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Title: Thymus cells in myasthenia gravis selectively enhance production of anti-acetylcholine-receptor antibody by autologous blood lymphocytes

Abstract

We investigated the role of the thymus in 16 patients with myasthenia gravis without thymoma by studying the production of anti-acetylcholine-receptor antibody by thymic and blood lymphocytes cultured alone or together. In 10 responders (with the highest receptor-antibody titers in their plasma), cultured thymic cells spontaneously produced measurable receptor antibody. Receptor-antibody production by autologous blood lymphocytes was enhanced by the addition of responder's thymic cells, irradiated to abrogate antibody production and suppression (P<0.01). This enhancement was greater and more consistent than that by pokeweed mitogen; it depended on viable thymic cells, appeared to be selective for receptor antibody, and correlated with the ratio of thymic helper (OKT4-positive or OKT4+) to suppressor (OKT8+) T cells (P<0.01). These results suggest that myasthenic thymus contains cell-bound acetylcholine-receptor-like material or specific T cells (or both) that can aid receptor-antibody production. This may be relevant to the benefits of thymectomy in myasthenia and to the breakdown in self-tolerance in this and other autoimmune diseases.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, U.K.
OSTI Identifier:
5572013
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: New Engl. J. Med.; (United States); Journal Volume: 305:22
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; 62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; ANTIBODIES; BIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS; IMMUNE REACTIONS; BIOLOGICAL PATHWAYS; RECEPTORS; THYMUS; IRRADIATION; ACETYLCHOLINE; CELL CULTURES; DISEASES; EXPERIMENTAL DATA; LYMPHOCYTES; MUSCLES; THYMECTOMY; AMINES; AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS; ANIMAL CELLS; AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM AGENTS; BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS; BLOOD; BLOOD CELLS; BODY; BODY FLUIDS; CONNECTIVE TISSUE CELLS; DATA; DRUGS; ESTERS; FUNCTIONS; INFORMATION; LEUKOCYTES; LYMPHATIC SYSTEM; MATERIALS; MEDICINE; NEUROREGULATORS; NUMERICAL DATA; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; ORGANS; PARASYMPATHOMIMETICS; QUATERNARY COMPOUNDS; SOMATIC CELLS; SURGERY; 560120* - Radiation Effects on Biochemicals, Cells, & Tissue Culture; 550600 - Medicine

Citation Formats

Newsom-Davis, J., Willcox, N., and Calder, L. Thymus cells in myasthenia gravis selectively enhance production of anti-acetylcholine-receptor antibody by autologous blood lymphocytes. United States: N. p., 1981. Web. doi:10.1056/NEJM198111263052203.
Newsom-Davis, J., Willcox, N., & Calder, L. Thymus cells in myasthenia gravis selectively enhance production of anti-acetylcholine-receptor antibody by autologous blood lymphocytes. United States. doi:10.1056/NEJM198111263052203.
Newsom-Davis, J., Willcox, N., and Calder, L. Thu . "Thymus cells in myasthenia gravis selectively enhance production of anti-acetylcholine-receptor antibody by autologous blood lymphocytes". United States. doi:10.1056/NEJM198111263052203.
@article{osti_5572013,
title = {Thymus cells in myasthenia gravis selectively enhance production of anti-acetylcholine-receptor antibody by autologous blood lymphocytes},
author = {Newsom-Davis, J. and Willcox, N. and Calder, L.},
abstractNote = {We investigated the role of the thymus in 16 patients with myasthenia gravis without thymoma by studying the production of anti-acetylcholine-receptor antibody by thymic and blood lymphocytes cultured alone or together. In 10 responders (with the highest receptor-antibody titers in their plasma), cultured thymic cells spontaneously produced measurable receptor antibody. Receptor-antibody production by autologous blood lymphocytes was enhanced by the addition of responder's thymic cells, irradiated to abrogate antibody production and suppression (P<0.01). This enhancement was greater and more consistent than that by pokeweed mitogen; it depended on viable thymic cells, appeared to be selective for receptor antibody, and correlated with the ratio of thymic helper (OKT4-positive or OKT4+) to suppressor (OKT8+) T cells (P<0.01). These results suggest that myasthenic thymus contains cell-bound acetylcholine-receptor-like material or specific T cells (or both) that can aid receptor-antibody production. This may be relevant to the benefits of thymectomy in myasthenia and to the breakdown in self-tolerance in this and other autoimmune diseases.},
doi = {10.1056/NEJM198111263052203},
journal = {New Engl. J. Med.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 305:22,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Nov 26 00:00:00 EST 1981},
month = {Thu Nov 26 00:00:00 EST 1981}
}