute phase of EAE, in relation to naïve control animals. On the other hand, recovered rats presented a similar protein expression pattern in comparison with the naïve ones. This observation can be explained, at least in part, by the intense catabolism existent in acute phase due to nervous tissue damage. In recovered rats, we have described the upregulation of proteins that are apparently involved in the recovery of damaged tissue, such as light and medium neurofilaments, glial fibrillary acidic protein, tubulins subunits, and quaking protein. These proteins are involved mainly in cell growth, myelination, and remyelination as well as in astrocyte and oligodendrocyte maturation. The present study has demonstrated that the inflammatory response, characterized by an increase of the proliferative response and infiltration of autoreactive T lymphocytes in the central nervous system, occurs simultaneously with neurodegeneration.