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Cytotoxic T cells react with recombinant Yo protein from a patient with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration and anti-Yo antibody.

Antibodies against autologous tumor cells and neurons are found in the sera or cerebrospinal fluid of patients with paraneoplastic neurological syndromes. Attempts to produce animal models by passive transfer or active immunization, however, have failed, and there is no direct evidence that antibodies cause neuronal damage. Previously, we found that patients with paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD) and anti-Yo antibody tested had HLA A24. We now have studied cytotoxic T cell activity in peripheral blood that reacts with recombinant Yo protein when autologous dendritic cells are used as the target. Results suggest that cytotoxic T cells are involved in Purkinje cell loss in PCD.

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