Passive transfer of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in Wistar rats: Dissociation of clinical symptoms and biochemical alterations

Alicia L. Degano, German A. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We have used passive transfer of myelin-reactive lymphocytes in the Wistar rat model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) to investigate the nature of the central nervous system immunopathological alterations induced by these cells. Mononuclear cells from lymph nodes or spleen from sick myelin/complete Freund's adjuvant-immunized donors did not transfer clinical disease. However, depending on the previous treatment of the transferred cells, recipients develop central nervous system biochemical and histological alterations. Fresh cells from lymph nodes immediately transferred after procurement from the sick EAE donor rat were capable of inducing the most significant diminution in the content of myelin basic protein, sulfatides, and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphohydrolase activity, with concomitant inflammatory infiltrations of white matter, principally in spinal cord and cerebellar lobules. Similar alterations were observed when animals were injected with spleen mononuclear cells activated in the presence of a nonspecific mitogen as concanavalin A. However, antigen- specific activated spleen cells generated by culturing in the presence of bovine myelin induced alterations to a lesser degree. Results point to a dissociation of the clinical disease from the central nervous system biochemical and histopathological lesions occurring in the EAE-transferred Wistar rats and indicate that these alterations in EAE are induced principally by T cells activated in vivo rather than by cells activated in vitro by myelin antigens. Therefore, these findings suggest a possible participation of lymphocytes unlike the encephalitogenic T cells in the induction of the described alterations and provide a useful model to explore further the subclinical responses to this experimental disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • Myelin
  • Myelin basic protein
  • T lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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