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Studies have been made of the idiotypic determinants of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) antibodies using rabbit antisera to serum and spinal fluid fractions. Evidence is presented indicating that serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) anti-measles antibodies, as judged by their idiotypes, differ in their relative concentrations in the two compartments. The results indicate that some of these antibody subpopulations originate within the CNS, while others are made largely or entirely outside. In addition to strong idiotypic specificity, a limited cross-idiotypic specificity relating antibodies from three out of fourteen SSPE patients has been identified. In the course of these studies, measles virus was found to agglutinate red cells coated with antibody fraction to high titres. This system has proved useful in demonstrating the competition between anti-idiotypic antibody and antigen for the combining sites of the measles antibody. Two anti-idiotypic antisera have also been obtained against the spinal fluid IgG of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The possible use of these marker reagnets as well as related methodologies in the search for the antigens involved in MS bands is discussed.


Journal article


Clin Exp Immunol

Publication Date





67 - 75


Antibody Specificity, Antigens, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Epitopes, Hemagglutination Inhibition Tests, Humans, Immune Sera, Immunoglobulin G, Immunoglobulin Idiotypes, Isoelectric Focusing, Multiple Sclerosis, Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis