46% of sera from 30 children with rheumatic chorea showed IgG antibody reacting with neuronal cytoplasm of human caudate and subthalamic nuclei. The antibody was also detected in 14% of 50 children with active rheumatic carditis. 55 normal control sera, as well as 148 sera from a broad variety of other disease states showed a low prevalence (1.8-4.0%) of positive reactions. In rheumatic chorea the presence of anti-neuronal antibody appeared to correlate with severity and duration of clinical attacks. Antibody reacting with neuronal cytoplasm was completely removed by absorption with Group A streptococcal membranes or with isolated human neurons from caudate nucleus. Partial absorption of antibody was also recorded using Group A cell wall preparations but not with Group A carbohydrate. No absorption of positive reactions was seen with streptococcal Group D membranes or cell walls. In rheumatic chorea, anti-neuronal antibody appeared to represent cross-reaction with antigens shared by Group A streptococcal membranes.

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