http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 173130.htm
"Our findings suggest that inhibiting or depleting B lymphocytes, the cells that produce antibodies, may promote healing and reduce the long-term effects of spinal cord injury," says study leader Phillip G. Popovich, professor of neuroscience and of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of the Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Repair.
"They may also help explain why the central nervous system does not repair itself efficiently and why other impairments often follow spinal cord injury."
To learn whether these antibodies could on their own damage the spinal cord, the investigators purified them from the blood of injured mice and microinjected them into one side of the spinal cord of uninjured normal mice.
Within 48 hours, the hind leg on the side of the injection site became paralyzed, and remained partially so after one week. The animals also showed loss of neurons and other damage to the spinal cord.
"This was one of the more striking, remarkable aspects of the study, the fact that the antibodies alone from an injured animal can activate an immune response that damages tissue in an uninjured animal," says Ankeny, a research scientist in molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics.
"These experiments essentially prove that the antibodies have the potential by themselves to make spinal lesions worse."