Oligoclonal immune response in cerebral cavernous malformations. Laboratory investigation

Changbin Shi, Robert Shenkar, H. Hunt Batjer, Irene J. Check, Issam A. Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Object. Mechanisms of cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) pathogenesis include genetic predisposition in some cases, but other factors are likely to be involved in lesion proliferation and clinical manifestations. Given the unique antigenic milieu of CCMs, there may be a characteristic immune response in these lesions. We hypothesize that the immunoglobulin (Ig) fraction in CCMs reflects an oligoclonal immune response not present in paired sera from the same patients or in other types of cerebrovascular malformations. Methods. Surgically excised lesions from five patients with CCMs, three patients with arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and four normal brain control specimens obtained at autopsy were homogenized and extract tested for IgG clonality by isoelectric focusing in parallel with each patient's serum. Results. The authors detected B cells in all three lesions examined, and plasmacytes in two out of three lesions examined. Four of five extracts of homogenized CCMs showed an oligoclonal pattern of IgG distinct from the polyclonal pattern seen in those patients' sera. Immununoglobulin G oligoclonality was not seen in AVMs or control brain specimens. Conclusions. The results of isoelectric focusing studies showed that CCM lesions had oligoclonal patterns of IgG unrelated to peripheral blood contamination, indicating selective synthesis of IgG within the lesions. This finding probably reflects a clonal expansion of B cells and/or plasmacytes in CCMs, an event that might be antigen-driven or a potential marker of inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1026
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Cavernous angioma
  • Cerebral cavernous malformation
  • Immune response
  • Isoelectric focusing
  • Oligoclonality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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