Plasma cell dyscrasia and peripheral neuropathy: identification of the myelin antigens that react with human paraproteins.
Peripheral Nervous System Diseases
In some cases of polyneuropathy and plasma cell dyscrasia, the monclonal antibodies react with human peripheral nerve myelin. To identify the myelin antigens involved, we separated the proteins of human central and peripheral nerve myelin by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, transferred the proteins onto nitrocellulose sheets, and used an immunoenzymatic technique to detect the reactive antigens. Serum IgM but not IgG from three patients with neuropathy and complement-fixing anti-human myelin IgM paraproteins immunostained a protein of approximately 100,000 daltons in human peripheral nerve myelin and a protein or closely migrating proteins of similar size in human central nervous system myelin. In a fourth patient, both IgM and IgG immunostained the antigen. Immunostaining was specific for the paraprotein light chain type, and absorption of the patients' sera with human peripheral nerve myelin eliminated the reaction with the central nervous system proteins. No reaction was seen with rabbit peripheral nerve myelin or with membranes prepared from human myotubes, human T cells, or human fibroblasts. Control sera from six patients with neuropathy and IgM paraproteins that did not react with myelin, from four patients with IgM paraproteins but no neuropathy, and from three normal subjects did not immunostain myelin.