This study was undertaken to determine if there is differential expression of the relevant strain-specific Ia antigen on endothelial and parenchymal inflammatory cells in the central nervous systems (CNS) of guinea pigs (GP) with acute experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). Adult inbred GP were sensitized with GP spinal cord homogenate and complete Freund's adjuvant. Strain 13 GP and (2 x 13)F1 hybrids developed clinical disease within 2 to 3 wk after sensitization, whereas strain 2 GP did not, although all sensitized GP had CNS mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates. By using monoclonal antibodies to strain-specific and framework Ia epitopes with an immunoperoxidase technique, the distribution and amount of the strain 2 and strain 13 Ia were analyzed. Equivalent strain 2 and strain 13 Ia expression was found in normal tissues from F1 animals. Strain 2 and strain 13 GP sensitized for EAE had increased strain-specific Ia staining of CNS vessels and inflammatory cells over controls. However, F1 GP with EAE had markedly increased strain 13, but not strain 2, Ia on CNS parenchymal vessels and mononuclear inflammatory cells (p less than 0.001, for both). These results suggest for the first time that specific major histocompatibility complex gene products are selectively expressed on endothelial and inflammatory cells in situ in immune reactions in the target organ of individuals of heterogeneous immunogenetic composition.

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