Antibodies to lymphotoxin α (LTα) and LTβ recognize different glial cell types in the central nervous system

Barbara Cannella, Irene Dougas Sizing, Christopher D. Benjamin, Jeffrey L. Browning, Cedric S. Raine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The cytokine lymphotoxin (LT) is known to exist in two forms, secreted LTα and a membrane-bound LTα/β complex. LTα shares the same receptor as tumor necrosis factor a and LTβ is recognized by its receptor, LTβR. Since LT has been associated with oligodendrocyte pathology, the present study has examined the expression of these molecules by immunocytochemistry in diseased and normal CNS tissue, with a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to LTα, LTβ and LTβR. Of three mAb to LTβ, two (B27 and c37) gave specific membrane staining on astrocytes, as well as lymphocytes. The third anti-LTβ mAb, B9, was selectively immunoreactive for oligodendrocytes, suggesting specific recognition sites. The reactivity was not specific for multiple sclerosis (MS) since oligodendrocytes in normal and non-MS CNS tissue also displayed positivity. MAb to LTβR reacted with astrocytes only, giving a punctate membrane staining pattern suggestive of receptor sites. MAb to LTβ gave strong reactivity on lymphocytes in active MS lesions and weak reactivity on microglia within lesion areas. These results show that mAb to LTα and LTβ recognize different cell types within the CNS. Furthermore, individual mAb against LTβ were capable of distinguishing between astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, perhaps indicative of different epitopes on LTβ. The presence of LTβR on astrocytes suggests possible interactions between infiltrating lymphocytes and astrocytes via the LT pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Astrocytes
  • Central nervous system
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Lymphotoxin
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Oligodendrocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Antibodies to lymphotoxin α (LTα) and LTβ recognize different glial cell types in the central nervous system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this