MBP, a potential target antigen in Multiple Sclerosis
Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) is a major constituent of the myelin of oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells in the central nervous system. MBP maintains the correct multi-layer myelin sheath assembly, which is important for the conduction of the axonal impulses.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune disease in which the target antigen has not been identified yet. In this demyelinating disease, MBP together with PLP (Myelin Proteolipid Protein) and MOG (Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein) are potential primary encephalitogenic target antigens.
Monitoring autoantibodies to MBP, MOG and/or PLP is a useful tool to study the disease, its progression as well as the effect of potential inhibitors. AnaSpec (Eurogentec's US subsidiary) was pioneer in developing proprietary ELISA Assay Kits for such autoantibodies.
Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis
A well-established animal model of MS is Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the CNS mostly induced in mice and rats. The most commonly used antigens are the MBP, MOG or PLP recombinant proteins, or peptides thereof. These antigens all lead to distinct EAE models with their own disease specificities. MBP (69-85), MOG (35-55), PLP (139-151) and PLP (178-191) have all proved efficient as EAE antigens.