THE expression of encephalitogenic peptide (EP), a 68-86 amino acid sequence of guinea pig myelin basic protein (MBP), was investigated in autopsied brains with focal cerebral damage or with diffuse white matter (WM) lesions. EP immunoreactive fibers were distributed in parallel with fibers immunoreactive for amyloid protein precursor (APP), an indicator of WM damages. EP was expressed in the periphery of cerebral infarctions and hematoma in the acute and subacute stages, but was also distributed in diffuse WM lesions due to heterogeneous causes. These data indicate that EP epitopes are exposed specifically in ongoing WM damages, and that the destruction of myelin occurs sporadically in diffuse WM lesions of varying intensity.
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