Acta Neurol Scand 1994 Jul;90(1):19-25
Department of Neurology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Experimental allergic neuritis (EAN) is a T cell-mediated animal model of Guillain-Barré syndrome characterized by inflammation and demyelination of peripheral nerves. EAN can be induced by immunization of rats with bovine peripheral nerve myelin (BPM) or the myelin proteins P2 or P0, but the extent of T cell responses over the course of EAN is incompletely defined. We studied the T cell responses to these proteins and the glycolipid GM1 by enumerating T helper type 1 (Th1)-like cells secreting interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) after short-term culture of mononuclear cells (MNC) in presence of antigen. Already 7 days post immunization (p.i.) with BPM and before onset of clinical EAN, lymph nodes contained elevated levels of P2 responsive T cells. At the height of EAN on day 14 p.i. and during recovery, T cell levels responding to BPM, P0 and GM1 were also elevated. The same temporal profiles and specificities were registered for antigen reactive spleen MNC. The results implicate that Th1-like cells with multiple specificities including the glycolipid GM1 occur at increased levels in lymphoid organs in EAN rats, and that IFN-gamma may be an important effector molecule in the induction of nerve damage.