A water-soluble protein fraction of nervous tissue was prepared by extraction of rabbit spinal cord with sodium citrate at pH 4.3. Characterization by nitrogen content and paper electrophoresis showed it to be a mixture of basic proteins. This extract demonstrated encephalitogenic activity when injected into rabbits.
The most suitable technique for the measurement of serum antibody to the rabbit cord antigen proved to be the precipitation of antigen-antibody complexes by 40 per cent saturated ammonium sulfate. Antibody could not be demonstrated by the techniques of complement fixation, quantitative precipitation, and Ouchterlony plates.
The early appearance of circulating antibody occurred almost exclusively in rabbits that subsequently developed EAE. Specificity of the antibodies for nervous tissue was demonstrated by appropriate blocking and adsorption experiments.