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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282X


OLIVEIRA, A.S.B. et al. Expression of HLA-DR in pheripheral nerve of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1994, vol.52, n.4, pp.493-500. ISSN 0004-282X.

To investigate the possibility of local antigen presentation within the peripheral nerve in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cryostat sections of 83 peripheral nerve biopsies were stained for the demonstration of HLA-DR using a monoclonal antibody. Forty samples showed increased expression of HLA-DR in endoneurium. The phenotypic characteristics of the HLA-DR positive cells are chiefly Schwann cells, using S-100 protein as a marker. We did not detect any co-expression between HLA-DR and NF (axons) and HLA-DR and myelin marker. We also detected co-expression between HLA-DR and NGFr in a majority of HLA-DR positive cells. Inflammatory cells were infrequent, being detected only in 11 cases, predominantly around epineurial blood vessels. Motor and sensory nerve biopsies performed simultaneously showed higher expression of HLA-DR in motor nerves in 2 out of 4 patients. The significance of these findings is not clear. The presence of endoneurial cells expressing HLA-DR suggests that an autoimmune mechanism may be involved in ALS having Schwann as the main target.

Keywords : amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; peripheral nerve; histocompatibity antigen.

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