In myasthenia gravis (MG) there is an autoimmune response against muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Embryonic and adult muscles express different AChRs; embryonic AChR contains a γ subunit, instead of the homologous ε subunit that contributes to form adult AChR. We report propagation from the blood of MG patients of T helper (H) cell lines specific for human embryonic AChR, by cycles of stimulation with a pool of synthetic peptides corresponding to the complete sequence of the γ subunit (γ pool). The TH lines strongly recognized AChR from embryonic mammalian muscle, and reacted less or not at all with adult muscle AChR. The existence of TH cells specific for embryonic AChR strongly suggests that the primary anti–AChR sensitization in MG occurs in a tissue other than the innervated skeletal muscle. This may be within the thymus, which expresses an AChR similar or identical to embryonic muscle AChR.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Neurology