The encephalitogenic difference between purified guinea pig and bovine myelin proteins in the Lewis rat is reflected by the two molecules' lack of crossreactivity in the migration inhibition test. Peritoneal exudate cells from rats injected with guinea pig or bovine derived myelin basic protein in Freund's complete adjuvant demonstrate substantial migration inhibition to the sensitizing antigen but little inhibition when cultured in the presence of the other basic protein. The cellular reactivity to guinea pig basic protein is present throughout the induction phase of Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis and persists after the recovery of the rats from the paralytic state. Substantial cellular reactivity is also demonstrated to bovine basic protein even though this molecule shows minimal encephalitogenic activity in the Lewis rat. Minimal lymphocyte transformation could be demonstrated to either of the basic proteins, although the immune cells react strongly to the plant mitogen phytohemagglutinin and to a Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen.
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