Alterations in the thymopoiesis in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis
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Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) was induced in female AO rats, by a single immunization with Torpedo acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Animals injected with saline served as controls. The study showed substantial changes in EAMG rats in the thymopoiesis, causing an increase in the relative proportion of mature CD8+ and, particularly, CD4+ (possibly autoreactive) single positive (SP) cells expressing TCR alpha beta at high level (TCR alpha beta(high)), as well as in that of mature double negative (DN) TCR alpha beta(high) cells, which are believed to be the immunoregulatory cells that augment autoantibody (autoAb) production. These results indicate that an augmented production of autoreactive CD4+ cells, on one side, and an increase of the immunoregulatory T cells that augment autoAb production, on the other side (reflecting, most likely, an increased entry of activated autoreactive CD4+ T cells from the periphery into the thymus), may have a significant role in the susten...tion of immune response in EAMG, and may suggest a putative mechanism underlying the sustention of autoimmune response in acquired MG.
Keywords:experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis / morphometry / T-cell maturation / thymus
Source:International Journal of Neuroscience, 2005, 115, 4, 461-477
- Taylor & Francis Ltd, Abingdon