Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Immunospecific inhibition of nerve conduction by T lymphocytes reactive to basic protein of myelin


Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced by immunization to the basic protein of central nervous system myelin (BP) is a paralytic disease in which T lymphocytes attack the individual's own central nervous system1. As the target is in white matter, EAE has been considered an experimental model of some aspects of human disease such as multiple sclerosis. To investigate whether autoimmune T lymphocytes could produce paralysis, we studied the effects on the electrophysiology of isolated nerves produced by T-lymphocyte lines reactive specifically to BP or other antigens. We now report that propagation of action potentials evoked by electrical stimulation was blocked by incubating optic nerves with specific anti-BP T cells. This blockade could be reversed for up to two hours by removing the anti-BP line cells from the optic nerve. The anti-BP line cells had no effect on conduction along allogeneic optic nerves or syngeneic peripheral nerves. This indicates that disruption of the function of myelin in neuroimmunological disease may result from an immunologically specific interaction between autoimmune T lymphocytes and myelin antigens.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Paterson, P. Y. in Autoimmunity, Genetics, Immunology, Virology and Clinical Aspects (ed. Talal, N.) 643–692 (Academic, New York, 1977).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Ben-Nun, A., Wekerle, H. & Cohen, I. R., Eur. J. Immun. 11, 195–199 (1981).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Ben-Nun, A. & Cohen, I. R. J. Immun. 128, 1450–1457 (1982).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Ben-Nun, A. & Cohen, I. R. J. Immun. 129, 303–308 (1982).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Ben-Nun, A., Wekerle, H. & Cohen, I. R. Nature 292, 60–61 (1981).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Ben-Nun, A. & Cohen, I. R., Eur. J. Immun. 11, 949–852 (1981).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Brostoff, S. W., Karkhanis, Y. D., Carlo, D. J., Reuter, W. & Eylar, E. H. Brain Res. 86, 449–458 (1975).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Altman, P. C. & Katz, D. D. Inbred and Genetically Defined Strains of Laboratory Animals. Pt I, 316 (FASEB, Bethesda, 1979).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Naparstek, Y. et al. Eur. J. Immun. (in the press).

  10. Bevan, M. Nature 269, 417–418 (1977).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Ting, J. P. Y., Shigekawa, B. L., Linthicum, D. S., Weiner, L. P. & Freilinger, J. A. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 78, 3170–3174 (1981).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Carrel, S., De Tribolet, N. & Gross, N. Eur. J. Immun. 12, 354–357 (1982).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Bornstein, M. B. & Crain, S. M. Science 148, 1242–1244 (1965).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Lumsden, C. E., Howard, L., Aparicio, S. R. & Bradbury, M. Brain Res. 93, 283–299 (1975).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. LaFontaine, S., Rasminsky, M., Saida, T. & Sumner, A. J. J. Physiol., Land., 323, 287–306 (1982).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Arnason, B. G. W., Winklker, G. F. & Hadler, N. M. Lab. Invest. 21, 1–10 (1969).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Huxley, A. F. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 81, 221–246 (1959).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Rasminsky, M. in Physiology and Pathobiology of Axons (ed. Waxman, S. G.) 361–376 (Raven, New York, 1978).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yarom, Y., Naparstek, Y., Lev-Ram, V. et al. Immunospecific inhibition of nerve conduction by T lymphocytes reactive to basic protein of myelin. Nature 303, 246–247 (1983).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing