Do antibodies to phospholipid antigens play any role in murine leprosy?

Oscar Rojas-Espinosa, Kendy Wek Rodriguez, Jose A. Vargas Hernandez, Patricia Arce Paredes

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In order to know whether antibodies to phospholipids and other host lipids play a role in the pathology of murine leprosy, we looked for the presence of antibodies to cardiolipin, cerebroside sulfatide, and to lipids extracted from normal murine spleen, liver and brain in the sera of mice beating a 6-month infection with Mycobacterium lepraemurium. We also looked for the presence of antibodies to lipids isolated from M. lepraemurium. We found that all of the 16 animals examined contained high levels of antibodies to the mycobacterial lipids of intermediate polarity (mostly glycolipds) but none of them had antibodies to the other lipids tested, including those isolated from mouse liver, spleen and brain, bovine cardiolipin and sulfatide, nor any significant levels of antibodies to mycobacterial lipids of high or low polarity. The infected animals also had high levels of antibodies to antigens sonically extracted from the microorganism. Antibodies to the socially extracted antigens (mostly proteins) were mainly IgG, while antibodies to the lipid antigens were predominantly IgM. Despite the low but significant percentage (1%-3%) of infected animals developing bilateral paralysis of the rear limbs, autoimmunity (due to antibodies to phospholipids and other host lipids) does not seem to be a feature of murine leprosy.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages407
JournalInternational Journal of Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1999


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