Ultrastructural Localization of Monoclonal Antiphospholipid Antibody Binding to Rat Brain

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Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), in the presence or absence of systemic lupus erythematosus, are associated with a number of neurologic complications. However, the role aPL play in pathology is unclear. A thrombotic etiology seems likely for many associated disorders, but not for others. Here we describe aPL-reactive sites in the central nervous system (CNS). Previously, using light microscopy, we showed direct binding of two monoclonal phosphatidylserine-reactive antibodies (aPS) to ependyma and myelin of fixed cat brain. In this study we determined the ultrastructural localization of their binding sites in rat CNS using immunogold electron microscopy techniques. Both monoclonal antibodies reacted strongly with myelin, preferentially with the major dense line formed by the cytoplasmic apposition of the oligodendrocyte plasma membrane. Both monoclonal antibodies also reacted with an antigen that appears associated with the axoneme in cilia of ependymal and choroid plexus epithelium. One monoclonal aPS also showed some reactivity with brain vascular endothelium and reacted slightly with mitochondria, while the other aPS did not react with these structures. While the etiology of aPL-associated neurologic disorders remains unclear, our data suggest possible target sites within the CNS with which aPL can react.



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