Circulating autoantibodies to the 200,000-dalton protein of neurofilaments in the serum of healthy individuals

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Science  31 May 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4703, pp. 1117-1119
DOI: 10.1126/science.4039466


There is substantial evidence that human serum contains antibodies to many autoantigens. For example, all healthy people have autoantibodies (immunoglobulin M) to some undefined brain antigens. In this study immunoblots and immunohistochemical staining were used to detect antibodies to neural tissues in serum samples from 200 healthy people and 200 patients with various neurological diseases. Ninety-nine percent of the 400 subjects had serum immunoglobulin M and 95 percent had immunoglobulin G that bound to a 200-kilodalton protein in homogenates of neural tissues. In most cases there were no antibodies to anything else in the homogenates. The 200-kilodalton protein was the heaviest of the neurofilament triplet proteins. These observations do not support a role for antibodies to the 200-kilodalton protein of neurofilaments in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases.