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Sample records for autoimmune myasthenia gravis

  1. Autoimmune mechanisms in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Cavalcante, Paola; Bernasconi, Pia; Mantegazza, Renato

    2012-10-01

    This article reviews recent findings on factors and mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis and briefly summarizes data on therapies acting at various stages of the autoimmune process. Data published over the last year promise to improve understanding of pathogenic mechanisms underlying myasthenia gravis. Animal studies have at last shown that antimuscle-specific kinase (MuSK) autoantibodies, like antiacetylcholine receptor (AChR) autoantibodies, are myasthenogenic. A new autoantigen, the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4), has been identified in variable proportions of otherwise seronegative patients. Anti-LRP4 antibodies may define a new myasthenia gravis subtype, supporting the concept that myasthenia gravis is not a single disease entity, and that different subtypes can differ in aetiology. Genetic and environmental factors are implicated in myasthenia gravis. The finding of persisting viral infection in the thymus of AChR-myasthenia gravis patients, combined with data on chronic inflammation, suggest that pathogens may favour intrathymic AChR-specific autosensitization and maintenance of autoimmunity in genetically susceptible individuals. Defective immunoregulatory mechanisms, involving pathogenic Th17 and regulatory T cells, contribute to tolerance loss and perpetuation of the autoimmune response in myasthenia gravis patients. The recent identification of mechanisms initiating and perpetuating autoimmunity in myasthenia gravis may stimulate the development of more effective therapies.

  2. Insights in the autoimmunity of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    De Baets, Marc H

    2010-08-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a prototype anti-receptor autoimmune disease. Antibodies against proteins at the neuromuscular junction cause a defect in the signal transmission from nerve terminal to the damaged postsynaptic membrane. This issue of Autoimmunity reviews the mechanisms that lead to the destruction of the neuromuscular junction and the role of the thymus in myasthenia gravis and its animal models. In addition, this issue explores recent advances in diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

  3. Autoimmune Thyroiditis and Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Lopomo, Angela; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2017-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (AIDs) are the result of specific immune responses directed against structures of the self. In normal conditions, the molecules recognized as “self” are tolerated by immune system, but when the self-tolerance is lost, the immune system could react against molecules from the body, causing the loss of self-tolerance, and subsequently the onset of AID that differs for organ target and etiology. Autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) is caused by the development of autoimmunity against thyroid antigens and comprises Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease. They are frequently associated with other organ or non-organ specific AIDs, such as myasthenia gravis (MG). In fact, ATD seems to be the most associated pathology to MG. The etiology of both diseases is multifactorial and it is due to genetic and environmental factors, and each of them has specific characteristics. The two pathologies show many commonalities, such as the organ-specificity with a clear pathogenic effect of antibodies, the pathological mechanisms, such as deregulation of the immune system and the implication of the genetic predisposition. They also show some differences, such as the mode of action of the antibodies and therapies. In this review that focuses on ATD and MG, the common features and the differences between the two diseases are discussed. PMID:28751878

  4. Autoimmune Thyroiditis and Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Lopomo, Angela; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2017-01-01

    Autoimmune diseases (AIDs) are the result of specific immune responses directed against structures of the self. In normal conditions, the molecules recognized as "self" are tolerated by immune system, but when the self-tolerance is lost, the immune system could react against molecules from the body, causing the loss of self-tolerance, and subsequently the onset of AID that differs for organ target and etiology. Autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD) is caused by the development of autoimmunity against thyroid antigens and comprises Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves disease. They are frequently associated with other organ or non-organ specific AIDs, such as myasthenia gravis (MG). In fact, ATD seems to be the most associated pathology to MG. The etiology of both diseases is multifactorial and it is due to genetic and environmental factors, and each of them has specific characteristics. The two pathologies show many commonalities, such as the organ-specificity with a clear pathogenic effect of antibodies, the pathological mechanisms, such as deregulation of the immune system and the implication of the genetic predisposition. They also show some differences, such as the mode of action of the antibodies and therapies. In this review that focuses on ATD and MG, the common features and the differences between the two diseases are discussed.

  5. Myasthenia Gravis

    MedlinePlus

    Myasthenia gravis is a disease that causes weakness in your voluntary muscles. These are the muscles that you ... gets worse with activity, and better with rest. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease. Your body's immune system ...

  6. Therapeutic options in autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    García-Carrasco, Mario; Escárcega, Ricardo O; Fuentes-Alexandro, Salvador; Riebeling, Carlos; Cervera, Ricard

    2007-06-01

    Autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is associated with circulating antibodies to AChR, modification of the synaptic cleft, and destruction of the postsynaptic neuromuscular membrane. The hallmark is fluctuating muscular weakness and fatigability of muscles on sustained repeated activity. Various drugs and invasive procedures have been used in the treatment of MG including acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, corticosteroids, azathioprine, cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, etanercept, intravenous immunoglobulin, plasma exchange and thymectomy. We review the role of each of these drugs and invasive procedures in MG. Although current treatment is highly successful and mortality is almost nil, further trials are required to identify the most suitable treatments for different subgroups of MG patients. In addition, safer and more potent drugs are required as most current drugs have major side effects due to immunosuppression. Therefore, the goal of novel therapies should be increased specificity of the immune-directed agents.

  7. Familial autoimmune myasthenia gravis with different pathogenetic antibodies.

    PubMed Central

    Provenzano, C; Arancio, O; Evoli, A; Rocca, B; Bartoccioni, E; de Grandis, D; Tonali, P

    1988-01-01

    Two cases of familial myasthenia gravis are reported. One patient is a typical case of autoimmune myasthenia with positive anti acetylcholine receptor antibodies, while in the second patient the impairment of neuromuscular transmission is likely to be due to antibodies directed against determinants other than the acetylcholine receptors. PMID:3225607

  8. Myasthenia Gravis: paradox versus paradigm in autoimmunity.

    PubMed

    Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2014-08-01

    Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a paradigm of organ-specific autoimmune disease (AID). It is mediated by antibodies that target the neuromuscular junction. The purpose of this review is to place MG in the general context of autoimmunity, to summarize the common mechanisms between MG and other AIDs, and to describe the specific mechanisms of MG. We have chosen the most common organ-specific AIDs to compare with MG: type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD), multiple sclerosis (MS), some systemic AIDs (systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjogren's syndrome (SS)), as well as inflammatory diseases of the gut and liver (celiac disease (CeD), Crohn's disease (CD), and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)). Several features are similar between all AIDs, suggesting that common pathogenic mechanisms lead to their development. In this review, we address the predisposing factors (genetic, epigenetic, hormones, vitamin D, microbiota), the triggering components (infections, drugs) and their interactions with the immune system [1,2]. The dysregulation of the immune system is detailed and includes the role of B cells, Treg cells, Th17 and cytokines. We particularly focused on the role of TNF-α and interferon type I whose role in MG is very analogous to that in several other AIDS. The implication of AIRE, a key factor in central tolerance is also discussed. Finally, if MG is a prototype of AIDS, it has a clear specificity compared to the other AIDS, by the fact that the target organ, the muscle, is not the site of immune infiltration and B cell expansion, but exclusively that of antibody-mediated pathogenic mechanisms. By contrast, the thymus in the early onset subtype frequently undergoes tissue remodeling, resulting in the development of ectopic germinal centers surrounded by high endothelial venules (HEV), as observed in the target organs of many other AIDs.

  9. [Myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Schodrowski, J; Seipelt, M; Adibi-Sedeh, I; Eienbröker, C; Tackenberg, B

    2016-04-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease, which leads to load-dependent weakness of voluntary skeletal muscles with recovery of function after resting. The disease is caused by autoantibodies directed against the postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChR) leading to a reduction of neuromuscular transmission. Muscles and nerves are not affected. Disorders of the thymus play a role in the pathogenesis of AChR antibody-positive myasthenia. The clinical symptoms include exercise-induced fatigue either of the ocular muscles alone (ocular myasthenia) or striated skeletal muscle and the ocular, facial and bulbar musculature (generalized myasthenia). Treatment of myasthenia gravis involves administration of acetylcholine esterase inhibitors and immunosuppressive drugs. A myasthenic crisis is characterized by life-threatening complications with severe weakness, swallowing difficulties and respiratory failure, which requires intensive care treatment.

  10. Complicating autoimmune diseases in myasthenia gravis: a review.

    PubMed

    Nacu, Aliona; Andersen, Jintana Bunpan; Lisnic, Vitalie; Owe, Jone Furlund; Gilhus, Nils Erik

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune disease of skeletal muscle endplates. MG subgroup is relevant for comorbidity, but usually not accounted for. MG patients have an increased risk for complicating autoimmune diseases, most commonly autoimmune thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. In this review, we present concomitant autoimmune disorders associated with the different MG subgroups, and show how this influences treatment and prognosis. Concomitant MG should always be considered in patients with an autoimmune disorder and developing new neuromuscular weakness, fatigue or respiratory failure. When a second autoimmune disorder is suspected, MG should be included as a differential diagnosis.

  11. Complicating autoimmune diseases in myasthenia gravis: a review

    PubMed Central

    Nacu, Aliona; Andersen, Jintana Bunpan; Lisnic, Vitalie; Owe, Jone Furlund; Gilhus, Nils Erik

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune disease of skeletal muscle endplates. MG subgroup is relevant for comorbidity, but usually not accounted for. MG patients have an increased risk for complicating autoimmune diseases, most commonly autoimmune thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. In this review, we present concomitant autoimmune disorders associated with the different MG subgroups, and show how this influences treatment and prognosis. Concomitant MG should always be considered in patients with an autoimmune disorder and developing new neuromuscular weakness, fatigue or respiratory failure. When a second autoimmune disorder is suspected, MG should be included as a differential diagnosis. PMID:25915571

  12. Ephedrine treatment for autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Lipka, Alexander F; Vrinten, Charlotte; van Zwet, Erik W; Schimmel, Kirsten J M; Cornel, Martina C; Kuijpers, Marja R; Hekster, Yechiel A; Weinreich, Stephanie S; Verschuuren, Jan J G M

    2017-03-01

    We studied the effect and safety of ephedrine as add-on treatment for patients with myasthenia gravis with acetylcholine receptor antibodies (AChR MG), who do not sufficiently respond to standard treatment. Four patients with AChR MG were included in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, and randomised, multiple crossover series of n-of-1 trials. Each n-of-1 trial consisted of 3 cycles, in which two 5-day intervention periods were followed by 2 days washout. In each cycle, ephedrine 50 mg daily in 2 doses was compared with placebo in the alternate treatment period. Primary outcome was a change in QMG score. Add-on treatment with ephedrine compared with placebo improved QMG score by 1.0 point (95% confidence interval 0.21-1.79), which was significant for the group of trial patients as well as for the population treatment effect. Ephedrine also showed a significant trial average treatment effect for all secondary outcomes, improving MG Composite by 2.7, MG-ADL by 1.0 and VAS score for muscle strength by 1.1. Adverse events were mild and included palpitations, tremor and restlessness. Although all ECGs were normal, ephedrine prolonged the corrected QT interval. Ephedrine as add-on treatment for myasthenia gravis resulted in a small but consistent reduction of symptoms and weakness in patients with moderate disease severity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The etiology of autoimmune diseases: the case of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Bach, Jean-François

    2012-12-01

    Autoimmune diseases comprise a wide variety of disorders, from those that are acute and spontaneously regressive to chronic diseases. Their occurrence is the sign of a loss of tolerance to self-antigens. With few exceptions, the etiology of autoimmune diseases has not been clearly established. In all cases, it is complex, involving genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. In this article I will attempt to analyze the various factors that have a triggering or protecting role, with particular reference to myasthenia gravis.

  14. The role of B cell-activating factor in autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Lisak, Robert P; Ragheb, Samia

    2012-12-01

    B cell-activating factor (BAFF) is important in the development and maturation of B cells and their progeny-plasma blasts and plasma cells. There is increasing evidence that BAFF is involved in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases including myasthenia gravis. Increased expression of BAFF and receptors for BAFF have been demonstrated in thymus of patients with myasthenia gravis, and an increase in serum levels of BAFF have been reported in patients with myasthenia gravis. While the exact role of BAFF in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis is not clear, BAFF and its receptors may provide potential targets for therapy in patients with myasthenia gravis.

  15. Clinical and biological heterogeneity of autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Pal, Jozsef; Rozsa, Csilla; Komoly, Samuel; Illes, Zsolt

    2011-02-01

    Although myasthenia gravis (MG) has long been considered a well-established autoimmune disease associated with autoantibodies, which are convincingly pathogenic, accumulating data indicate both clinical and biological heterogeneity similar to many other putative autoimmune disorders. In a subset of patients, thymus plays a definite role: thymic autoimmunity results in generation of autoantibodies within the thymus, which cross-react with antigens at the neuromuscular junction, or thymoma leads to deficient central tolerance and impaired T cell selection. Heterogeneity on the autoantibody level may be associated with genetic heterogeneity and clinical phenotypes with different treatment responses.

  16. Myasthenia gravis - resources

    MedlinePlus

    Resources - myasthenia gravis ... The following organizations provide information on myasthenia gravis : Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America -- www.myasthenia.org National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke -- www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/myasthenia_gravis/ ...

  17. Update on myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Thanvi, B; Lo, T

    2004-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder caused by autoantibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor on the postsynaptic membrane at the neuromuscular junction and characterised by weakness and fatigability of the voluntary muscles. It has a bimodal peak of incidence with first peak in the third decade and the second peak in the sixth decade. It is probably underdiagnosed in the very old population. Our understanding of the pathogenesis, immunology, and molecular biology of myasthenia gravis has greatly improved in last three decades. It is almost always possible to establish the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis with the current tests. The modern treatment is highly successful and the mortality of treated myasthenia gravis is practically zero. However, there are still important gaps in our knowledge of the origin of myasthenia gravis, the factors that contribute to chronic disease, and the way to cure the disease. In this article the current knowledge of the various aspects of myasthenia gravis are outlined. PMID:15579606

  18. Diagnostic and clinical classification of autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Frenkian-Cuvelier, Mélinée; Eymard, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is characterized by muscle weakness and abnormal fatigability. It is an autoimmune disease caused by the presence of antibodies against components of the muscle membrane localized at the neuromuscular junction. In most cases, the autoantibodies are against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Recently, other targets have been described such as the MuSK protein (muscle-specific kinase) or the LRP4 (lipoprotein related protein 4). Myasthenia gravis can be classified according to the profile of the autoantibodies, the location of the affected muscles (ocular versus generalized), the age of onset of symptoms and thymic abnormalities. The disease generally begins with ocular symptoms (ptosis and/or diplopia) and extends to other muscles in 80% of cases. Other features that characterize MG include the following: variability, effort induced worsening, successive periods of exacerbation during the course of the disease, severity dependent on respiratory and swallowing impairment (if rapid worsening occurs, a myasthenic crisis is suspected), and an association with thymoma in 20% of patients and with other autoimmune diseases such as hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto's disease. The diagnosis is based on the clinical features, the benefit of the cholinesterase inhibitors, the detection of specific autoantibodies (anti-AChR, anti-MuSK or anti-LRP4), and significant decrement evidenced by electrophysiological tests. In this review, we briefly describe the history and epidemiology of the disease and the diagnostic and clinical classification. The neonatal form of myasthenia is explained, and finally we discuss the main difficulties of diagnosis.

  19. Myasthenia gravis associated with autoimmune thyroid disease: a report of two patients.

    PubMed

    Bello-Sani, F; Anumah, F E; Bakari, A G

    2008-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an acquired autoimmune disorder causing skeletal muscle fatigue and weakness. This is a report of one woman and her daughter presenting with myasthenia and gravis and Grave's disease. It highlights possible hereditary component of this condition which has not been commonly reported in our setting.

  20. [Pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Téllez Zenteno, J F; Morales Buenrostro, L E; Torre Delgadillo, A

    2000-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular, autoimmune, and acquired disturbance characterized by weakness and fatigue of skeletal muscles. During the past two decades, remarkable progress has been made in the understanding of myasthenia gravis, and the new knowledge has been applied directly to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of this formerly severe disease. Myasthenia gravis is undoubtedly the most thoroughly understood of all human autoimmune diseases and has served as a model for the elucidation of mechanisms underlying other autoimmune disorders. In this review we mention the most important physiopathological aspects and its application in the clinic practice.

  1. Treatment of passively transferred experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis using papain

    PubMed Central

    Poulas, K; Tsouloufis, T; Tzartos, S J

    2000-01-01

    Antibody-mediated acetylcholine receptor (AChR) loss at the neuromuscular junction, the main cause of the symptoms of myasthenia gravis, is induced by bivalent or multivalent antibodies. Passive transfer of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) can be induced very efficiently in rats by administration of intact MoAbs directed against the main immunogenic region (MIR) of the AChR, but not by their monovalent Fab fragments. We tested whether papain, which has been used therapeutically in autoimmune and other diseases, is capable of preventing EAMG by in vivo cleavage of the circulating anti-AChR antibodies into Fab fragments. EAMG was induced in 4-week-old female Lewis rats by i.p. injection of anti-MIR mAb35. A total of 0·75 mg of papain was given as one or three injections 3–7 h after MoAb injection. The mAb35 + papain-treated animals developed mild weakness during the first 30 h and subsequently recovered, while all animals that received only mAb35 developed severe myasthenic symptoms and died within 24–30 h. Animals treated only with papain showed no apparent side effects for up to 2 months. Serum anti-AChR levels in mAb35 + papain-treated rats decreased within a few hours, whereas in non-papain-treated rats they remained high for at least 30 h. Muscle AChR in mAb35 + papain-treated animals was partially protected from antibody-mediated degradation. These results show that treatment of rats with papain can prevent passively transferred EAMG without any apparent harm to the animals, and suggest a potential therapeutic use for proteolytic enzymes in myasthenia gravis. PMID:10792389

  2. The thymus in myasthenia gravis: Site of "innate autoimmunity"?

    PubMed

    Cavalcante, Paola; Le Panse, Rozen; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Maggi, Lorenzo; Antozzi, Carlo; Baggi, Fulvio; Bernasconi, Pia; Mantegazza, Renato

    2011-10-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder caused, in most cases, by autoantibodies against components of the neuromuscular junction, frequently the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), and less often the muscle-specific kinase receptor. The thymus plays a major role in the pathogenesis of MG with anti-AChR antibodies: it shows marked pathologic alterations (hyperplastic or tumoral) in most AChR-positive patients and contains the elements required to initiate and sustain an autoimmune reaction (AChR autoantigen, AChR-specific T cells, and autoantibody-secreting plasma cells). In this study we review early and more recent findings implicating the thymus as site of AChR autosensitization in MG and briefly discuss the therapeutic role of thymectomy. We also summarize data showing that the MG thymus is in a state of chronic inflammation, and we review emerging evidence of a viral contribution to the onset and maintenance of the thymic autoimmune response.

  3. Combined short-term immunotherapy for experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis

    SciTech Connect

    Pestronk, A.; Drachman, D.B.; Teoh, R.; Adams, R.N.

    1983-08-01

    A therapeutic strategy was designed to eliminate the humoral immune response to acetylcholine receptor (AChR) in ongoing experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Rats with EAMG were treated with a protocol consisting of three components: (1) A single high dose of cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg) was used to produce a rapid and sustained fall in the anti-AChR antibody levels by preferential destruction of antibody-producing B-lymphocytes. ''Memory'' lymphocytes were not eliminated by cyclophosphamide. (2) Irradiation (600 rads) was used to eliminate the ''memory'' cells. It eliminated the anamnestic response to a challenge with the antigen AChR. (3) Bone marrow transplantation was used to repopulate the hematopoietic system after the otherwise lethal dose of cyclophosphamide. We used bone marrow from syngeneic rats with active EAMG to simulate an autologous transplant. Rats with EAMG treated with this combined protocol showed a prompt and sustained fall in the anti-AChR antibody levels and had no anamnestic response to a challenge with AChR. Thus, an affected animal's own marrow could be stored and used later for repopulation after cyclophosphamide-irradiation treatment. This treatment eliminates the animal's ongoing immune responses and reconstitutes the immune system in its original state. The success of this approach suggests that, if their safety could be established, similar ''curative'' strategies might be developed for the treatment of patients with severe antibody-mediated autoimmune disorders, such as myasthenia gravis.

  4. Myasthenia Gravis

    MedlinePlus

    ... can affect any of the muscles that you control voluntarily, certain muscle groups are more commonly affected than others. Eye muscles In more than half the people who develop myasthenia gravis, their first signs and ... that control your facial expressions have been affected. Neck and ...

  5. Alterations in the thymopoiesis in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Kosec, Dusko; Vidić-Danković, Biljana; Isaković, Katarina; Leposavić, Gordana

    2005-04-01

    Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAGM) 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 TCRalphabeta at high level (TCRalphabeta(high)), as well as in that of mature double negative (DN) TCRalphabeta(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 sustention of immune response in EAMG, and may suggest a putative mechanism underlying the sustention of autoimmune response in acquired MG.

  6. Thymus, thymoma and myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Yoshitaka

    2013-05-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease. An autoantibody directed toward acetylcholine receptor (AChR) causes the destruction of the postsynaptic membrane and a reduction of the number of AChRs at neuromuscular junctions. A very puzzling, but interesting characteristic of myasthenia gravis is that many of the patients have an abnormality in their thymus. Many have a hyperplastic thymus with germinal centers, while others have a thymic tumor. How is the abnormality of the thymus related to myasthenia gravis? This review will summarize the existing evidence and try to find the missing link between the thymus and myasthenia gravis. The review will also comment on two distinct populations of myasthenia gravis patients without thymoma. The autoimmunity found in elderly patients is nonspecific and initiated via a different mechanism from the initiation of myasthenia gravis in younger patients.

  7. Interleukin-4 receptor alpha polymorphisms in autoimmune myasthenia gravis in a Caucasian population.

    PubMed

    Pál, Zsuzsanna; Varga, Zsófia; Semsei, Ágnes; Reményi, Viktória; Rózsa, Csilla; Falus, András; Illes, Zsolt; Buzás, Edit Irén; Molnar, Maria Judit

    2012-02-01

    Autoimmune myasthenia gravis is a T-cell-dependent, antibody-mediated, rare neuromuscular disorder. Interleukin-4, acting via interleukin-4 receptor alpha, plays a pivotal role in B-cell differentiation and antibody production and has been implicated to influence disease progression in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. Polymorphisms of the interleukin-4 receptor alpha gene have been shown to be associated with various autoimmune diseases. We compared the distribution of three polymorphisms of the interleukin-4 receptor alpha gene (S503P, rs1805015, Q576R, rs1801275, I75V, rs1805010), all affecting interleukin-4 signaling, in two cohorts of myasthenia gravis patients with ethnically matched controls. Although the distribution of the S503P and Q576R polymorphisms did not differ significantly between the groups, the frequency of the GG rare homozygote genotype of the I75V polymorphism was significantly higher in patients with myasthenia gravis. Our data suggest that the reduced responsiveness to interleukin-4 because the I75V polymorphism may contribute to the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis. Copyright © 2012 American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Regulatory and pathogenic mechanisms in human autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Le Panse, Rozen; Cizeron-Clairac, Géraldine; Cuvelier, Mélinée; Truffault, Frédérique; Bismuth, Jacky; Nancy, Patrice; De Rosbo, Nicole Kerlero; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2008-01-01

    The thymus is frequently hyperplastic in young female myasthenia gravis (MG) patients presenting with anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies. This thymic pathology is characterized by the presence of ectopic germinal centers (GCs) containing B cells involved at least partially in the production of pathogenic anti-AChR antibodies. Our recent studies have furthered our understanding of the mechanisms leading to GC formation in the hyperplastic thymus. First, we showed that CXCL13 and CCL21, chemokines involved in GC formation, are overexpressed in MG thymus. Second, we demonstrated an increase in pro-inflammatory activity in the thymus from MG patients and its partial normalization by glucocorticoids, as evidenced by gene expression profile. Third, we found that pro-inflammatory cytokines are able to upregulate the expression of AChR subunits in thymic epithelial and myoid cells. Fourth, we showed that the function of T regulatory (Treg) cells, whose role is to downregulate the immune response, is severely impaired in the thymus of MG patients; such a defect could explain the chronic immune activation observed consistently in MG thymic hyperplasia. Altogether, these new data suggest that CXCL13 and CCL21, which are produced in excess in MG thymus, attract peripheral B cells and activated T cells, which are maintained chronically activated in the inflammatory thymic environment because of the defect in suppressive activity of Treg cells. Presence of AChR in the thymus and upregulation of its expression by the pro-inflammatory environment contribute to the triggering and maintenance of the anti-AChR autoimmune response.

  9. Soluble complement receptor 1 (sCR1) protects against experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Piddlesden, S J; Jiang, S; Levin, J L; Vincent, A; Morgan, B P

    1996-12-01

    The loss of muscle function seen in myasthenia gravis and in the animal model of the disease, experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) is in part due to the activation of complement by anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies at the motor end-plate. In this study we describe the effects of a soluble recombinant form of human complement receptor 1 (sCR1) on the development of clinical disease and receptor loss in EAMG induced passively by administration of anti-AChR antibodies. Daily intraperitoneal injection of sCR1 significantly reduced the weight loss and severity of clinical symptoms seen and allowed treated animals to recover normal muscle function. These data suggest that sCR1 could provide a useful additional therapeutic agent in myasthenia.

  10. Resolution of Autoimmune Oophoritis after Thymectomy in a Myasthenia Gravis Patient

    PubMed Central

    Özdemir, Özlem; Eren, Erdal; Sağlam, Halil; Okan, Mehmet; Tarım, Ömer Faruk

    2011-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptors. MG is generally an isolated disorder but may occur concomitantly with other autoimmune diseases. We describe an eighteen-year-old girl with MG who was admitted to our clinic with secondary amenorrhea and diagnosed as autoimmune oophoritis. Since her myasthenic symptoms did not resolve with anticholinesterase therapy, thymectomy was performed. After thymectomy, her menses have been regular without any hormonal replacement therapy. To our knowledge, this is the first report on a patient with autoimmune ovarian insufficiency and MG in whom premature ovarian insufficiency resolved after thymectomy, without hormonal therapy. Conflict of interest:None declared. PMID:22155465

  11. Proteomic analysis of rat tibialis anterior muscles at different stages of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Alejandro M; Vanheel, Annelies; Losen, Mario; Molenaar, Peter C; De Baets, Marc H; Noben, Jean-Paul; Hellings, Niels; Martinez-Martinez, Pilar

    2013-08-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease in which autoantibodies, most commonly directed against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), impair neuromuscular transmission and cause muscle weakness. In this study, we utilized two-dimensional difference in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) to analyze the muscle's proteomic profile at different stages of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). We identified twenty-two differentially expressed proteins, mainly related to metabolic and stress-response pathways. Interestingly, these identified proteins have also been associated with other contraction-impairing muscle pathologies (e.g. inclusion body myositis), suggesting a similar response of the muscle to such conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Vaccines against myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Fuchs, Sara; Souroujon, Miriam C

    2007-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated by antibodies to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) interfering with the neuromuscular transmission. Experimental autoimmune MG serves as an excellent animal model to study possible therapeutic modalities for MG. This review will focus on the different ways to turn off the autoimmune response to AChR, which results in suppression of myasthenia. This paper will describe the use of fragments or peptides derived from the AChR, antigen-presenting cells and anti-T cell receptor antibodies, and will discuss the underlying mechanisms of action. Finally, the authors propose new promising therapeutic prospects, including treatment based on the modulation of regulatory T cells, which have recently been found to be functionally defective in MG patients. PMID:16018742

  13. Concomitant autoimmunity in myasthenia gravis – lack of association with IgA deficiency

    PubMed Central

    Ramanujam, Ryan; Piehl, Fredrik; Pirskanen, Ritva; Gregersen, Peter K.; Hammarström, Lennart

    2011-01-01

    A marked increase in concomitant autoimmune diseases has previously been noted in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). We show that these diseases occur both before and after the onset of MG and that the process is not influenced by thymectomy. IgA deficiency (IgAD), which is strongly associated with the same HLA haplotype as early onset MG, has recently been suggested to be an autoimmune disease. However, there was no increase in the prevalence of IgAD in a large cohort of Swedish MG patients. PMID:21669464

  14. Genetics Home Reference: myasthenia gravis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Genetic basis of myasthenia gravis - a comprehensive review. J Autoimmun. 2014 Aug;52:146-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2013.12.001. Epub 2013 Dec 19. ... comprehensive review of immune dysregulation and etiological mechanisms. J Autoimmun. 2014 Aug;52:90-100. doi: 10. ...

  15. Myasthenia gravis and the neuromuscular junction.

    PubMed

    Querol, Luis; Illa, Isabel

    2013-10-01

    Myasthenic disorders are a well characterized group of diseases of the neuromuscular junction. Their pathogenesis is diverse, including genetic and autoimmune mechanisms. We review recent findings on risk factors, pathogenesis and treatment of autoimmune myasthenia gravis. Better knowledge of congenital myasthenia has led to the development of efficient diagnostic algorithms that have therapeutic implications. New epidemiological and genetic risk factors have been identified and are considered to play a role in the development of myasthenia gravis. The study of the role of innate immunity in myasthenia gravis has identified relevant pathways to explain myasthenia gravis causes. The description of the pathogenic role of IgG4 anti-MuSK antibodies has revealed heterogeneous immune mechanisms that should lead to more specific therapies. Rituximab seems to be particularly effective in MuSK myasthenia gravis, and eculizumab arises as an option in refractory AChR myasthenia gravis. Therapeutic algorithms need to be tailored to each myasthenia subtype. Increasing knowledge about the environmental and genetic risk factors and basic immunopathogenesis of myasthenia gravis, including the role of innate immunity, regulatory T cell impairment and autoantibody heterogeneity, is providing a rationale for treatment with new biological agents. Current immunotherapies in myasthenia gravis undoubtedly provide benefits, but also cause side-effects. Controlled trials are, therefore, needed to confirm initial results from pilot studies.

  16. Prophylactic effect of probiotics on the development of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Chae, Chang-Suk; Kwon, Ho-Keun; Hwang, Ji-Sun; Kim, Jung-Eun; Im, Sin-Hyeog

    2012-01-01

    Probiotics are live bacteria that confer health benefits to the host physiology. Although protective role of probiotics have been reported in diverse diseases, no information is available whether probiotics can modulate neuromuscular immune disorders. We have recently demonstrated that IRT5 probiotics, a mixture of 5 probiotics, could suppress diverse experimental disorders in mice model. In this study we further investigated whether IRT5 probiotics could modulate the progression of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a T cell dependent antibody mediated autoimmune disorder in which acetylcholine receptor (AChR) at the neuromuscular junction is the major auto-antigen. Oral administration of IRT5 probiotics significantly reduced clinical symptoms of EAMG such as weight loss, body trembling and grip strength. Prophylactic effect of IRT5 probiotics on EMAG is mediated by down-regulation of effector function of AChR-reactive T cells and B cells. Administration of IRT5 probiotics decreased AChR-reactive lymphocyte proliferation, anti-AChR reactive IgG levels and inflammatory cytokine levels such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-17. Down-regulation of inflammatory mediators in AChR-reactive lymphocytes by IRT5 probiotics is mediated by the generation of regulatory dendritic cells (rDCs) that express increased levels of IL-10, TGF-β, arginase 1 and aldh1a2. Furthermore, DCs isolated from IRT5 probiotics-fed group effectively converted CD4(+) T cells into CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells compared with control DCs. Our data suggest that IRT5 probiotics could be applicable to modulate antibody mediated autoimmune diseases including myasthenia gravis.

  17. Prophylactic Effect of Probiotics on the Development of Experimental Autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Chae, Chang-Suk; Kwon, Ho-Keun; Hwang, Ji-Sun; Kim, Jung-Eun; Im, Sin-Hyeog

    2012-01-01

    Probiotics are live bacteria that confer health benefits to the host physiology. Although protective role of probiotics have been reported in diverse diseases, no information is available whether probiotics can modulate neuromuscular immune disorders. We have recently demonstrated that IRT5 probiotics, a mixture of 5 probiotics, could suppress diverse experimental disorders in mice model. In this study we further investigated whether IRT5 probiotics could modulate the progression of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a T cell dependent antibody mediated autoimmune disorder in which acetylcholine receptor (AChR) at the neuromuscular junction is the major auto-antigen. Oral administration of IRT5 probiotics significantly reduced clinical symptoms of EAMG such as weight loss, body trembling and grip strength. Prophylactic effect of IRT5 probiotics on EMAG is mediated by down-regulation of effector function of AChR-reactive T cells and B cells. Administration of IRT5 probiotics decreased AChR-reactive lymphocyte proliferation, anti-AChR reactive IgG levels and inflammatory cytokine levels such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-17. Down-regulation of inflammatory mediators in AChR-reactive lymphocytes by IRT5 probiotics is mediated by the generation of regulatory dendritic cells (rDCs) that express increased levels of IL-10, TGF-β, arginase 1 and aldh1a2. Furthermore, DCs isolated from IRT5 probiotics-fed group effectively converted CD4+ T cells into CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells compared with control DCs. Our data suggest that IRT5 probiotics could be applicable to modulate antibody mediated autoimmune diseases including myasthenia gravis. PMID:23284891

  18. Experimental Autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis (EAMG): from immunochemical characterization to therapeutic approaches.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Sara; Aricha, Revital; Reuveni, Debby; Souroujon, Miriam C

    2014-11-01

    Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is an organ-specific autoimmune disease. In high percentage of patients there are autoantibodies to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) that attack AChR on muscle cells at the neuromuscular junction, resulting in muscle weakness. Experimental Autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis (EAMG) is an experimental model disease for MG. EAMG is induced in several animal species by immunization with acetylcholine receptor (AChR), usually isolated from the electric organ of electric fish, which is a rich source for this antigen. Our lab has been involved for several decades in research of AChR and of EAMG. The availability of an experimental autoimmune disease that mimics in many aspects the human disease, provides an excellent model system for elucidating the immunological nature and origin of MG, for studying various existing treatment modalities and for attempting the development of novel treatment approaches. In this review in honor of Michael Sela and Ruth Arnon, we report first on our early pioneering contributions to research on EAMG. These include the induction of EAMG in several animal species, early attempts for antigen-specific treatment for EAMG, elicitation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies and anti-idiotypic antibodies, measuring humoral and cellular AChR-specific immune responses in MG patient and more. In the second part of the review we discuss more recent studies from our lab towards developing and testing novel treatment approaches for myasthenia. These include antigen-dependent treatments aimed at specifically abrogating the humoral and cellular anti-AChR responses, as well as immunomodulatory approaches that could be used either alone, or in conjunction with antigen-specific treatments, or alternatively, serve as steroid-sparing agents.

  19. Myasthenia Gravis Complications

    MedlinePlus

    ... resolves when one eye is closed. Face and throat muscles In about 15 percent of people with myasthenia gravis, the first symptoms involve face and throat muscles, which can cause: Altered speaking. Your speech ...

  20. Transplantation of thymic autoimmune microenvironment to severe combined immunodeficiency mice. A new model of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Schönbeck, S; Padberg, F; Hohlfeld, R; Wekerle, H

    1992-01-01

    To study the role of the thymus in the cellular pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG) we transplanted thymus tissue fragments from MG thymuses beneath the kidney capsule of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Immunocytochemical studies documented that the human thymus tissues are accepted as long-term grafts in the host SCID mice, with human lymphocytes, thymic stroma, and thymic myoid cells demonstrable in transplanted thymus for at least 15 weeks after transplantation. Human anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies became detectable 1 to 2 weeks after transplantation, and in most chimeras the titers increased over at least 11 weeks to reach levels typically found in severe human MG. Human Ig deposits were detected at skeletal muscle end-plates, demonstrating that the human (auto)antibodies bound to murine acetylcholine receptor. In contrast, transfers of dissociated thymus cells only lead to a transient increase of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Our data prove that myasthenia gravis thymus is able to induce and maintain autoantibody production in immunodeprived host animals, and that this tissue contains all cellular components required for autoantibody production. Transplantation of solid thymus tissue seems to transfer an autoimmune microenvironment, which will allow direct studies of the mechanism of autosensitization inside the thymus. Images PMID:1634612

  1. Silencing miR-146a influences B cells and ameliorates experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, JunMei; Jia, Ge; Liu, Qun; Hu, Jue; Yan, Mei; Yang, BaiFeng; Yang, Huan; Zhou, WenBin; Li, Jing

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs have been shown to be important regulators of immune homeostasis as patients with aberrant microRNA expression appeared to be more susceptible to autoimmune diseases. We recently found that miR-146a was up-regulated in activated B cells in response to rat acetylcholine receptor (AChR) α-subunit 97-116 peptide, and this up-regulation was significantly attenuated by AntagomiR-146a. Our data also demonstrated that silencing miR-146a with its inhibitor AntagomiR-146a effectively ameliorated clinical myasthenic symptoms in mice with ongoing experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. Furthermore, multiple defects were observed after miR-146a was knocked down in B cells, including decreased anti-R97-116 antibody production and class switching, reduced numbers of plasma cells, memory B cells and B-1 cells, and weakened activation of B cells. Previously, miR-146a has been identified as a nuclear factor-κB-dependent gene and predicted to base pair with the tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) genes to regulate the immune response. However, our study proved that miR-146a inhibition had no effect on the expression of TRAF6 and IRAK1 in B cells. This result suggests that the function of miR-146a in B cells does not involve these two target molecules. We conclude that silencing miR-146a exerts its therapeutic effects by influencing the B-cell functions that contribute to the autoimmune pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis.

  2. Silencing miR-146a influences B cells and ameliorates experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, JunMei; Jia, Ge; Liu, Qun; Hu, Jue; Yan, Mei; Yang, BaiFeng; Yang, Huan; Zhou, WenBin; Li, Jing

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNAs have been shown to be important regulators of immune homeostasis as patients with aberrant microRNA expression appeared to be more susceptible to autoimmune diseases. We recently found that miR-146a was up-regulated in activated B cells in response to rat acetylcholine receptor (AChR) α-subunit 97-116 peptide, and this up-regulation was significantly attenuated by AntagomiR-146a. Our data also demonstrated that silencing miR-146a with its inhibitor AntagomiR-146a effectively ameliorated clinical myasthenic symptoms in mice with ongoing experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. Furthermore, multiple defects were observed after miR-146a was knocked down in B cells, including decreased anti-R97-116 antibody production and class switching, reduced numbers of plasma cells, memory B cells and B-1 cells, and weakened activation of B cells. Previously, miR-146a has been identified as a nuclear factor-κB-dependent gene and predicted to base pair with the tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1) genes to regulate the immune response. However, our study proved that miR-146a inhibition had no effect on the expression of TRAF6 and IRAK1 in B cells. This result suggests that the function of miR-146a in B cells does not involve these two target molecules. We conclude that silencing miR-146a exerts its therapeutic effects by influencing the B-cell functions that contribute to the autoimmune pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis. PMID:24962817

  3. The thymus in myasthenia gravis. Changes typical for the human disease are absent in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis of the Lewis rat.

    PubMed Central

    Meinl, E.; Klinkert, W. E.; Wekerle, H.

    1991-01-01

    In human myasthenia gravis (MG) formation of autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is commonly associated with thymic changes termed lymphofollicular hyperplasia (LFH). To learn whether the thymic lesions of human MG are primary changes in the autoimmune pathogenesis, or rather secondary events caused by peripheral autoimmunization, the authors compared the pathologic changes of MG thymuses with the thymuses of Lewis rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). EAMG was induced either actively by immunization with AChR, or transferred passively with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) binding to AChR. The clinical diagnosis of EAMG was confirmed by electromyography. Germinal centers, which are typical for human MG thymuses, were not detectable in the thymus of EAMG rats. Scattered B cells were seen as normal components of the thymic medulla. In EAMG their number was not augmented, nor were they accumulated focally. The perivascular spaces (PVS) were not distended and the amount of reticulin was not increased. Thymic myoid cells were identified in EAMG as well as in control thymuses; their cellular microenvironment was inconspicuous. Both in normal and in EAMG thymuses, a subpopulation of myoid cells expressed the main immunogenic region of the AChR. Heavily affected rats showed a severe cortical involution, but no specific changes of the medulla. The fact that none of the thymic lesions characteristic for human MG was found in EAMG is compatible with the concept that the thymic changes in MG are primary events in the autoimmune pathogenesis of this disease. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 PMID:1951638

  4. C5a is not involved in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Huibin; Tüzün, Erdem; Allman, Windy; Saini, Shamsher S.; Penabad, Zurina R.; Pierangeli, Silvia; Christadoss, Premkumar

    2013-01-01

    C5 deficient mice are highly resistant to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) despite intact immune response to acethylcholine receptor (AChR), validating the pivotal role played by membrane attack complex (MAC, C5b-9) in neuromuscular junction destruction. To distinguish the significance of C5a from that of C5b in EAMG pathogenesis, C5a receptor (C5aR) knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice were immunized with AChR to induce pathogenic anti-AChR antibodies. In contrast with C5 deficient mice, C5aR KO mice were equally susceptible to EAMG as WT mice and exhibited comparable antibody and lymphocyte proliferation response to AChR implicating that C5a is not involved in EAMG development. PMID:18455242

  5. IgG1 deficiency exacerbates experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis in BALB/c mice.

    PubMed

    Huda, Ruksana; Strait, Richard T; Tüzün, Erdem; Finkelman, Fred D; Christadoss, Premkumar

    2015-04-15

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterized by muscle weakness due to neuromuscular junction (NMJ) damage by anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) auto-antibodies and complement. In experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), which is induced by immunization with Torpedo AChR in CFA, anti-AChR IgG2b and IgG1 are the predominant isotypes in the circulation. Complement activation by isotypes such as IgG2b plays a crucial role in EAMG pathogenesis; this suggested the possibility that IgG1, which does not activate complement through the classical pathway, may suppress EAMG. In this study, we show that AChR-immunized BALB/c mice genetically deficient for IgG1 produce higher levels of complement-activating isotypes of anti-AChR, especially IgG3 and IgG2a, and develop increased IgG3/IgG2a deposits at the NMJ, as compared to wild type (WT) BALB/c mice. Consistent with this, AChR-immunized IgG1(-/-) BALB/c mice lose muscle strength and muscle AChR to a greater extent than AChR-immunized WT mice. These observations demonstrate that IgG1 deficiency leads to increased severity of EAMG associated with an increase in complement activating IgG isotypes. Further studies are needed to dissect the specific role or mechanism of IgG1 in limiting EAMG and that of EAMG exacerbating role of complement activating IgG3 and IgG2a in IgG1 deficiency.

  6. Role of tolerogen conformation in induction of oral tolerance in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Im, S H; Barchan, D; Souroujon, M C; Fuchs, S

    2000-10-01

    We recently demonstrated that oral or nasal administration of recombinant fragments of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) prevents the induction of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) and suppresses ongoing EAMG in rats. We have now studied the role of spatial conformation of these recombinant fragments in determining their tolerogenicity. Two fragments corresponding to the extracellular domain of the human AChR alpha-subunit and differing in conformation were tested: Halpha1-205 expressed with no fusion partner and Halpha1-210 fused to thioredoxin (Trx), and designated Trx-Halpha1-210. The conformational similarity of the fragments to intact AChR was assessed by their reactivity with alpha-bungarotoxin and with anti-AChR mAbs, specific for conformation-dependent epitopes. Oral administration of the more native fragment, Trx-Halpha1-210, at the acute phase of disease led to exacerbation of EAMG, accompanied by an elevation of AChR-specific humoral and cellular reactivity, increased levels of Th1-type cytokines (IL-2, IL-12), decreased levels of Th2 (IL-10)- or Th3 (TGF-beta)-type cytokines, and higher expression of costimulatory factors (CD28, CTLA4, B7-1, B7-2, CD40L, and CD40). On the other hand, oral administration of the less native fragments Halpha1-205 or denatured Trx-Halpha1-210 suppressed ongoing EAMG and led to opposite changes in the immunological parameters. It thus seems that native conformation of AChR-derived fragments renders them immunogenic and immunopathogenic and therefore not suitable for treatment of myasthenia gravis. Conformation of tolerogens should therefore be given careful attention when considering oral tolerance for treatment of autoimmune diseases.

  7. Acquired myasthenia gravis in childhood.

    PubMed

    Evoli, Amelia

    2010-10-01

    This review discusses recent studies on myasthenia gravis with onset in childhood (juvenile myasthenia gravis) and neonatal myasthenia gravis. The occurrence of myasthenia gravis in childhood is strongly influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Juvenile myasthenia gravis is associated with antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) in most patients. Thymoma is rare, but often malignant in children. The frequency of juvenile myasthenia gravis with antibodies to the muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) varies markedly in different countries; some distinct features have been described. Management of juvenile myasthenia gravis does not differ, on the whole, from that of adult myasthenia gravis. Timing of thymectomy in young children is still controversial. Maternal antifetal type AChR antibodies can cause persistent focal weakness in the offspring, while neonatal myasthenia gravis associated with MuSK antibodies is often a severe and protracted albeit transient disease. Juvenile myasthenia gravis, like its adult-onset counterpart, is a heterogeneous disease. Clinical presentation is influenced by antibody status, ethnicity and age of onset. Treatment is very effective, but guidelines and controlled trials are needed.The risk for neonatal myasthenia gravis appears to be markedly influenced by maternal antibody subclass and antigen specificity. Adequate treatment in mothers can reduce both frequency and severity of neonatal disease.

  8. Whole-genome analysis in Korean patients with autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Na, Sang-Jun; Lee, Ji Hyun; Kim, So Won; Kim, Dae-Seong; Shon, Eun Hee; Park, Hyung Jun; Shin, Ha Young; Kim, Seung Min; Choi, Young-Chul

    2014-05-01

    The underlying cause of myasthenia gravis (MG) is unknown, although it likely involves a genetic component. However, no common genetic variants have been unequivocally linked to autoimmune MG. We sought to identify the genetic variants associated with an increased or decreased risk of developing MG in samples from a Korean Multicenter MG Cohort. To determine new genetic targets related to autoimmune MG, a whole genome-based single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) analysis was conducted using an Axiom™ Genome-Wide ASI 1 Array, comprising 598375 SNPs and samples from 109 MG patients and 150 neurologically normal controls. In total, 641 SNPs from five case-control associations showed p-values of less than 10⁻⁵. From regional analysis, we selected seven candidate genes (RYR3, CACNA1S, SLAMF1, SOX5, FHOD3, GABRB1, and SACS) for further analysis. The present study suggests that a few genetic polymorphisms, such as in RYR3, CACNA1S, and SLAMF1, might be related to autoimmune MG. Our findings also encourage further studies, particularly confirmatory studies with larger samples, to validate and analyze the association between these SNPs and autoimmune MG.

  9. Assays for myasthenia gravis

    SciTech Connect

    Lindstrom, J.M.

    1988-12-06

    This patent describes an improvement in a process for diagnosing myasthenia gravis. The process comprises the steps of preparing a complex of acetycholine receptor protein, toxin and a radioactive isotope, incubating the complex with a serum sample from a patient so as to join antibodies engendered in connection with myasthenia gravis to the complex, precipitating the complex joined with antibody with anti-immunoglobulin and measuring radioactivity, from the radioactive isotope, of the precipitated complex. The improvement is that the acetylcholine receptor protein is derived from cells of the TE671 Line.

  10. Myasthenia gravis and autoimmune Addison disease in a patient with thymoma.

    PubMed

    Seker, Mesut; Gozu, Hulya Iliksu; Oven Ustaalioğlu, Bala Basak; Sonmez, Berkant; Erkal, Fatih Yavuz; Kocak, Mihriban; Barisik, Nagehan Ozdemir; Orbay, Ekrem; Sargin, Mehmet; Sargin, Haluk; Boru, Ulku Turk; Yaylaci, Mustafa

    2009-09-01

    The association of thymoma with myasthenia gravis has been well documented. However, the relationship between these two syndromes and Addison disease are very rarely encountered in clinical practice. We report on a 32-year-old man who underwent a resection for thymoma 48 months ago. The diagnosis of Addison disease was made followed by a diagnosis of myasthenia gravis on the basis of a high titer of acetylcholine receptor levels. The treatment of oral prednisolone 7.5 mg/day and oral prostigmine 180 mg/day was initiated. His symptoms and physical signs were improved after this treatment. To our knowledge, this is the fourth reported case of thymoma synchronously associated with myasthenia gravis and Addison disease.

  11. The thymus in autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis: Paradigm for a tertiary lymphoid organ.

    PubMed

    Weiss, J-M; Cufi, P; Le Panse, R; Berrih-Aknin, S

    2013-01-01

    In autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis (MG), a neuromuscular disease generally mediated by autoantibodies against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), the muscle is the target organ of the autoimmune attack, while the thymus seems to be the primary production site of the autoantibodies. In the majority of patients with anti-AChR antibodies, it is characterized by the presence of germinal centers, which contain B cells that produce anti-AChR antibodies. In this review, we summarize recent results regarding neoangiogenic processes, cell infiltration and modified chemokine expression in the MG thymus, which are typical features of secondary lymphoid organs. The structural and functional changes in the MG thymus therefore allow us to declare it to be an archetype for tertiary lymphoid neogenesis providing optimal settings for the interaction between lymphocytes and antigen presenting cells in order to elicit an immune response. We further discuss factors that may have a key role in the transformation of the MG thymus into a tertiary lymphoid organ, such as IFN type I and dsRNA signaling. These factors could also be of importance in other autoimmune diseases, especially those characterized by tertiary lymphoid neogenesis.

  12. Autoimmune associations and autoantibody screening show focused recognition in patient subgroups with generalized myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Klein, Reinhild; Marx, Alexander; Ströbel, Philipp; Schalke, Berthold; Nix, Wilfred; Willcox, Nick

    2013-09-01

    Autoimmune associations in myasthenia gravis (MG)-patients and their relatives have not been re-assessed since their separation into early- or late-onset MG (EOMG, LOMG), or thymoma-associated MG. Here, we analysed 226 EOMG-, 97 LOMG-, and 150 thymoma-patients for autoimmune disorders in themselves and their relatives. From 283 of them sera were tested for different organ- and non-organ-specific autoantibodies (autoAbs) by immunofluorescence test (IFT) and ELISA; genotyping was performed in 213 patients. Relatives with autoimmune disorders were reported by more patients with EOMG (40% of 210) than LOMG (20% of 89; p < 0.01) than thymomas (8% of 150; p < 0.001). In 150 genotyped EOMG-females, the known risk allele of the immuno-regulatory PTPN2 2 (R620W) appeared commoner in those with second autoimmune diseases (p ∼ 0.06), or with autoimmune relatives (p ∼ 0.03), than in those without. Organ-specific autoAbs were found in ∼ 30% of all MG-patients, autoAbs to striated muscle only in patients with thymoma-MG (62%) or LOMG (61%). Titers against adrenal cortex were lower in LOMG-patients. Disease-associated autoAbs against systemic targets or 'natural autoAbs' - except of autoAbs to nuclei - were uncommon in all groups (< 13%). Thus-with rare exceptions in EOMG and LOMG-we found minimal support for the notion that autoimmune patients have wide-ranging autoreactivity that causes disease only if it targets such Achilles' heels as the muscle acetylcholine receptor; even in thymoma-patients the autoAbs are sharply focused on a restricted range of muscle, cytokine and endocrine targets. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. All rights reserved.

  13. Clinical and scientific aspects of acetylcholine receptor myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Keijzers, Marlies; Nogales-Gadea, Gisela; de Baets, Marc

    2014-10-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a rare disease that causes impairment of the neuromuscular junction. In this review we will focus on the literature published in the last 18 months regarding autoimmune myasthenia gravis caused by antibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor myasthenia gravis. Acetylcholine receptor is the most common target of this autoimmune disease. A high number of long-lived plasma cells are present in myasthenia gravis patients. Treatments to eliminate these plasma cells, such as proteasome inhibitors, have proved utility in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. MicroRNAs may have a role as biomarkers in myasthenia gravis. Epstein-Barr virus and human polyomavirus 7 are often found in myasthenia gravis thymus and may play a role in the initiation of the autoimmune process. Robotic thymectomy has been proved well tolerated and minimally invasive for the patients and is likely to replace open surgery. Knowledge of the initiation and perpetuation of the autoimmune response in myasthenia gravis condition is increasing every year. This knowledge is paired with in-vivo and in-vitro studies that are directed to further understand this disease, and to improve current treatment options in severe or nonresponding patients. Specific treatments and diagnosis in myasthenia gravis tend to an early detection and a better quality of life.

  14. Pathological mechanisms in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. II. Passive transfer of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis in rats with anti-acetylcholine recepotr antibodies

    PubMed Central

    1976-01-01

    Passive transfer of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) was achieved using the gamma globulin fraction and purified IgG from sera of rats immunized with Electrophus electricus (eel) acetylcholine receptor (AChR). This demonstrates the critical role of anti-AChR antibodies in impairing neuromuscular transmission in EAMG. Passive transfer of anti-AChR antibodies from rats with chronic EAMG induced signs of the acute phase of EAMG in normal recipient rats, including invasion of the motor end-plate region by mononuclear inflammatory cells. Clinical, eletrophysiological, histological, and biochemical signs of acute EAMG were observed by 24 h after antibody transfer. Recipient rats developed profound weakness and fatigability, and the posture characteristic of EAMG. Striking weight loss was attributable to dehydration. Recipient rats showed large decreases in amplitude of muscle responses to motor nerve stimulation, and repetitive nerve stimulation induced characteristic decrementing responses. End-plate potentials were not detectable in many muscle fibers, and the amplitudes of miniature end-plate potentials were reduced in the others. Passively transferred EAMG more severely affected the forearm muscles than diaphragm muscles, though neuromuscular transmission was impaired and curare sensitivity was increased in both muscles. Some AChR extracted from the muscles of rats with passively transferred EAMG was found to be complexed with antibody, and the total yield of AChR per rat was decreased. The quantitative decrease in AChR approximately paralleled in time the course of clinical and electrophysiological signs. The amount of AChR increased to normal levels and beyond at the time neuromuscular transmission was improving. The excess of AChR extractable from muscle as the serum antibody level decreased probably represented extrajunctional receptors formed in response to functional denervation caused by phagocytosis of the postsynaptic membrane by macrophages

  15. The autoimmune spectrum of myasthenia gravis: a Swedish population-based study.

    PubMed

    Fang, F; Sveinsson, O; Thormar, G; Granqvist, M; Askling, J; Lundberg, I E; Ye, W; Hammarström, L; Pirskanen, R; Piehl, F

    2015-05-01

    To determine the prevalence of myasthenia gravis (MG) and the rate of concurrent autoimmune diseases in patients with MG. Using the Swedish health and population registers, during the period 2005-2010, we conducted a nested case-control study of patients with MG (n = 2045) with five age- and sex-matched population-based controls per case. Register-based MG diagnosis was validated against the Stockholm MG Cohort. Similar nested case-control studies were conducted in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), as a neuroinflammatory disease control, and siblings of patients with MG. Odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated as a measure of the association between MG and other autoimmune diseases. The prevalence of MG was 24.8/100,000, and patients with MG had an increased risk of another autoimmune disease compared to controls (22.0% vs. 8.9%; OR: 2.82, 95% CI: 2.49-3.20); this risk was stronger amongst younger persons and women. Polymyositis/dermatomyositis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Addison's disease, three conditions regulated by the HLA-B8-DR3 haplotype, were most strongly associated with MG, especially early-onset disease. HLA typing in the Stockholm MG Cohort showed that early-onset MG was indeed dominated by HLA-B8-DR3. The risk of another autoimmune disease was increased in both patients with MS and siblings of patients with MG, compared to their respective controls, but to a lesser extent than in patients with MG. Our results suggest that MG shares risk factors with other autoimmune diseases, to a greater degree than MS, with a particular role of the HLA-B8-DR3 haplotype, especially amongst younger and female patients. © 2014 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

  16. Juvenile myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Snead, O C; Benton, J W; Dwyer, D; Morley, B J; Kemp, G E; Bradley, R J; Oh, S J

    1980-07-01

    We studied 32 children with myasthenia gravis over a period of 12 years. The mean age at onset was 7.7 years. Presentation was ocular in 63% of patients. Another major disease in addition to myasthenia occurred in 44% of patients; a seizure disorder was the most commonly associated disease. Serum IgG antibody to nicotinic acetylcholine receptor was present in 53% of patients and did not correlate with severity of disease or treatment. Medical management was effective in 63%; thymectomy was effective in only 28%. We conclude that myasthenia gravis appears commonly before age 10 and is associated with the risk of some disease other than hyperthyroidism. Serum IgG nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antibody is present less frequently than in normal adults, and vigorous medical management should be attempted before thymectomy.

  17. Current Treatment, Emerging Translational Therapies, and New Therapeutic Targets for Autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Guptill, Jeffrey T; Soni, Madhu; Meriggioli, Matthew N

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease associated with the production of autoantibodies against 1) the skeletal muscle acetylcholine receptor; 2) muscle-specific kinase, a receptor tyrosine kinase critical for the maintenance of neuromuscular synapses; 3) low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4, an important molecular binding partner for muscle-specific kinase; and 4) other muscle endplate proteins. In addition to the profile of autoantibodies, MG may be classified according the location of the affected muscles (ocular vs generalized), the age of symptom onset, and the nature of thymic pathology. Immunopathologic events leading to the production of autoantibodies differ in the various disease subtypes. Advances in our knowledge of the immunopathogenesis of the subtypes of MG will allow for directed utilization of the ever-growing repertoire of therapeutic agents that target distinct nodes in the immune pathway relevant to the initiation and maintenance of autoimmune disease. In this review, we examine the pathogenesis of MG subtypes, current treatment options, and emerging new treatments and therapeutic targets.

  18. Experimental neonatal autoimmune myasthenia gravis: an immunohistochemical, ultrastructural and electrophysiological study of the motor end-plate.

    PubMed

    Tetsuo, N; Tsujihata, M; Satoh, A; Yoshimura, T; Nakamura, T; Seto, M; Nagataki, S

    1995-10-01

    Neonatal rats born of and nursed by mothers immunized with Narke japonica acetylcholine receptor protein had elevated serum anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies that reached the mother's level on day 10 after delivery and decreased rapidly after weaning. IgG was present at the motor end-plates up to day 170, and the motor end-plate fine structure remained abnormal up to day 80. Miniature end-plate potential amplitudes in the diaphragm were at the control levels within 10 days of birth, but were lower than those of the controls up to day 80 after birth. We could not obtain the direct evidence that transient synthesis of antibodies occurs in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis pups. This model can serve as an experimental model of transient neonatal myasthenia gravis in humans, exception for the route of antibody transfer and the time of the onset of illness.

  19. RNA interference targeting Bcl-6 ameliorates experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis in mice.

    PubMed

    Xin, Ning; Fu, Linlin; Shao, Zhen; Guo, Mingfeng; Zhang, Xiuying; Zhang, Yong; Dou, Changxin; Zheng, Shuangshuang; Shen, Xia; Yao, Yuanhu; Wang, Jiao; Wang, Jinhua; Cui, Guiyun; Liu, Yonghai; Geng, Deqin; Xiao, Chenghua; Zhang, Zunsheng; Dong, Ruiguo

    2014-01-01

    Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells are dedicated to providing help to B cells and are strongly associated with antibody-mediated autoimmune disease. B cell lymphoma 6 (Bcl-6) is a key transcription factor of Tfh cells, and IL-21 is known to be a critical cytokine produced by Tfh cells. We silenced Bcl-6 gene expression using RNA interference (RNAi) delivered by a lentiviral vector, to evaluate the therapeutic role of Bcl-6 short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Our data demonstrate that CD4(+)CXCR5(+)PD-1(+) Tfh cells, Bcl-6 and IL-21 were significantly increased in EAMG mice, compared with controls. In addition, we found that frequencies of Tfh cells were positively correlated with the levels of serum anti-AChR Ab. In-vivo transduction of lenti-siRNA-Bcl6 ameliorates the severity of ongoing EAMG with decreased Tfh cells, Bcl-6 and IL-21 expression, and leads to decreased anti-AChR antibody levels. Furthermore, we found that siRNA knockdown of Bcl-6 expression increases the expression of Th1(IFN-γ, T-bet) and Th2 markers (IL-4 and GATA3), but failed to alter the expression of Th17-related markers (RORγt, IL-17) and Treg markers (FoxP3). Our study suggests that Tfh cells contribute to the antibody production and could be one of the most important T cell subsets responsible for development and progression of EAMG or MG. Bcl-6 provides a promising therapeutic target for immunotherapy not only for MG, but also for other antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Differential RNA Expression Profile of Skeletal Muscle Induced by Experimental Autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kaminski, Henry J.; Himuro, Keiichi; Alshaikh, Jumana; Gong, Bendi; Cheng, Georgiana; Kusner, Linda L.

    2016-01-01

    The differential susceptibility of skeletal muscle by myasthenia gravis (MG) is not well understood. We utilized RNA expression profiling of extraocular muscle (EOM), diaphragm (DIA), and extensor digitorum (EDL) of rats with experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) to evaluate the hypothesis that muscles respond differentially to injury produced by EAMG. EAMG was induced in female Lewis rats by immunization with acetylcholine receptor purified from the electric organ of the Torpedo. Six weeks later after rats had developed weakness and serum antibodies directed against the AChR, animals underwent euthanasia and RNA profiling performed on DIA, EDL, and EOM. Profiling results were validated by qPCR. Across the three muscles between the experiment and control groups, 359 probes (1.16%) with greater than 2-fold changes in expression in 7 of 9 series pairwise comparisons from 31,090 probes were identified with approximately two-thirds being increased. The three muscles shared 16 genes with increased expression and 6 reduced expression. Functional annotation demonstrated that these common expression changes fell predominantly into categories of metabolism, stress response, and signaling. Evaluation of specific gene function indicated that EAMG led to a change to oxidative metabolism. Genes related to muscle regeneration and suppression of immune response were activated. Evidence of a differential immune response among muscles was not evident. Each muscle had a distinct RNA profile but with commonality in gene categories expressed that are focused on muscle repair, moderation of inflammation, and oxidative metabolism. PMID:27891095

  1. The chemokine CXCL13 is a key molecule in autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Meraouna, Amel; Cizeron-Clairac, Geraldine; Panse, Rozen Le; Bismuth, Jacky; Truffault, Frederique; Tallaksen, Chantal; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2006-07-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is associated with ectopic germinal centers in the thymus. Thymectomy and glucocorticoids are the main treatments but they induce operative risks and side effects, respectively. The aim of this study was to propose new therapies more efficient for MG. We hypothesized that molecules dysregulated in MG thymus and normalized by glucocorticoids may play a key role in thymic pathogenesis. Using gene chip analysis, we identified 88 genes complying with these criteria, the most remarkable being the B-cell chemoattractant (CXCL13). Its expression was increased in thymus and sera of glucocorticoid-untreated patients and decreased in response to treatment in correlation with clinical improvement. Normal B cells were actively chemoattracted by thymic extracts from glucocorticoid-untreated patients, an effect inhibited by anti-CXCL13 antibodies. In the thymus, CXCL13 was preferentially produced by epithelial cells and overproduced by epithelial cells from MG patients. Altogether, our results suggest that a high CXCL13 production by epithelial cells could be responsible for germinal center formation in MG thymus. Furthermore, they show that this gene is a main target of corticotherapy. Thus, new therapies targeting CXCL13 could be of interest for MG and other autoimmune diseases characterized by ectopic germinal center formation.

  2. [Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell transplantation for treatment of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis in rats].

    PubMed

    Yu, Jing-Xia; Chen, Fang; Sun, Jun; Wang, Ji-Ming; Zhao, Qin-Jun; Ren, Xin-Jun; Ma, Feng-Xia; Yang, Shao-Guang; Han, Zhi-Bo; Han, Zhong-Chao

    2011-06-01

    Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (UCMSC) transplantation has been widely used in the treatment of a variety of diseases due to their advantages such as abundant resources, low immunogenicity and large ex vivo expansion capacity. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of UCMSC on experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) rats. The distribution of human-derived cells was observed by immunofluorescence method, the effect of MSC on B-cell in situ-secreted antibodies was assayed by ELISPOT, the secreted IFN-γ level was detected by using Transwell test. The results showed that UCMSC were able to migrate to inflammation region and lymph nudes, moreover human-derived cells could be detected in medulla zone of lymph nudes. In vitro in situ detection of AchR specific antibody secretion revealed that the full contact of MSC with lymphnode-derived lymphocytes could effectively inhibit production of AchR antibody. Transwell test indicated that the direct contact of UCMSC with CD4 T cells could effectively decrease production of IFN-γ, which modulated the unbalance between Th1/Th2 to a certain extent. It is concluded that UCMSC can regulate the immune system by direct cell-cell contact or/and release of cytokines, which bring a new insight into knowledge about MSC-based therapy for EAMG.

  3. Thymus irradiation for myasthenia gravis

    SciTech Connect

    Currier, R.D.; Routh, A.; Hickman, B.T.; Douglas, M.A.

    1983-01-01

    Twenty-eight patients with progressive myasthenia gravis without thymoma received treatment of 3000 rads (30 Gy) to the anterior mediastinum, and a followup was conducted for five to 18 years. Twenty-four patients had generalized myasthenia, and four had ocular myasthenia gravis. Twenty patients with generalized myasthenia survived the several month post-treatment period and improved, but four died during that period. The improvement lasted a median of 1.5 years, and older patients had longer remissions than younger patients. The four patients who had ocular myasthenia did not change after treatment. Mediastinal irradiation produces a temporary remission in generalized myasthenia.

  4. Coexistent Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy and Myasthenia Gravis Associated with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Peltier, Amanda C.; Black, Bonnie K.; Raj, Satish R.; Donofrio, Peter; Robertson, David; Biaggioni, Italo

    2014-01-01

    We report a case of a 55 year old man with non-small cell lung cancer who underwent radiation, chemotherapy with carbotaxol and paclitaxel, and left upper lobe removal two years prior to evaluation. He was referred for disabling orthostatic hypotension (113/69 supine, 66/47 mmHg standing after 10 minutes without a compensatory heart rate increase (57 to 59 bpm), fatigue, and constipation with episodes of ileus. Clinical examination showed mild ptosis bilaterally, fatiguable neck flexor weakness and hip flexor weakness. Blood pressure response to Valsalva maneuver was abnormal with absence of phase 4 overshoot and a Valsalva heart rate ratio of 1.04, The plasma norepinephrine level was low (79 pg/ml supine to 330 pg/ml standing). Single fiber EMG of the right extensor digitorum communis revealed normal mean MCD (jitter) but several pairs exceeded a jitter of 100 µs. Antibodies against muscle acetylcholine receptor [(AChR) 0.66 nmol/L, normal <0.02] and ganglionic AChR (0.34 nmol/L, normal <0.02) were present. Treatment with plasma exchange normalized responses to standing posture (105/68 supine to 118/82 mmHg standing, 66 to 79 bpm), to Valsalva (normal blood pressure overshoot, HR ratio 1.47), norepinephrine (194 pg/ml supine, 763 standing), and jitter measurements. We conclude that autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy and myasthenia gravis can coexist and suggest that the latter should be excluded in patients with autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy who complain of fatigue that is improved with non-supine rest. PMID:19882640

  5. Suppression of experimental myasthenia gravis, a B cell-mediated autoimmune disease, by blockade of IL-18.

    PubMed

    Im, S H; Barchan, D; Maiti, P K; Raveh, L; Souroujon, M C; Fuchs, S

    2001-10-01

    Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a pleiotropic proinflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) production and IL-12-driven Th1 phenotype polarization. Increased expression of IL-18 has been observed in several autoimmune diseases. In this study we have analyzed the role of IL-18 in an antibody-mediated autoimmune disease and elucidated the mechanisms involved in disease suppression mediated by blockade of IL-18, using experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) as a model. EAMG is a T cell-regulated, antibody-mediated autoimmune disease in which the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is the major autoantigen. Th1- and Th2-type responses are both implicated in EAMG development. We show that treatment by anti-IL-18 during ongoing EAMG suppresses disease progression. The protective effect can be adoptively transferred to naive recipients and is mediated by increased levels of the immunosuppressive Th3-type cytokine TGF-beta and decreased AChR-specific Th1-type cellular responses. Suppression of EAMG is accompanied by down-regulation of the costimulatory factor CD40L and up-regulation of CTLA-4, a key negative immunomodulator. Our results suggest that IL-18 blockade may potentially be applied for immunointervention in myasthenia gravis.

  6. Prevention of passively transferred experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis by a phage library-derived cyclic peptide

    PubMed Central

    Venkatesh, Natarajan; Im, Sin-Heyog; Balass, Moshe; Fuchs, Sara; Katchalski-Katzir, Ephraim

    2000-01-01

    Many pathogenic antibodies in myasthenia gravis (MG) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG), are directed against the main immunogenic region (MIR) of the acetylcholine receptor (AcChoR). These antibodies are highly conformation dependent; hence, linear peptides derived from native receptor sequences are poor candidates for their immunoneutralization. We employed a phage-epitope library to identify peptide-mimotopes capable of preventing the pathogenicity of the anti-MIR mAb 198. We identified a 15-mer peptide (PMTLPENYFSERPYH) that binds specifically to mAb 198 and inhibits its binding to AcChoR. A 10-fold increase in the affinity of this peptide was achieved by incorporating flanking amino acid residues from the coat protein as present in the original phage library. This extended peptide (AEPMTLPENYFSERPYHPPPP) was constrained by the addition of cysteine residues on both ends of the peptide, thus generating a cyclic peptide that inhibited the binding of mAb 198 to AcChoR with a potency that is three orders of magnitude higher when compared with the parent library peptide. This cyclic peptide inhibited the in vitro binding of mAb 198 to AcChoR and prevented the antigenic modulation of AcChoR caused by mAb 198 in human muscle cell cultures. The cyclic peptide also reacted with several other anti-MIR mAbs and the sera of EAMG rats. In addition, this peptide blocked the ability of mAb 198 to passively transfer EAMG in rats. Further derivatization of the cyclic peptide may aid in the design of suitable synthetic mimotopes for modulation of MG. PMID:10639153

  7. Tissue plasminogen activator involvement in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis: aggravation and therapeutic potential.

    PubMed

    Gur-Wahnon, Devorah; Mizrachi, Tehila; Wald-Altman, Shane; Al-Roof Higazi, Abd; Brenner, Talma

    2014-08-01

    Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a component of the PA/plasmin system, is elevated in inflammatory areas and plays a role in inflammatory neurological disorders. In the present study we explored the involvement of tPA and the potential immunomodulatory activity of tPA in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Mice deficient in tPA (tPA(-/-)) present with a markedly more severe disease than wild type EAMG mice. In an attempt to treat EAMG with an 18aa peptide derived from the PA system inhibitor (PAI-1), designed to tether out the endogenous inhibitor, a significant suppression of disease severity was demonstrated. The more severe disease in tPA(-/-) mice was accompanied by a higher level of anti-AChR antibodies and increased expression of B-cell markers. In view of the essential role of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) in B-cell maturation, the expression of BAFF family components was tested. An increase in BAFF and BAFF receptor was observed in EAMG tPA(-/-) mice, whereas BCMA expression was reduced, consistent with the increased level of pathogenic antibodies and the more severe disease. Given the importance of T regulatory cells (Tregs) in EAMG, they were evaluated and their number was reduced in tPA(-/-) mice, in which EAMG was aggravated, whereas following PAI-1dp treatment, Tregs were replenished and the disease was ameliorated. The results show the involvement of tPA in EAMG, implying a protective role for tPA in EAMG pathogenesis. The amelioration of EAMG by PAI-1dp treatment suggests that the PA system may be considered a potential site for therapeutic intervention in neuroimmune diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Myasthenia Gravis: Medical Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Zeldowicz, Ludmila R.; Buckler, William St. John

    1965-01-01

    The diagnosis of myasthenia gravis is often difficult and calls for a broader use of pharmacological and electrodiagnostic tests. The decamethonium-edrophonium test, which has proved superior to other procedures for this purpose, is based on neurophysiological principles and depicts the behaviour of the neuromuscular junction. A state of resistance to depolarizing agents in the limited form of myasthenia and a state of a non-depolarizing (competitive) block in advanced cases has been shown. This test has demonstrated that the neuromuscular defect exists throughout the skeletal musculature, including muscles clinically unaffected. It produced no false-positive results either in normal or neurasthenic persons or in patients with neurological diseases with myasthenic symptoms. In a patient with botulism and in a patient with ocular palsies from brain-stem encephalitis the edrophonium test gave a false-positive result, while the decamethonium-edrophonium test was negative. Diagnosis, treatment and management of myasthenic emergencies are described. PMID:14323662

  9. Myasthenia gravis: subgroup classification and therapeutic strategies.

    PubMed

    Gilhus, Nils Erik; Verschuuren, Jan J

    2015-10-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease that is characterised by muscle weakness and fatigue, is B-cell mediated, and is associated with antibodies directed against the acetylcholine receptor, muscle-specific kinase (MUSK), lipoprotein-related protein 4 (LRP4), or agrin in the postsynaptic membrane at the neuromuscular junction. Patients with myasthenia gravis should be classified into subgroups to help with therapeutic decisions and prognosis. Subgroups based on serum antibodies and clinical features include early-onset, late-onset, thymoma, MUSK, LRP4, antibody-negative, and ocular forms of myasthenia gravis. Agrin-associated myasthenia gravis might emerge as a new entity. The prognosis is good with optimum symptomatic, immunosuppressive, and supportive treatment. Pyridostigmine is the preferred symptomatic treatment, and for patients who do not adequately respond to symptomatic therapy, corticosteroids, azathioprine, and thymectomy are first-line immunosuppressive treatments. Additional immunomodulatory drugs are emerging, but therapeutic decisions are hampered by the scarcity of controlled studies. Long-term drug treatment is essential for most patients and must be tailored to the particular form of myasthenia gravis.

  10. [Myasthenia gravis. Otorhinolaryngological considerations].

    PubMed

    Salazar, C; De Saa, M R; Aparicio, M; García, B; Casado, I

    2000-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a motor neuron disease caused by the presence of antibodies against acetylcholine receptors that interfere with proper functioning of the neuromuscular junction. Twenty percent of patients show bulbar involvement as the first indication of disease, with symptoms such as rhinolalia, dysphagia or phonasthenia. We report the cases of five patients for which our intervention was requested. We were involved in capacities ranging from the interpretation of the first symptom of disease to assessment of surgical possibilities for the treatment of chronic aspiration and severe respiratory symptoms in patients with major dysphagia. We review the scant bibliography published in the last five years.

  11. The role of the thymus in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Onodera, Hiroshi

    2005-10-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an organ-specific autoimmune disease characterized by the production of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies. In this review, I describe the pathophysiological importance of the altered chemokine receptor-mediated signaling in the thymus and peripheral blood of myasthenia gravis patients. The epidemiological and clinical features of myasthenia gravis are also discussed.

  12. Muscle autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis: beyond diagnosis?

    PubMed Central

    Meriggioli, Matthew N; Sanders, Donald B

    2012-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder of the neuromuscular junction. A number of molecules, including ion channels and other proteins at the neuromuscular junction, may be targeted by autoantibodies leading to abnormal neuromuscular transmission. In approximately 85% of patients, autoantibodies, directed against the postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor can be detected in the serum and confirm the diagnosis, but in general, do not precisely predict the degree of weakness or response to therapy. Antibodies to the muscle-specific tyrosine kinase are detected in approximately 50% of generalized myasthenia gravis patients who are seronegative for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies, and levels of anti-muscle-specific tyrosine kinase antibodies do appear to correlate with disease severity and treatment response. Antibodies to other muscle antigens may be found in the subsets of myasthenia gravis patients, potentially providing clinically useful diagnostic information, but their utility as relevant biomarkers (measures of disease state or response to treatment) is currently unclear. PMID:22882218

  13. "Warming yang and invigorating qi" acupuncture alters acetylcholine receptor expression in the neuromuscular junction of rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hai-Peng; Pan, Hong; Wang, Hong-Feng

    2016-03-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies have been shown to form against the nicotinic acetylcholine nicotinic postsynaptic receptors located at the neuromuscular junction. "Warming yang and invigorating qi" acupuncture treatment has been shown to reduce serum inflammatory cytokine expression and increase transforming growth factor beta expression in rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. However, few studies have addressed the effects of this type of acupuncture on the acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. Here, we used confocal laser scanning microscopy to examine the area and density of immunoreactivity for an antibody to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at the neuromuscular junction in the phrenic nerve of rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis following "warming yang and invigorating qi" acupuncture therapy. Needles were inserted at acupressure points Shousanli (LI10), Zusanli (ST36), Pishu (BL20), and Shenshu (BL23) once daily for 7 consecutive days. The treatment was repeated after 1 day of rest. We found that area and the integrated optical density of the immunoreactivity for the acetylcholine receptor at the neuromuscular junction of the phrenic nerve was significantly increased following acupuncture treatment. This outcome of the acupuncture therapy was similar to that of the cholinesterase inhibitor pyridostigmine bromide. These findings suggest that "warming yang and invigorating qi" acupuncture treatment increases acetylcholine receptor expression at the neuromuscular junction in a rat model of autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

  14. MuSK induced experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis does not require IgG1 antibody to MuSK.

    PubMed

    Küçükerden, Melike; Huda, Ruksana; Tüzün, Erdem; Yılmaz, Abdullah; Skriapa, Lamprini; Trakas, Nikos; Strait, Richard T; Finkelman, Fred D; Kabadayı, Sevil; Zisimopoulou, Paraskevi; Tzartos, Socrates; Christadoss, Premkumar

    2016-06-15

    Sera of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients with muscle-specific receptor kinase-antibody (MuSK-Ab) predominantly display the non-complement fixing IgG4 isotype. Similarly, mouse IgG1, which is the analog of human IgG4, is the predominant isotype in mice with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) induced by MuSK immunization. The present study was performed to determine whether IgG1 anti-MuSK antibody is required for immunized mice to develop EAMG. Results demonstrated a significant correlation between clinical severity of EAMG and levels of MuSK-binding IgG1+, IgG2+ and IgG3+ peripheral blood B cells in MuSK-immunized wild-type (WT) mice. Moreover, MuSK-immunized IgG1 knockout (KO) and WT mice showed similar EAMG severity, serum MuSK-Ab levels, muscle acetylcholine receptor concentrations, neuromuscular junction immunoglobulin and complement deposit ratios. IgG1 and IgG3 were the predominant anti-MuSK isotypes in WT and IgG1 KO mice, respectively. These observations demonstrate that non-IgG1 isotypes can mediate MuSK-EAMG pathogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Ice pack test for myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Sethi, K D; Rivner, M H; Swift, T R

    1987-08-01

    A common symptom of myasthenia gravis is eyelid ptosis. Often, the edrophonium test is negative, particularly in ocular myasthenia gravis. Myasthenic weakness is often improved by cold. We applied ice packs to the eye in 10 myasthenic patients and 7 disease controls. Eight of 10 patients with myasthenia gravis improved, whereas none of the controls improved. The ice pack test is useful in the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis.

  16. Lymphocyte function in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Kawanami, S; Kanaide, A; Itoyama, Y; Kuroiwa, Y

    1979-01-01

    Mitogen-induced blastoid transformation of peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with myasthenia gravis was studied using a microplate culture technique and evaluated with 3H-thymidine incorporation. It was found that both phytohaemagglutinin and pokeweed mitogen responses decreased significantly in patients with myasthenia gravis. In myasthenic crisis, indices of stimulation by phytohaemagglutination became very low. The autologous plasma neither inhibited nor facilitated mitogenic responses of lymphocytes. The decreased mitogen responsiveness of lymphocytes suggests that part of the T lymphocyte function is subnormal in myasthenia. PMID:490180

  17. Modulation of the anti-acetylcholine receptor response and experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis by recombinant fragments of the acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed

    Barchan, D; Asher, O; Tzartos, S J; Fuchs, S; Souroujon, M C

    1998-02-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disorder of man caused by a humoral response to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Most of the antibodies in MG and in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) are directed to the extracellular portion of the AChR alpha subunit, and within it, primarily to the main immunogenic region (MIR). We have cloned and expressed recombinant fragments, corresponding to the entire extracellular domain of the AChR alpha subunit (H alpha1-210), and to portions of it that encompass either the MIR (H alpha1-121) or the ligand binding site of AChR (H alpha122-210), and studied their ability to interfere with the immunopathological anti-AChR response in vitro and in vivo. All fragments were expressed as fusion proteins with glutathione S-transferase. Fragments H alpha1-121 and H alpha1-210 protected AChR in TE671 cells against accelerated degradation induced by the anti-MIR monoclonal antibody (mAb)198 in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, these fragments had a similar effect on the antigenic modulation of AChR by other anti-MIR mAb and by polyclonal rat anti-AChR antibodies. Fragments H alpha1-121 and H alpha1-210 were also able to modulate in vivo muscle AChR loss and development of clinical symptoms of EAMG, passively transferred to rats by mAb 198. Fragment H alpha122-210 did not have such a protective activity. Our results suggest that the appropriate recombinant fragments of the human AChR may be employed in the future for antigen-specific therapy of myasthenia.

  18. Myasthenia Gravis Thymus

    PubMed Central

    Leite, Maria I.; Jones, Margaret; Ströbel, Philipp; Marx, Alexander; Gold, Ralf; Niks, Erik; Verschuuren, Jan J.G.M.; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Scaravilli, Francesco; Canelhas, Aurea; Morgan, B. Paul; Vincent, Angela; Willcox, Nick

    2007-01-01

    In early-onset myasthenia gravis, the thymus contains lymph node-type infiltrates with frequent acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-specific germinal centers. Our recent evidence/two-step hypothesis implicates hyperplastic medullary thymic epithelial cells (expressing isolated AChR subunits) in provoking infiltration and thymic myoid cells (with intact AChR) in germinal center formation. To test this, we screened for complement attack in a wide range of typical generalized myasthenia patients. Regardless of the exact serology, thymi with sizeable infiltrates unexpectedly showed patchy up-regulation of both C5a receptor and terminal complement regulator CD59 on hyperplastic epithelial cells. These latter also showed deposits of activated C3b complement component, which appeared even heavier on infiltrating B cells, macrophages, and especially follicular dendritic cells. Myoid cells appeared particularly vulnerable to complement; few expressed the early complement regulators CD55, CD46, or CR1, and none were detectably CD59+. Indeed, when exposed to infiltrates, and especially to germinal centers, myoid cells frequently labeled for C1q, C3b (25 to 48%), or even the terminal C9, with some showing obvious damage. This early/persistent complement attack on both epithelial and myoid cells strongly supports our hypothesis, especially implicating exposed myoid cells in germinal center formation/autoantibody diversification. Remarkably, the similar changes place many apparent AChR-seronegative patients in the same spectrum as the AChR-seropositive patients. PMID:17675582

  19. A novel galectin-1 and interleukin 2 receptor β haplotype is associated with autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Pál, Zsuzsanna; Antal, Péter; Millinghoffer, András; Hullám, Gábor; Pálóczi, Krisztina; Tóth, Sára; Gabius, Hans-Joachim; Molnár, Mária Judit; Falus, András; Buzás, Edit Irén

    2010-12-15

    Galectin-1 (LGALS1) and interleukin receptor 2β (IL2Rβ) are regulators of T-cell activation. Here we evaluated the association of regulatory region polymorphisms of the LGALS1 (rs4820293, rs4820294) and IL2Rβ (rs743777, rs228941) genes in 146 Caucasian myasthenia gravis patients compared to 291 ethnically matched controls. A significant difference was found in the distribution of the rs4820293/rs743777 polymorphism haplotypes (p<0.01). The rs4820293 polymorphism, previously not described to be associated with any disease, does not affect LGALS1 expression in peripheral mononuclear cells and skeletal muscle. Pathway analysis revealed interaction between LGALS1 and IL2Rβ suggesting a role of these proteins in this rare disease.

  20. Immunization with Recombinantly Expressed LRP4 Induces Experimental Autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis in C57BL/6 Mice.

    PubMed

    Ulusoy, Canan; Çavuş, Filiz; Yılmaz, Vuslat; Tüzün, Erdem

    2017-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), characterized with muscle weakness. While MG develops due to acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies in most patients, antibodies to muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) or low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4) may also be identified. Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) has been previously induced by both LRP4 immunization and passive transfer of LRP4 antibodies. Our aim was to confirm previous results and to test the pathogenic effects of LRP4 immunization in a commonly used mouse strain C57BL/6 (B6) using a recombinantly expressed human LRP4 protein. B6 mice were immunized with human LRP4 in CFA, Torpedo Californica AChR in CFA or only CFA. Clinical and pathogenic aspects of EAMG were compared among groups. LRP4- and AChR-immunized mice showed comparable EAMG clinical severity. LRP4-immunized mice displayed serum antibodies to LRP4 and NMJ IgG and complement factor C3 deposits. IgG2 was the dominant anti-LRP4 isotype. Cultured lymph node cells of LRP4- and AChR-immunized mice gave identical pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-17) responses to LRP4 and AChR stimulation, respectively. Our results confirm the EAMG-inducing action of LRP4 immunization and identify B6 as a LRP4-EAMG-susceptible mouse strain. Demonstration of complement fixing anti-LRP4 antibodies in sera and complement/IgG deposits at the NMJ of LRP4-immunized mice indicates complement activation as a putative pathogenic mechanism. We have thus developed a practical LRP4-induced EAMG model using a non-conformational protein and a widely available mouse strain for future investigation of LRP4-related MG.

  1. New onset of myasthenia gravis after treatment of systemic sclerosis by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: sustained autoimmunity or inadequate reset of tolerance?

    PubMed

    Deligny, Christophe; Clave, Emmanuel; Sibon, David; Daikeler, Thomas; Keshmandt, Homah; Carmagnat, Maryvonnic; Douay, Corinne; Arfi, Serge; Clair, Bernard; Toubert, Antoine; Farge, Dominique

    2010-04-01

    Autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) showed promising results for the treatment of primary severe autoimmune diseases (ADs). In this context, development of secondary AD after HSCT has exceptionally been observed, further questioning the roles of patient propensity for AD and of the HSCT procedure. Herein, we report new onset of myasthenia gravis 3 years after successful HSCT in a patient with severe systemic sclerosis, while in complete remission from her first AD. The de novo occurrence of secondary AD (myasthenia gravis) after HSCT was accompanied by the appearance of clonal T-cell expansions measured by the "immunoscope" technique in the context of an ongoing T-cell immune reconstitution. Secondary ADs are increasingly recognized after HSCT for AD. In our case, development of myasthenia followed clonal T-cell expansion. Detailed T-cell repertoire analysis may shed light on autoreactivity mechanisms after HSCT and may help to identify patients at risk.

  2. Mouse models of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Ban, Joanne; Phillips, William D

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a muscle weakness disease characterized by autoantibodies that target components of the neuromuscular junction, impairing synaptic transmission. The most common form of myasthenia gravis involves antibodies that bind the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the postsynaptic membrane. Many of the remaining cases are due to antibodies against muscle specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK). Recently, autoantibodies against LRP4 (another component of the MuSK signaling complex in the postsynaptic membrane) were identified as the likely cause of myasthenia gravis in some patients. Fatiguing weakness is the common symptom in all forms of myasthenia gravis, but muscles of the body are differentially affected, for reasons that are not fully understood. Much of what we have learnt about the immunological and neurobiological aspects of the pathogenesis derives from mouse models. The most widely used mouse models involve either passive transfer of autoantibodies, or active immunization of the mouse with acetylcholine receptors or MuSK protein. These models can provide a robust replication of many of the features of the human disease. Depending upon the protocol, acute fatiguing weakness develops 2 - 14 days after the start of autoantibody injections (passive transfer) or might require repeated immunizations over several weeks (active models). Here we review mouse models of myasthenia gravis, including what they have contributed to current understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms and their current application to the testing of therapeutics.

  3. Functional defect of regulatory CD4(+)CD25+ T cells in the thymus of patients with autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Balandina, Anna; Lécart, Sandrine; Dartevelle, Philippe; Saoudi, Abdelhadi; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2005-01-15

    Thymus-derived CD4(+)CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells are essential for the maintenance of immunologic self-tolerance. Despite their critical role in the active suppression of experimental autoimmune disorders, little is known about their involvement in human autoimmune diseases. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a CD4+ T cell-dependent autoimmune disease and the thymus is assumed to be the initiation site. To identify possible defects in the Treg cells in MG, we analyzed CD4(+)CD25+ cells in thymi from patients with MG compared to those from healthy subjects. We found a normal CD4(+)CD25+ number but a severe functional defect in their regulatory activity together with a decreased expression of the transcription factor, Foxp3, which is essential for T-cell regulatory function. The phenotypic analysis of CD4(+)CD25+ thymocytes revealed an increased number of activated effector cells with strong Fas expression in patients with MG. However, whatever their level of Fas, CD4(+)CD25+ thymocytes from patients with MG remained unable to suppress the proliferation of responding cells, indicating that the impaired Treg cell function is not due to contamination by activated effector T cells. These data are the first to demonstrate a severe functional impairment of thymic Treg cells in MG, which could contribute to the onset of this autoimmune disease.

  4. Multiple Thymoma with Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Dong Hyun; Cho, Sukki

    2017-01-01

    The actual incidence of multiple thymoma is unknown and rarely reported because it remains controversial whether the cases represent a disease of multicentric origin or a disease resulting from intrathymic metastasis. In this case, a patient underwent total thymectomy for multiple thymoma with myasthenia gravis via bilateral video-assisted thoracic surgery. A well-encapsulated multinodular cystic mass, measuring 57 mm×50 mm×22 mm in the right lobe of the thymus, and a well-encapsulated mass, measuring 32 mm×15 mm×14 mm in the left lobe, were found. Both tumors were type B2 thymoma. Few cases of multiple thymoma with myasthenia gravis have ever been reported in the literature. We report a case of synchronous multiple thymoma associated with myasthenia gravis. PMID:28180109

  5. Myasthenia gravis and endurance exercise.

    PubMed

    Scheer, Bernd Volker; Valero-Burgos, Encarna; Costa, Ricardo

    2012-08-01

    This is the first report of a runner with myasthenia gravis who completed an ultra endurance event. Myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that usually results in skeletal muscle weakness, which worsens with exercise and strenuous aerobic exercise, is generally contraindicated. Our runner completed a 220-km, 5-day ultramarathon and presented with various symptoms including muscular skeletal weakness, cramps, generalized fatigue, unintelligible speech, involuntary eye and mouth movements, problems swallowing, food lodging in his throat, and problems breathing. Risk factors identified for exacerbations are running in extreme temperatures, prolonged runs (especially a distance of 30 km or more), running uphill, lack of sleep, and stress. The medical team was in the novel situation to look after a runner with myasthenia gravis and needed to be aware of the patient's condition, symptoms, and risk factors to safely care for him.

  6. [Transient neonatal myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Licht, C; Model, P; Kribs, A; Herkenrath, P; Michalk, D V; Haupt, W F; Göhring, U J; Roth, B

    2002-08-01

    Ten to twenty percent of the offspring of mothers suffering from myasthenia gravis (MG) also develop transient neonatal MG, since maternal antibodies are able to cross the placenta. We report the course of two newborns of a mother with MG and a healthy father. The first pregnancy was complicated during the 3rd trimester by a hydramnion. The newborn presented with generalized muscle weakness, respiratory distress, weak sounding, anaemia, and poor sucking. Mechanical ventilation was necessary. Confirmation of the diagnosis was achieved by the result of repetitive muscle stimulation, showing a typical decrement in the EMG, and measurement of serum antiacetylcholin receptor antibodies. For 3 months, the infant was treated with neostigmin (cholinesterase inhibitor). After 26 days of hospitalization, the patient was released and followed up regularly. Myasthenic symptoms completely resolved. Side effects of the treatment were not observed. The course of the second pregnancy was normal. This second newborn was healthy. Our case report is remarkable for the very different presentation of two children of the same mother with MG during pregnancy and after delivery, with one child developing severe transient neonatal MG, initially requiring intensive care unit (ICU) treatment followed by quick recovery, and one child being healthy. We also present a score for monitoring the clinical course and adjusting anticholinesterase therapy accordingly.

  7. New diagnosis myasthenia gravis and preeclampsia in late pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Ozcan, John; Balson, Ian Frank; Dennis, Alicia T

    2015-02-26

    Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune disease of neuromuscular transmission resulting in fatigable skeletal muscle weakness. Preeclampsia is a multisystem disease of pregnancy which is characterised by hypertension and involvement of one or more organ systems. Both diseases are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality for mother and fetus. The occurrence of both preeclampsia and myasthenia gravis in pregnancy is very rare, and conflicts arise when considering the optimal management of each disease.We present a case of a parturient who was newly diagnosed with both myasthenia gravis and preeclampsia in late pregnancy. Myasthenia treatment was started with prednisolone and pyridostigmine, and delivery was by caesarean section at 37 weeks gestation under spinal anaesthesia. Postnatally, the patient developed worsening of myasthenia and preeclampsia symptoms. We consider the anaesthetic implications for both diseases and describe our approach for the management of this case.

  8. Rs3761389 polymorphism in autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene is associated with susceptibility of myasthenia gravis in Chinese patients.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu; Ding, Xiao-Jun; Wang, Qi; Yue, Yao-Xian; Xie, Yanchen; Hao, Hong-Jun; Liang, Bing; Zhang, Xian-Jun; Song, Min; Gao, Zhe; Jiang, Ping; Qin, Yue; Li, Hai-Feng

    2017-06-01

    Polymorphism in autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene is associated with various autoimmune disorders. Abnormal AIRE expression is associated with the development of myasthenia gravis (MG). We investigated the association of polymorphism in AIRE gene and the clinical features and severity of MG. The frequencies of alleles and genotypes were compared between 480MG patients and 487 healthy controls, as well as among subgroups of MG patients. The frequencies of rs3761389G allele in MG group (OR=1.213, CI 95% 1.014-1.451, p=0.035) and in mild (Oosterhuis score 0-2) subgroup (OR=1.393, CI 95% 1.110-1.751, p=0.004) were significantly higher than those in the control group. There were significant differences in the frequencies of rs3761389 genotypes (OR=1.20, CI 95% 1.00-1.43, p=0.046, log-additive model) and mild subgroup (OR=1.32, CI 95% 1.03-1.69, p=0.0058, log-additive model) compared with the control group. A Logistic regression analysis did not identify rs3761389 genotype as an independent risk factor to predict the severity of MG. This study provides the necessary preliminary data on the association with rs3761389 in AIRE gene with the susceptibility of MG, but not with the severity of MG. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. IL-10 derived from CD1dhiCD5⁺ B cells regulates experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Jian Rong; Quan, Songhua; Soliven, Betty

    2015-12-15

    IL-10-competent subset within CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells, also known as B10 cells, has been shown to regulate autoimmune diseases. In our previous study, adoptive transfer of CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells expanded in vivo by GM-CSF prevented and suppressed experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). The goal of this study was to further examine the role and mechanism of IL-10 in the regulatory function of B10 cells in EAMG. We found that only IL-10 competent CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells sorted from WT mice, but not IL-10 deficient CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells exhibited regulatory function in vitro and in vivo. Adoptive transfer of IL-10 competent CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells led to higher frequency of Tregs and B10 cells, and low levels of proinflammatory cytokines and autoantibody production. We conclude that IL-10 production within CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells plays an important role in immune regulation of EAMG. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Myasthenia gravis: an update for the clinician.

    PubMed

    Sieb, J P

    2014-03-01

    This paper provides a thorough overview of the current advances in diagnosis and therapy of myasthenia gravis (MG). Nowadays the term 'myasthenia gravis' includes heterogeneous autoimmune diseases, with a postsynaptic defect of neuromuscular transmission as the common feature. Myasthenia gravis should be classified according to the antibody specificity [acetylcholine, muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK), low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4), seronegative], thymus histology (thymitis, thymoma, atrophy), age at onset (in children; aged less than or more than 50 years) and type of course (ocular or generalized). With optimal treatment, the prognosis is good in terms of daily functions, quality of life and survival. Symptomatic treatment with acetylcholine esterase inhibition is usually combined with immunosuppression. Azathioprine still remains the first choice for long-term immunosuppressive therapy. Alternative immunosuppressive options to azathioprine include cyclosporin, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus. Rituximab is a promising new drug for severe generalized MG. Emerging therapy options include belimumab, eculizumab and the granulocyte- macrophage colony-stimulating factor. One pilot study on etanercept has given disappointing results. For decades, thymectomy has been performed in younger adults to improve non-paraneoplastic MG. However, controlled prospective studies on the suspected benefit of this surgical procedure are still lacking. In acute exacerbations, including myasthenic crisis, intravenous immunoglobulin, plasmapheresis and immunoadsorption are similarly effective.

  11. [Neuropsychological performance in patients with myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Eizaguirre, María Bárbara; Aguirre, Florencia; Yastremiz, Cecilia; Vanotti, Sandra; Villa, Andrés

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the neuromuscular transmission. Controversial findings had been reported about cognitive impairment in this disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the cognitive pattern of patients with myasthenia gravis. There were enrolled 24 patients with myasthenia gravis, anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies (ACRA) positive, and 24 healthy controls. age 43.9 ± 14.8, years of education 10.9 ± 3.3. age 44.5 ± 15.4, years of education 11.5 ± 3.3. The following areas were evaluated: verbal memory: (long-term storage, retrieval, delayed recall) of the Selective Remained Test; attention: Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT 2 and 3 seconds); executive functions: analogies and numbers-letters sequence. Also, it was administered the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI II). About 33.3% of patients obtained abnormal performance in two or more cognitive tests. 37.5% showed deterioration in attention; 33.3% in verbal memory; 29.2% in executive functions. Significant differences between patients and healthy controls were found in long-term storage (p = 0.001); retrieval (p = 0.007); delayed recall (p = 0.000); PASAT 3 (p = 0.009); PASAT 2 (p = 0.009) and analogies (p = 0.003). Evidence of depression was found: mild in 4.2% of patients; moderate in 25% and severe in 29.2%. Neuropsychological performance declines in patients with myasthenia gravis: attention was more affected than other cognitive areas.

  12. Ocular myasthenia gravis: A review

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Akshay Gopinathan; Patil-Chhablani, Preeti; Venkatramani, Devendra V; Gandhi, Rashmin Anilkumar

    2014-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a disease that affects the neuro-muscular junction resulting in classical symptoms of variable muscle weakness and fatigability. It is called the great masquerader owing to its varied clinical presentations. Very often, a patient of MG may present to the ophthalmologist given that a large proportion of patients with systemic myasthenia have ocular involvement either at presentation or during the later course of the disease. The treatment of ocular MG involves both the neurologist and ophthalmologist. Thus, the aim of this review was to highlight the current diagnosis, investigations, and treatment of ocular MG. PMID:25449931

  13. Early-onset acquired myasthenia gravis secondary to anti-muscle-specific kinase autoantibodies.

    PubMed

    Yilmaz, Sanem; Gokben, Sarenur; Serdaroglu, Gul; Akcay, Ayfer

    2014-01-01

    Autoimmune myasthenia gravis is rarely seen during infancy. Similar to adults, 85% to 90% of generalized pediatric myasthenia gravis cases have acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Approximately 30% of the remaining cases have antibodies against muscle-specific kinase. Information on the clinical course, treatment alternatives, and prognosis of pediatric muscle-specific kinase antibody-positive myasthenia gravis is limited because of the small number of cases. Here, we present a 14-month-old girl with muscle-specific kinase antibody-positive myasthenia gravis as one of the youngest patients described so far in the literature.

  14. Isolated laryngeal myasthenia gravis for 26 years.

    PubMed

    Renard, Dimitri; Hedayat, Amir; Gagnard, Corinne

    2015-02-01

    Laryngeal myasthenia gravis is a relatively rare variant of myasthenia gravis. A vast portion of patients with initial laryngeal myasthenia gravis develop involvement of ocular and/or extra-ocular muscles during the years after symptom onset although a minority of laryngeal myasthenia gravis patients continues to have isolated laryngeal muscle involvement for several years. We present a 58-year-old woman with recurrent episodic isolated dysphonia (associated with diffuse bilateral vocal cord paresis on laryngoscopy) since the age of 32. Dysphonia became permanent since 6 months. A diagnosis of laryngeal myasthenia gravis was made based on abnormal single-fiber electromyography and spectacular response to pyridostigmine treatment. Repetitive nerve stimulation was normal and anti-acetylcholine receptor and anti-muscle specific tyrosine kinase antibodies were absent. This case shows that laryngeal myasthenia gravis can be isolated during 26 years of follow-up. We propose that even when myasthenia gravis seems unlikely as underlying mechanism of isolated dysphonia (because of lack of antibodies, normal repetitive nerve stimulation, and absence of extra-laryngeal involvement after years of follow-up), single-fiber electromyography should be performed and myasthenia gravis treatment should be tried.

  15. Myasthenia Gravis Medication Information Card (Drugs to be Avoided or Used with Caution in Myasthenia Gravis)

    MedlinePlus

    MYASTHENIA GRAVIS MEDICATION INFORMATION CARD Drugs to be Avoided or Used with Caution in MG My Name _______________________________________________ Address ________________________________________________ ... the MGFA web site; reference document “Medications and Myasthenia Gravis (A Reference for Health Care Professionals.” www.myasthenia. ...

  16. Myasthenia gravis: an update for the clinician

    PubMed Central

    Sieb, J P

    2014-01-01

    This paper provides a thorough overview of the current advances in diagnosis and therapy of myasthenia gravis (MG). Nowadays the term ‘myasthenia gravis’ includes heterogeneous autoimmune diseases, with a postsynaptic defect of neuromuscular transmission as the common feature. Myasthenia gravis should be classified according to the antibody specificity [acetylcholine, muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK), low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4), seronegative], thymus histology (thymitis, thymoma, atrophy), age at onset (in children; aged less than or more than 50 years) and type of course (ocular or generalized). With optimal treatment, the prognosis is good in terms of daily functions, quality of life and survival. Symptomatic treatment with acetylcholine esterase inhibition is usually combined with immunosuppression. Azathioprine still remains the first choice for long-term immunosuppressive therapy. Alternative immunosuppressive options to azathioprine include cyclosporin, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus. Rituximab is a promising new drug for severe generalized MG. Emerging therapy options include belimumab, eculizumab and the granulocyte– macrophage colony-stimulating factor. One pilot study on etanercept has given disappointing results. For decades, thymectomy has been performed in younger adults to improve non-paraneoplastic MG. However, controlled prospective studies on the suspected benefit of this surgical procedure are still lacking. In acute exacerbations, including myasthenic crisis, intravenous immunoglobulin, plasmapheresis and immunoadsorption are similarly effective. PMID:24117026

  17. Seronegative Maternal Ocular Myasthenia Gravis and Delayed Transient Neonatal Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Townsel, Courtney; Keller, Rebecca; Johnson, Kendall; Hussain, Naveed; Campbell, Winston A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder with fluctuating muscle weakness, divided into generalized and localized (ocular) forms. Maternal antibodies to acetylcholine receptors cross the placenta and may cause transient neonatal myasthenia gravis (TNMG). We present a case of seronegative maternal ocular MG and delayed TNMG. Case A 29-year-old G3P1011 underwent cesarean birth of a male infant who developed oxygen desaturation requiring supplemental oxygen on day of life (DOL) 3. Based on the clinical course and after exclusion of other diagnoses, the infant was diagnosed with TNMG. Infant's condition improved spontaneously and he was weaned off supplemental oxygen and discharged home on DOL 12. Conclusion Infants born to mothers with seronegative localized (ocular) MG are also susceptible to TNMG which may be late in onset. PMID:26989568

  18. Combined Guillain-Barré syndrome and myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Meng-Ying; Chan, Oi-Wa; Lin, Jainn-Jim; Lin, Kuang-Lin; Hsia, Shao-Hsuan; Wang, Huei-Shyong; Chiu, Cheng-Hsun

    2013-10-01

    Guillain-Barré syndrome and myasthenia gravis both lead to muscle weakness but the two combined is uncommon. Detection of these entities can help identify forms of autoimmune neuromuscular diseases that may respond to immunotherapy. This report sought to characterize the clinical features of these two entities when combined. This report is of a case of combined Guillain-Barré syndrome and myasthenia gravis. The clinical features were analyzed and correlated to those published in English literature from 1960 to 2012. Ten reports and 12 cases, including the present case, were reviewed. There were 12 patients (4 women and 8 men), aged 17 to 84 years, with combined Guillain-Barré syndrome and myasthenia gravis. Four had post-infectious Guillain-Barré syndrome followed by the development of myasthenia gravis concurrently or concomitantly within one month. All cases had symptoms of ptosis and areflexia. The other common presentations were limb weakness, oculobulbar weakness, and respiratory involvement. Functional outcome was mentioned in 10 patients and seven had good outcome (Hughes scale ≤ 2). Detection of ptosis with or without ophthalmoplegia, distribution of limb weakness, and reflex can help in recognizing combined Guillain-Barré syndrome and myasthenia gravis. The early recognition of this combination of peripheral nervous and neuro-muscular junction inflammation is important for initial treatment and prognosis. Copyright © 2012 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. The thymus and myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Ragheb, S; Lisak, R P

    2001-05-01

    Self acetylcholine receptor (AchR) is targeted by a wayward immune response in myasthenia gravis (MG). The current understanding of the pathogenesis of the AChR-directed immune response is reviewed. Furthermore, the thymus is suspected of initiating and perpetuating the disease process in the majority of patients; its role as a central and peripheral lymphoid organ in MG is discussed. MG seems to result from a failure of (1) establishing tolerance to the AChR and (2) regulating the immune response.

  20. Profound Olfactory Dysfunction in Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Leon-Sarmiento, Fidias E.; Bayona, Edgardo A.; Bayona-Prieto, Jaime; Osman, Allen; Doty, Richard L.

    2012-01-01

    In this study we demonstrate that myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease strongly identified with deficient acetylcholine receptor transmission at the post-synaptic neuromuscular junction, is accompanied by a profound loss of olfactory function. Twenty-seven MG patients, 27 matched healthy controls, and 11 patients with polymiositis, a disease with peripheral neuromuscular symptoms analogous to myasthenia gravis with no known central nervous system involvement, were tested. All were administered the University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) and the Picture Identification Test (PIT), a test analogous in content and form to the UPSIT designed to control for non-olfactory cognitive confounds. The UPSIT scores of the myasthenia gravis patients were markedly lower than those of the age- and sex-matched normal controls [respective means (SDs) = 20.15 (6.40) & 35.67 (4.95); p<0.0001], as well as those of the polymiositis patients who scored slightly below the normal range [33.30 (1.42); p<0.0001]. The latter finding, along with direct monitoring of the inhalation of the patients during testing, implies that the MG-related olfactory deficit is unlikely due to difficulties sniffing, per se. All PIT scores were within or near the normal range, although subtle deficits were apparent in both the MG and PM patients, conceivably reflecting influences of mild cognitive impairment. No relationships between performance on the UPSIT and thymectomy, time since diagnosis, type of treatment regimen, or the presence or absence of serum anti-nicotinic or muscarinic antibodies were apparent. Our findings suggest that MG influences olfactory function to the same degree as observed in a number of neurodegenerative diseases in which central nervous system cholinergic dysfunction has been documented. PMID:23082113

  1. Atorvastatin-modified dendritic cells in vitro ameliorate experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis by up-regulated Treg cells and shifted Th1/Th17 to Th2 cytokines.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Li; Liu, Ying; Cao, Li-Li; Li, Heng; Yue, Long-Tao; Wang, Shan; Zhang, Min; Li, Xiu-Hua; Dou, Ying-Chun; Duan, Rui-Sheng

    2013-09-01

    Conventional therapies for autoimmune diseases produce nonspecific immune suppression, which are usually continued lifelong to maintain disease control, and associated with a variety of adverse effects. In this study, we found that spleen-derived dendritic cells (DCs) from the ongoing experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) rats can be induced into tolerogenic DCs by atorvastatin in vitro. Administration of these tolerogenic DCs to EAMG rats on days 5 and 13 post immunization (p.i.) resulted in improved clinical symptoms, which were associated with increased numbers of CD4(+)CD25(+) T regulatory (Treg) cells and Foxp3 expression, decreased lymphocyte proliferation among lymph node mononuclear cells (MNC), shifted cytokine profile from Th1/Th17 to Th2 type cytokines, decreased level of anti-R97-116 peptide (region 97-116 of the rat acetylcholine receptor α subunit) IgG antibody in serum. These tolerogenic DCs can migrate to spleen, thymus, popliteal and inguinal lymph nodes after they were injected into the EAMG rats intraperitoneally. Furthermore, these tolerogenic DCs played their immunomodulatory effects in vivo mainly by decreased expression of CD86 and MHC class II on endogenous DCs. All these data provided us a new strategy to treat EAMG and even human myasthenia gravis (MG). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Complement associated pathogenic mechanisms in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Tüzün, Erdem; Christadoss, Premkumar

    2013-07-01

    The complement system is profoundly involved in the pathogenesis of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody (Ab) related myasthenia gravis (MG) and its animal model experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). The most characteristic finding of muscle pathology in both MG and EAMG is the abundance of IgG and complement deposits at the nerve-muscle junction (NMJ), suggesting that AChR-Ab induces muscle weakness by complement pathway activation and consequent membrane attack complex (MAC) formation. This assumption has been supported with EAMG resistance of complement factor C3 knockout (KO), C4 KO and C5 deficient mice and amelioration of EAMG symptoms following treatment with complement inhibitors such as cobra venom factor, soluble complement receptor 1, anti-C1q, anti-C5 and anti-C6 Abs. Moreover, the complement inhibitor decay accelerating factor (DAF) KO mice exhibit increased susceptibility to EAMG. These findings have brought forward improvisation of novel therapy methods based on inhibition of classical and common complement pathways in MG treatment.

  3. Innate immunity in myasthenia gravis thymus: pathogenic effects of Toll-like receptor 4 signaling on autoimmunity.

    PubMed

    Cordiglieri, Chiara; Marolda, Roberta; Franzi, Sara; Cappelletti, Cristina; Giardina, Carmelo; Motta, Teresio; Baggi, Fulvio; Bernasconi, Pia; Mantegazza, Renato; Cavalcante, Paola

    2014-08-01

    The thymus is the main site of immune sensitization to AChR in myasthenia gravis (MG). In our previous studies we demonstrated that Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 is over-expressed in MG thymuses, suggesting its involvement in altering the thymic microenvironment and favoring autosensitization and autoimmunity maintenance processes, via an effect on local chemokine/cytokine network. Here, we investigated whether TLR4 signaling may favor abnormal cell recruitment in MG thymus via CCL17 and CCL22, two chemokines known to dictate immune cell trafficking in inflamed organs by binding CCR4. We also investigated whether TLR4 activation may contribute to immunodysregulation, via the production of Th17-related cytokines, known to alter effector T cell (Teff)/regulatory T cell (Treg) balance. We found that CCL17, CCL22 and CCR4 were expressed at higher levels in MG compared to normal thymuses. The two chemokines were mainly detected around medullary Hassall's corpuscles (HCs), co-localizing with TLR4(+) thymic epithelial cells (TECs) and CCR4(+) dendritic cells (DCs), that were present in higher number in MG thymuses compared to controls. TLR4 stimulation in MG TECs increased CCL17 and CCL22 expression and induced the production of Th17-related cytokines. Then, to study the effect of TLR4-stimulated TECs on immune cell interactions and Teff activation, we generated an in-vitro imaging model by co-culturing CD4(+) Th1/Th17 AChR-specific T cells, naïve CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs, DCs and TECs from Lewis rats. We observed that TLR4 stimulation led to a more pronounced Teff activatory status, suggesting that TLR4 signaling in MG thymic milieu may affect cell-to-cell interactions, favoring autoreactive T-cell activation. Altogether our findings suggest a role for TLR4 signaling in driving DC recruitment in MG thymus via CCL17 and CCL22, and in generating an inflammatory response that might compromise Treg function, favoring autoreactive T-cell pathogenic responses.

  4. Standardization of the experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) model by immunization of rats with Torpedo californica acetylcholine receptors — Recommendations for methods and experimental designs

    PubMed Central

    Losen, Mario; Martinez-Martinez, Pilar; Molenaar, Peter C.; Lazaridis, Konstantinos; Tzartos, Socrates; Brenner, Talma; Duan, Rui-Sheng; Luo, Jie; Lindstrom, Jon; Kusner, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) with antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is characterized by a chronic, fatigable weakness of voluntary muscles. The production of autoantibodies involves the dysregulation of T cells which provide the environment for the development of autoreactive B cells. The symptoms are caused by destruction of the postsynaptic membrane and degradation of the AChR by IgG autoantibodies, predominantly of the G1 and G3 subclasses. Active immunization of animals with AChR from mammalian muscles, AChR from Torpedo or Electrophorus electric organs, and recombinant or synthetic AChR fragments generates a chronic model of MG, termed experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). This model covers cellular mechanisms involved in the immune response against the AChR, e.g. antigen presentation, T cell-help and regulation, B cell selection and differentiation into plasma cells. Our aim is to define standard operation procedures and recommendations for the rat EAMG model using purified AChR from the Torpedo californica electric organ, in order to facilitate more rapid translation of preclinical proof of concept or efficacy studies into clinical trials and, ultimately, clinical practice. PMID:25796590

  5. Successful use of sugammadex for caesarean section in a patient with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Soyoral, Lokman; Goktas, Ugur; Cegin, Muhammed Bilal; Baydi, Volkan

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by muscle weakness that fluctuates, worsening with exertion, and improving with rest. Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis is made following clinical and physical examination and is confirmed by serum immunoassays to measure autoantibody levels. Myasthenia gravis especially when associated with pregnancy is a high-risk disease, and its course is unpredictable. We described the second report about use of sugammadex after rocuronium for a caesarean delivery with myasthenia gravis, but, unlike our case that formerly was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, the patient was extubated on postoperative successfully and we did not encounter any respiratory problems. Copyright © 2014 Sociedade Brasileira de Anestesiologia. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  6. [Successful use of sugammadex for caesarean section in a patient with myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Soyoral, Lokman; Goktas, Ugur; Cegin, Muhammed Bilal; Baydi, Volkan

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by muscle weakness that fluctuates, worsening with exertion, and improving with rest. Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis is made following clinical and physical examination and is confirmed by serum immunoassays to measure autoantibody levels. Myasthenia gravis especially when associated with pregnancy is a high-risk disease, and its course is unpredictable. We described the second report about use of sugammadex after rocuronium for a caesarean delivery with myasthenia gravis, but, unlike our case that formerly was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, the patient was extubated on postoperative successfully and we did not encounter any respiratory problems. Copyright © 2014 Sociedade Brasileira de Anestesiologia. Publicado por Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  7. Myasthenia gravis developing in an HIV-negative patient with Kaposi's sarcoma.

    PubMed

    Mantero, Vittorio; Mascolo, Maria; Bandettini di Poggio, Monica; Caponnetto, Claudia; Pardini, Matteo

    2013-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a disorder of neuromuscular transmission caused by autoimmune mechanisms. We reported a possible association between seropositive myasthenia gravis and Kaposi's sarcoma in a HIV-negative subject and the observed interactions between the treatment regimen for these two conditions. A 62-year-old man came to our attention for ocular myasthenia gravis. He suffered from a classic form of Kaposi's sarcoma since about 1 year. When myasthenic symptoms worsened, the patient was started on prednisone and azathioprine. The patient had a significant worsening of Kaposi's sarcoma, so prednisone and azathioprine were reduced and he was treated with vinblastine, with improvement both in dermatologic than in neurological symptomatology. We propose some considerations: the potential correlation between Kaposi's sarcoma and myasthenia gravis through immunological mechanism; myasthenia gravis as a paraneoplastic manifestation of Kaposi's sarcoma, and the role of an antitumoral agent as a treatment for both the conditions.

  8. Myasthenia gravis: analysis of serum autoantibody reactivities to 1827 potential human autoantigens by protein macroarrays.

    PubMed

    Becker, Anne; Ludwig, Nicole; Keller, Andreas; Tackenberg, Björn; Eienbröker, Christian; Oertel, Wolfgang H; Fassbender, Klaus; Meese, Eckart; Ruprecht, Klemens

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a disorder of neuromuscular transmission associated with autoantibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. We have previously developed a customized protein macroarray comprising 1827 potential human autoantigens, which permitted to discriminate sera of patients with different cancers from sera of healthy controls, but has not yet been evaluated in antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases. To determine whether autoantibody signatures obtained by protein macroarray separate sera of patients with myasthenia gravis from healthy controls. Sera of patients with acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive myasthenia gravis (n = 25) and healthy controls (n = 32) were analyzed by protein macroarrays comprising 1827 peptide clones. Autoantibody signatures did not separate patients with myasthenia gravis from controls with sufficient sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. Intensity values of one antigen (poly A binding protein cytoplasmic 1, p = 0.0045) were higher in patients with myasthenia gravis, but the relevance of this and two further antigens, 40S ribosomal protein S13 (20.8% vs. 0%, p = 0.011) and proteasome subunit alpha type 1 (25% vs. 3.1%, p = 0.035), which were detected more frequently by myasthenia gravis than by control sera, currently remains uncertain. Seroreactivity profiles of patients with myasthenia gravis detected by a customized protein macroarray did not allow discrimination from healthy controls, compatible with the notion that the autoantibody response in myasthenia gravis is highly focussed against the acetylcholine receptor.

  9. Myasthenia Gravis: Analysis of Serum Autoantibody Reactivities to 1827 Potential Human Autoantigens by Protein Macroarrays

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Andreas; Tackenberg, Björn; Eienbröker, Christian; Oertel, Wolfgang H.; Fassbender, Klaus; Meese, Eckart; Ruprecht, Klemens

    2013-01-01

    Background Myasthenia gravis is a disorder of neuromuscular transmission associated with autoantibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. We have previously developed a customized protein macroarray comprising 1827 potential human autoantigens, which permitted to discriminate sera of patients with different cancers from sera of healthy controls, but has not yet been evaluated in antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases. Objective To determine whether autoantibody signatures obtained by protein macroarray separate sera of patients with myasthenia gravis from healthy controls. Methods Sera of patients with acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive myasthenia gravis (n = 25) and healthy controls (n = 32) were analyzed by protein macroarrays comprising 1827 peptide clones. Results Autoantibody signatures did not separate patients with myasthenia gravis from controls with sufficient sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. Intensity values of one antigen (poly A binding protein cytoplasmic 1, p = 0.0045) were higher in patients with myasthenia gravis, but the relevance of this and two further antigens, 40S ribosomal protein S13 (20.8% vs. 0%, p = 0.011) and proteasome subunit alpha type 1 (25% vs. 3.1%, p = 0.035), which were detected more frequently by myasthenia gravis than by control sera, currently remains uncertain. Conclusion Seroreactivity profiles of patients with myasthenia gravis detected by a customized protein macroarray did not allow discrimination from healthy controls, compatible with the notion that the autoantibody response in myasthenia gravis is highly focussed against the acetylcholine receptor. PMID:23483977

  10. SURGICAL TREATMENT OF MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

    PubMed Central

    Snyder, William H.

    1949-01-01

    On the basis of statistics, total thymectomy should be considered for the treatment of myasthenia gravis if the disease is severe and response to well regulated medical management is unsatisfactory. That improvement follows the operation in many cases, particularly if symptoms are of recent development, is indicated by reports in the literature. Of two patients operated upon by the author, one whose symptoms were of short duration was benefited objectively and subjectively; the other, in whom symptoms had existed seven years, said she felt better but there was no objective evidence of improvement. Patients should be told beforehand of the operative risks involved and the uncertainty of prognosis following the procedure. ImagesFigure 1 PMID:18109366

  11. Congenital myasthenic syndromes and transient myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Gajda, Anna; Szabó, Hajnalka; Gergev, Gyurgyinka; Karcagi, Veronika; Szabó, Nóra; Endreffy, Emoke; Túri, Sándor; Sztriha, László

    2013-05-30

    Hypotonia in the neonatal period and early infancy is a common clinical finding. It can be caused by various heterogeneous disorders of different origin which might lead to diagnostic difficulties. Disorders of the neuromuscular junction, such as congenital myasthenic syndromes and neonatal transient myasthenia gravis are among the aetiologies. We report on a case of congenital myasthenia caused by mutation in the long cytoplasmic loop of the epsilon subunit of the acetylcholine receptor and a neonate of a myasthenic mother diagnosed with transient myasthenia gravis.

  12. Acquired myasthenia gravis associated with oral sarcoma in a dog.

    PubMed

    Stepaniuk, Kevin; Legendre, Loïc; Watson, Shelby

    2011-01-01

    Acquired myasthenia gravis is a common neuromuscular disorder resulting from autoantibody directed against the post-synaptic acetylcholine nicotinic receptors in skeletal muscle. Myasthenia gravis has been reported previously as a paraneoplastic syndrome. This case report presents myasthenia gravis secondary to an oral sarcoma in a juvenile Mastiffdog.

  13. Protective molecular mimicry in experimental myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Im, Sin Hyeog; Barchan, Dora; Feferman, Tali; Raveh, Lily; Souroujon, Miriam C; Fuchs, Sara

    2002-05-01

    Protein databases were searched for microbial sequences that bear amino acid similarities with identified T- or B-cell epitopes within the human alpha-subunit of acetylcholine receptor (AChR). One peptide, derived from Haemophilus influenzae, exhibits 50% homology to an identified T-cell epitope of AChR alpha-subunit. This peptide was shown to have a protective effect in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Pretreatment of rats with the mimicry peptide attenuated the induction and progression of EAMG. These effects were accompanied by a reduced T-cell response to AChR, diminished IL-2, IL-12, IFN-gamma and IL-4 levels, as well as decreased humoral response to self-AChR.

  14. Apolipoprotein-E genotypes and myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Suhail, Hamid; Soundararajan, Christhunesa C; Vivekanandhan, Subbiah; Singh, Sumit; Behari, Madhuri

    2010-01-01

    Autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is a disorder of neuromuscular junction. Possible role of multiple genes in the development of the MG has been documented. This case-control study, studied the association of apolipoprotein E (Apo-E) alleles with MG. Anti-AChR antibody was measured using radio receptor immunoassay. Apo-E genotypes were analyzed in 120 MG patients and 120 healthy subjects. Comparison between patients with MG and controls showed no significant association with Apo-E allelic variants. However, a significant association of Apo-E4 allele with AChR-antibody positive patients was observed (P = 0.007). Also, among seropositive patients, a significant association was seen between female gender and Apo-E4 allele (P = 0.023). Our results suggest that the presence of Apo-E4 allele might influence seropositive status in patients with MG and seems an associated susceptible factor in female patients.

  15. Metaplastic thymoma with myasthenia gravis presumably caused by an accumulation of intratumoral immature T cells: a case report.

    PubMed

    Tajima, Shogo; Yanagiya, Masahiro; Sato, Masaaki; Nakajima, Jun; Fukayama, Masashi

    2015-01-01

    Among human neoplasms, thymomas are well known for their association with paraneoplastic autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis. However, regarding rare metaplastic thymoma, only one case of an association with myasthenia gravis has been reported. Here, we present the second case of a 44-year-old woman with metaplastic thymoma associated with myasthenia gravis. In metaplastic thymoma, intratumoral terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-positive T-cells (immature T-cells) are generally scarce, while they were abundant in the present case. We believe that these immature T-cells could be related to the occurrence of myasthenia gravis.

  16. [Expression of heat shock protein 90 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of children with myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Liu, Run-Ning; Huang, Zhi

    2009-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmunity disease and its pathogenesis has not been fully identified. Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) shows an abnormal expression in other autoimmunity diseases. This study examined the mRNA expression of two isoforms of HSP90 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and serum cortisol content in children with myasthenia gravis. Thirty-six children with myasthenia gravis and 19 healthy children were enrolled. Serum cortisol content was measured by the chemiluminescence assay. The expression of HSP90alpha and HSP90beta mRNA in PBMC was detected by the RT-PCR technique. The mRNA expression of HSP90alpha (0.7329+/- 0.2120) and HSP90beta (0.7193+/- 0.2869) in children with myasthenia gravis was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (0.5574+/- 0.2084 and 0.4892+/- 0.2104 respectively) (P<0.01). Serum cortisol content (285.04+/- 146.39 nmol/L) in children with myasthenia gravis was also higher than that in the healthy controls (196.25+/- 64.52 nmol/L) (P<0.01). The high mRNA expression of HSP90alpha and HSP90beta in PBMC might be associated with the development of myasthenia gravis. The high serum cortisol level indicates a high stress state or might be correlated to the glucocorticoid receptor abnormality in children with myasthenia gravis.

  17. Epitope-specific suppression of antibody response in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis by a monomethoxypolyethylene glycol conjugate of a myasthenogenic synthetic peptide.

    PubMed Central

    Atassi, M Z; Ruan, K H; Jinnai, K; Oshima, M; Ashizawa, T

    1992-01-01

    A synthetic peptide corresponding to a myasthenogenic region of Torpedo californica acetylcholine (AcCho) receptor (AcChoR) alpha subunit, AcChoR alpha-(125-148), was conjugated to monomethoxypolyethylene glycol (mPEG). Injection of mice with the mPEG-AcChoR alpha-(125-148) conjugate and subsequent immunization with whole Torpedo AcChoR suppressed the development of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) by electrophysiological criteria. In anti-AcChoR sera from these animals, the antibody response against unconjugated AcChoR alpha-(125-148) was decreased, while the antibody responses against whole AcChoR and other epitopes were not altered. There were no detectable changes in T-cell proliferation responses to AcChoR alpha-(125-148) or to whole AcChoR in these animals. Prior injections with a "nonsense" peptide-mPEG conjugate had no effect on responses to the subsequent immunization with whole Torpedo AcChoR. The results indicate that the mPEG-AcChoR alpha-(125-148) conjugate has epitope-specific tolerogenicity for antibody responses in EAMG and that the AcChoR alpha-subunit region comprising residues 125-148 plays an important pathophysiological role in EAMG. The epitope-directed tolerogenic conjugates may be useful for future immunotherapies of human myasthenia gravis. The strategy of specific suppression of the antibody response to a predetermined epitope by using a synthetic mPEG-peptide conjugate may prove useful in manipulation and suppression of unwanted immune responses such as autoimmunity and allergy. PMID:1378618

  18. CD1d(hi)CD5+ B cells expanded by GM-CSF in vivo suppress experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Jian Rong; Quan, Songhua; Soliven, Betty

    2014-09-15

    IL-10-competent subset within CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells, also known as B10 cells, has been shown to regulate autoimmune diseases. Whether B10 cells can prevent or suppress the development of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) has not been studied. In this study, we investigated whether low-dose GM-CSF, which suppresses EAMG, can expand B10 cells in vivo, and whether adoptive transfer of CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells would prevent or suppress EAMG. We found that treatment of EAMG mice with low-dose GM-CSF increased the proportion of CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells and B10 cells. In vitro coculture studies revealed that CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells altered T cell cytokine profile but did not directly inhibit T cell proliferation. In contrast, CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells inhibited B cell proliferation and its autoantibody production in an IL-10-dependent manner. Adoptive transfer of CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells to mice could prevent disease, as well as suppress EAMG after disease onset. This was associated with downregulation of mature dendritic cell markers and expansion of regulatory T cells resulting in the suppression of acetylcholine receptor-specific T cell and B cell responses. Thus, our data have provided significant insight into the mechanisms underlying the tolerogenic effects of B10 cells in EAMG. These observations suggest that in vivo or in vitro expansion of CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells or B10 cells may represent an effective strategy in the treatment of human myasthenia gravis.

  19. Extraocular Muscle Characteristics Related to Myasthenia Gravis Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guiping; Li, Jie; Gou, Lin; Zhang, Lihua; Miao, Jianting; Li, Zhuyi

    2013-01-01

    Background The pathogenesis of extraocular muscle (EOM) weakness in myasthenia gravis might involve a mechanism specific to the EOM. The aim of this study was to investigate characteristics of the EOM related to its susceptibility to myasthenia gravis. Methods Female F344 rats and female Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received injection with Ringer solution containing monoclonal antibody against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), mAb35 (0.25 mg/kg), to induce experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis, and the control group received injection with Ringer solution alone. Three muscles were analyzed: EOM, diaphragm, and tibialis anterior. Tissues were examined by light microscopy, fluorescence histochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. Western blot analysis was used to assess marker expression and ELISA analysis was used to quantify creatine kinase levels. Microarray assay was conducted to detect differentially expressed genes. Results In the experimental group, the EOM showed a simpler neuromuscular junction (NMJ) structure compared to the other muscles; the NMJ had fewer synaptic folds, showed a lesser amount of AChR, and the endplate was wider compared to the other muscles. Results of microarray assay showed differential expression of 54 genes in the EOM between the experimental and control groups. Conclusion Various EOM characteristics appear to be related to the increased susceptibility of the EOM and the mechanism of EOM weakness in myasthenia gravis. PMID:23409007

  20. Reflections on the "intrathymic pathogenesis" of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Hohlfeld, Reinhard; Wekerle, Hartmut

    2008-09-15

    The beneficial effects of thymectomy argue for a causal role of the thymus in myasthenia gravis (MG). The MG thymus contains acetylcholine receptor (AChR), which is expressed by myoid cells (whole AChR), and by medullary thymic epithelial cells (AChR subunits). The myoid cells are closely associated with antigen-presenting dendritic cells, helper T cells, and antibody-producing B cells in lymphoid follicles ("lymphofollicular hyperplasia"). Thus, all the cellular components required to initiate and maintain an autoimmune response to AChR are present in the MG thymus. It is unlikely that the cellular alterations in the thymus are secondary to an ongoing peripheral immune response, because they are absent in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

  1. Myasthenia gravis in a patient affected by glycogen storage disease type Ib: a further manifestation of an increased risk for autoimmune disorders?

    PubMed

    Melis, D; Balivo, F; Della Casa, R; Romano, A; Taurisano, R; Capaldo, B; Riccardi, G; Monsurrò, M R; Parenti, G; Andria, G

    2008-12-01

    Glycogen storage disease type Ib (GSD Ib, OMIM 232220) is an inborn disorder of glucose metabolism, caused by mutations in the G6PT gene, encoding a glucose 6-phosphate transporter (G6PT). GSD Ib is mainly associated with fasting hypoglycaemia and hepatomegaly. Most GSD Ib patients also show neutropenia and neutrophil dysfunction and therefore are at risk of developing severe infections and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). An increased risk for autoimmune disorders, such as thyroid autoimmunity and Crohn-like disease, has also been demonstrated, but no systematic study on the prevalence of autoimmune disorders in GSD Ib patients has ever been performed. We describe a 25-year-old patient affected by GSD Ib who developed 'seronegative' myasthenia gravis (MG), presenting with bilateral eyelid ptosis, diplopia, dysarthria, severe dysphagia, dyspnoea and fatigue. The repetitive stimulation of peripheral nerves test showed signs of exhaustion of neuromuscular transmission, particularly evident in the cranial area. Even in the absence of identifiable anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies, seronegative MG is considered an autoimmune disorder and may be related to the disturbed immune function observed in GSD Ib patients.

  2. Sensory aspects in myasthenia gravis: A translational approach.

    PubMed

    Leon-Sarmiento, Fidias E; Leon-Ariza, Juan S; Prada, Diddier; Leon-Ariza, Daniel S; Rizzo-Sierra, Carlos V

    2016-09-15

    Myasthenia gravis is a paradigmatic muscle disorder characterized by abnormal fatigue and muscle weakness that worsens with activities and improves with rest. Clinical and research studies done on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors have advanced our knowledge of the muscle involvement in myasthenia. Current views still state that sensory deficits are not "features of myasthenia gravis". This article discusses the gap that exists on sensory neural transmission in myasthenia that has remained after >300years of research in this neurological disorder. We outline the neurobiological characteristics of sensory and motor synapses, reinterpret the nanocholinergic commonalities that exist in both sensory and motor pathways, discuss the clinical findings on altered sensory pathways in myasthenia, and propose a novel way to score anomalies resulting from multineuronal inability associated sensory troubles due to eugenic nanocholinergic instability and autoimmunity. This medicine-based evidence could serve as a template to further identify novel targets for studying new medications that may offer a better therapeutic benefit in both sensory and motor dysfunction for patients. Importantly, this review may help to re-orient current practices in myasthenia.

  3. Immune disease and HLA associations with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Behan, P O

    1980-07-01

    In the late 1950's laboratory and clinical evidence suggested that myasthenia gravis was an autoimmune disorder. Since then a voluminous literature has developed documenting the many immunological abnormalities that occur in this condition. Recent findings point to a central disorder of immunoregulation. It is postulated that the disease occurs as a result of host genetic and environmental influences-the latter being, as yet unidentified and possibly a virus.

  4. Immune disease and HLA associations with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Behan, P O

    1980-01-01

    In the late 1950's laboratory and clinical evidence suggested that myasthenia gravis was an autoimmune disorder. Since then a voluminous literature has developed documenting the many immunological abnormalities that occur in this condition. Recent findings point to a central disorder of immunoregulation. It is postulated that the disease occurs as a result of host genetic and environmental influences-the latter being, as yet unidentified and possibly a virus. PMID:6967515

  5. Extraocular muscle surgery in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Acheson, J F; Elston, J S; Lee, J P; Fells, P

    1991-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is typically a disease of young people in active employment who need a field of binocular single vision. Although it is systemically controllable with a good chance of spontaneous remission, persistent loss of binocularity may cause chronic disability. We report our experience of extraocular muscle surgery in five patients with stable myasthenia gravis and persistent double vision. Extraocular muscle involvement was selective, giving rise to incomitant and concomitant squints, with individual muscle overactions as well as underactions. Treatment was by conventional recession and resection procedures with the additional use of Faden and adjustable sutures where appropriate. In all five cases a larger, stable field of binocular single vision was established. It is concluded that extraocular muscle surgery may be beneficial in selected cases of myasthenia gravis. PMID:2021593

  6. Refractory myasthenia gravis - clinical profile, comorbidities and response to rituximab.

    PubMed

    Sudulagunta, Sreenivasa Rao; Sepehrar, Mona; Sodalagunta, Mahesh Babu; Settikere Nataraju, Aravinda; Bangalore Raja, Shiva Kumar; Sathyanarayana, Deepak; Gummadi, Siddharth; Burra, Hemanth Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an antibody mediated autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by fatigable muscle weakness. A proportion of myasthenia gravis patients are classified as refractory due to non responsiveness to conventional treatment. This retrospective study was done to evaluate clinical profile, epidemiological, laboratory, and features of patients with MG and mode of management using rituximab and complications. Methods: Data of myasthenia gravis patients admitted or presented to outpatient department (previous medical records) with MG between January 2008 and January 2016 were included. A total of 512 patients fulfilled the clinical and diagnostic criteria of myasthenia gravis of which 76 patients met the diagnostic certainty for refractory myasthenia gravis and were evaluated. Results: Out of 76 refractory MG patients, 53 (69.73%) patients fulfilled all the three defined criteria. The median age of onset of the refractory MG group was 36 years with a range of 27-53 years. In our study 25 patients (32.89%) belonged to the age group of 21-30 years. Anti-MuSK antibodies were positive in 8 non-refractory MG patients (2.06%) and 36 refractory MG patients (47.36%). Mean HbA1C was found to be 8.6±2.33. The dose of administered prednisone decreased by a mean of 59.7% (p=3.3x10(-8)) to 94.6% (p=2.2x10(-14)) after the third cycle of rituximab treatment. Conclusion: The refractory MG patients are most commonly female with an early age of onset, anti-MuSK antibodies, and thymomas. Refractory MG patients have higher prevalence and poor control (HbA1C >8%) of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia probably due to increased steroid usage. Rituximab is very efficient in treatment of refractory MG with adverse effects being low.

  7. Specific Immunotherapy of Experimental Myasthenia Gravis by A Novel Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Jie; Kuryatov, Alexander; Lindstrom, Jon

    2009-01-01

    Objective Myasthenia gravis (MG) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), are antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases, in which autoantibodies bind to and cause loss of muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) at the neuromuscular junction. To develop a specific immunotherapy of MG, we treated rats with ongoing EAMG by intraperitoneal injection of bacterially-expressed human muscle AChR constructs. Methods Rats with ongoing EAMG received intraperitoneal treatment with the constructs weekly for 5 weeks beginning after the acute phase. Autoantibody concentration, subclassification, and specificity were analyzed to address underlying therapeutic mechanism. Results EAMG was specifically suppressed by diverting autoantibody production away from pathologically relevant specificities directed at epitopes on the extracellular surface of muscle AChRs toward pathologically irrelevant epitopes on the cytoplasmic domain. A mixture of subunit cytoplasmic domains was more effective than a mixture containing both extracellular and cytoplasmic domains or than only the extracellular domain of α1 subunits. Interpretation Therapy using only cytoplasmic domains, which lack pathologically relevant epitopes, avoids the potential liability of boosting the pathological response. Use of a mixture of bacterially-expressed human muscle AChR cytoplasmic domains for antigen-specific immunosuppression of myasthenia gravis has the potential to be specific, robust, and safe. PMID:20437579

  8. [Myasthenia gravis and autoantibodies: Pathophysiology of the different subtypes].

    PubMed

    Berrih-Aknin, S; Le Panse, R

    2014-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis is characterized by muscle weakness and abnormal fatigability. It is an autoimmune disease caused by the presence of antibodies against components of the muscle membrane localized at the neuromuscular junction. In most cases, the autoantibodies are directed against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Recently, other targets have been described, such as muscle-specific kinase protein (MuSK) or lipoprotein related protein 4 (LRP4). The origin of the autoimmune response is not known, but thymic abnormalities and defects in immune regulation certainly play a major role in patients with anti-AChR antibodies. Genetic predisposition probably influences the occurrence of the disease. Sex hormones seem to play a role in the early form of the disease. Muscle weakness is fluctuating and worsens with exercise. Myasthenia gravis could be classified according to the location of the affected muscles (ocular versus generalized), the age of onset of symptoms, thymic abnormalities and profile of autoantibodies. These criteria are used to optimize the management and treatment of patients. In this review, we analyze the latest concepts of the pathophysiology of myasthenia gravis according to the different subgroups of the disease, including a description of the role of immunological, genetic and environmental factors. The potential viral hypothesis of this disease is discussed. Finally, we also discuss the biological assays available to validate the diagnosis.

  9. Emergency Management of Myasthenia Gravis

    MedlinePlus

    ... to weakened throat muscles and accumulated secretions. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF MG The MGFA mission is to facilitate ... fax mgfa@myasthenia.org • www.myasthenia.org EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OF MG Emergency Management Important information for the ...

  10. [The history of myasthenia gravis. Men and ideas.

    PubMed

    Mimenza-Alvarado, A; Tellez-Zenteno, Jf; Garcia-Ramos, G; Estañol, B

    2007-06-28

    The first description of a patient with myasthenia gravis was done by Thomas Willis (1621-1675). He was an eminent professor of natural history at Oxford University who also described the arteries of the brain and made the first precise drawings of it. At the present time myasthenia gravis is considered one of the most well described autoimmune diseases with great advances in its diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment. In this review we summarize the most important events and ideas in the history of this disease since the original description by Willis; mention the most important clinicians, anatomists and physiologists that were concerned with its understanding and make reference of some the most recent advances in its diagnosis and treatment and finally discuss some present controversies. Neurología 2007;22(0):0-0.

  11. Acquired myasthenia gravis in a poodle.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Danielle

    2011-02-01

    An 11-year-old, spayed female, teacup poodle was evaluated for a chronic cough, lethargy, hindlimb weakness, and reluctance to exercise. Thoracic radiographs revealed megaesophagus and aspiration pneumonia. Serum antibodies against acetylcholine receptors confirmed the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. The unusual clinical history and case outcome are discussed.

  12. Association of myasthenia gravis and Behçet's disease: A case report.

    PubMed

    Kisabay, Aysin; Sari, Ummu Serpil; Boyaci, Recep; Batum, Melike; Yilmaz, Hikmet; Selcuki, Deniz

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a disease of neuromuscular junction due to auto-immune destruction of the acetylcholine receptors. Behçet's disease, on the other hand, is a multisystemic vascular-inflammatory disease. Both conditions are not common in the general population although their association has not been reported in the literature. We wanted to present our patient who developed clinical course of myasthenia gravis following discontinuation of medications due to complications of corticosteroid for Behçet's disease. It was observed that clinical findings of myasthenia gravis recovered following restarting steroid treatment and he did not experience attacks of both conditions. Although Myasthenia gravis and Behçet's disease are distinct entities clinically as well as in terms of pathogenesis, they share common physiopathological features and their treatment is based on their common features.

  13. Early onset bilateral juvenile myasthenia gravis masquerading as simple congenital ptosis.

    PubMed

    Alam, Md Shahid; Devi Nivean, Pratheeba

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction. Ocular myasthenia gravis presents as ptosis with extraocular motility restriction and is prone to be misdiagnosed as third nerve palsy or congenital or aponeurotic ptosis. Juvenile ocular myasthenia gravis in very young children is difficult to diagnose and can be easily labeled as a case of congenital ptosis, the more so when the condition is bilateral. We present a case of a two-year-old child who presented with bilateral ptosis and was diagnosed as a case of simple congenital ptosis elsewhere with the advice to undergo tarsofrontalis sling surgery. The child was diagnosed with juvenile myasthenia gravis on thorough history, examination, and systemic evaluation and was started on anti-myasthenic treatment.

  14. Early onset bilateral juvenile myasthenia gravis masquerading as simple congenital ptosis

    PubMed Central

    Alam, Md. Shahid; Devi Nivean, Pratheeba

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction. Ocular myasthenia gravis presents as ptosis with extraocular motility restriction and is prone to be misdiagnosed as third nerve palsy or congenital or aponeurotic ptosis. Juvenile ocular myasthenia gravis in very young children is difficult to diagnose and can be easily labeled as a case of congenital ptosis, the more so when the condition is bilateral. We present a case of a two-year-old child who presented with bilateral ptosis and was diagnosed as a case of simple congenital ptosis elsewhere with the advice to undergo tarsofrontalis sling surgery. The child was diagnosed with juvenile myasthenia gravis on thorough history, examination, and systemic evaluation and was started on anti-myasthenic treatment. PMID:28293536

  15. Treatment of myasthenia gravis: focus on pyridostigmine.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Lorenzo; Mantegazza, Renato

    2011-10-01

    Acquired myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder of the neuromuscular junction, characterized clinically by muscle weakness and abnormal fatigability on exertion. Current guidelines and recommendations for MG treatment are based largely on clinical experience, retrospective analyses and expert consensus. Available therapies include oral acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitors for symptomatic treatment, and short- and long-term disease-modifying treatments. This review focuses on treatment of MG, mainly on the use of the AChE inhibitor pyridostigmine. Despite a lack of data from well controlled clinical trials to support their use, AChE inhibitors, of which pyridostigmine is the most commonly used, are recommended as first-line therapy for MG. Pyridostigmine has been used as a treatment for MG for over 50 years and is generally considered safe. It is suitable as a long-term treatment in patients with generalized non-progressive milder disease, and as an adjunctive therapy in patients with severe disease who are also receiving immunotherapy. Novel AChE inhibitors with oral antisense oligonucleotides have been developed and preliminary results appear to be promising. In general, however, AChE inhibitors provide only partial benefit and most patients eventually switch to long-term immunosuppressive therapies, most frequently corticosteroids and/or azathioprine. Although AChE inhibitors are known to be well tolerated and effective in relieving the symptoms of MG, further efforts are required to improve treatment options for the management of this disorder.

  16. Biological implications of thymectomy for myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Okumura, Meinoshin; Inoue, Masayoshi; Kadota, Yoshihisa; Hayashi, Akio; Tokunaga, Toshiteru; Kusu, Takashi; Sawabata, Noriyoshi; Shiono, Hiroyuki

    2010-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated by autoantibodies to the striated muscle tissue. It is often treated by thymectomy. We review recent studies to investigate the biological implications of thymectomy. In anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody (anti-AchR Ab)-positive patients without a thymoma, abnormal germinal center formation in the thymus seems to play an essential role in the pathogenesis of MG. Specific differentiation of B cells producing anti-AchR Ab takes place uniquely in the thymus, and thymectomy is thought to assist in terminating the provision of high-affinity anti-AchR antibody-producing cells to peripheral organs. Thymectomy is not indicated for anti-AchR Ab-negative MG patients who are antimuscle specific kinase antibody (anti-MuSK Ab)-positive, although some anti-MuSK Ab-negative patients may benefit from the procedure. A thymoma can be considered as an acquired thymus with insufficient function of negative selection. The resection of a thymoma is thought to terminate the production of self-reactive T cells. Thus, the biological implications of thymectomy for MG have been partially revealed. Nevertheless, additional studies are needed to elucidate the ontogeny of T cells that recognize AchR and the mechanism of the activation of anti-AchR antibodies producing B cells.

  17. [Thymic abnormalities in patients with myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Utsugisawa, Kimiaki; Nagane, Yuriko

    2011-07-01

    Thymic abnormalities were first noticed at autopsies of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) more than 100 years ago. The thymus is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of MG, an autoimmune disease mediated by antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) of skeletal muscles. Production of these antibodies in B cells is T cell dependent. T cells potentially specific for AChR are probably generated in the thymus via nontolerogenic thymopoiesis by an aberrant function of thymic epithelial cells. However, generation of these AChR-specific T cells is not the cause of MG, because these cells are also found in healthy individuals. The pathogenetic step in MG involves the activation of these potentially AChR-specific T cells; this activation is the trigger to develop the disease and a therapeutic target. The intra-thymic activation of AChR-specific T cells is probably limited to particular types of MG patients: those with early-onset MG in whom the thymus exhibits lymphofollicular hyperplasia (TLFH) and a few patients in whom MG is associated with a thymoma. The majority of thymomas and atrophic thymuses of patients with late-onset MG, an increasingly common condition, do not exhibit this T cell-activation process. In this paper, we review the available literature on thymic changes (TLFH, thymoma, and atrophic thymus) and the relationship of these changes to the pathogenesis of MG.

  18. Randomized Trial of Thymectomy in Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Gil I; Kaminski, Henry J; Aban, Inmaculada B; Minisman, Greg; Kuo, Hui-Chien; Marx, Alexander; Ströbel, Philipp; Mazia, Claudio; Oger, Joel; Cea, J Gabriel; Heckmann, Jeannine M; Evoli, Amelia; Nix, Wilfred; Ciafaloni, Emma; Antonini, Giovanni; Witoonpanich, Rawiphan; King, John O; Beydoun, Said R; Chalk, Colin H; Barboi, Alexandru C; Amato, Anthony A; Shaibani, Aziz I; Katirji, Bashar; Lecky, Bryan R F; Buckley, Camilla; Vincent, Angela; Dias-Tosta, Elza; Yoshikawa, Hiroaki; Waddington-Cruz, Márcia; Pulley, Michael T; Rivner, Michael H; Kostera-Pruszczyk, Anna; Pascuzzi, Robert M; Jackson, Carlayne E; Garcia Ramos, Guillermo S; Verschuuren, Jan J G M; Massey, Janice M; Kissel, John T; Werneck, Lineu C; Benatar, Michael; Barohn, Richard J; Tandan, Rup; Mozaffar, Tahseen; Conwit, Robin; Odenkirchen, Joanne; Sonett, Joshua R; Jaretzki, Alfred; Newsom-Davis, John; Cutter, Gary R

    2016-08-11

    Thymectomy has been a mainstay in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, but there is no conclusive evidence of its benefit. We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial comparing thymectomy plus prednisone with prednisone alone. We compared extended transsternal thymectomy plus alternate-day prednisone with alternate-day prednisone alone. Patients 18 to 65 years of age who had generalized nonthymomatous myasthenia gravis with a disease duration of less than 5 years were included if they had Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America clinical class II to IV disease (on a scale from I to V, with higher classes indicating more severe disease) and elevated circulating concentrations of acetylcholine-receptor antibody. The primary outcomes were the time-weighted average Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis score (on a scale from 0 to 39, with higher scores indicating more severe disease) over a 3-year period, as assessed by means of blinded rating, and the time-weighted average required dose of prednisone over a 3-year period. A total of 126 patients underwent randomization between 2006 and 2012 at 36 sites. Patients who underwent thymectomy had a lower time-weighted average Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis score over a 3-year period than those who received prednisone alone (6.15 vs. 8.99, P<0.001); patients in the thymectomy group also had a lower average requirement for alternate-day prednisone (44 mg vs. 60 mg, P<0.001). Fewer patients in the thymectomy group than in the prednisone-only group required immunosuppression with azathioprine (17% vs. 48%, P<0.001) or were hospitalized for exacerbations (9% vs. 37%, P<0.001). The number of patients with treatment-associated complications did not differ significantly between groups (P=0.73), but patients in the thymectomy group had fewer treatment-associated symptoms related to immunosuppressive medications (P<0.001) and lower distress levels related to symptoms (P=0.003). Thymectomy improved clinical outcomes over a 3-year period in

  19. Randomized Trial of Thymectomy in Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Wolfe, G.I.; Kaminski, H.J.; Aban, I.B.; Minisman, G.; Kuo, H.-C.; Marx, A.; Ströbel, P.; Mazia, C.; Oger, J.; Cea, J.G.; Heckmann, J.M.; Evoli, A.; Nix, W.; Ciafaloni, E.; Antonini, G.; Witoonpanich, R.; King, J.O.; Beydoun, S.R.; Chalk, C.H.; Barboi, A.C.; Amato, A.A.; Shaibani, A.I.; Katirji, B.; Lecky, B.R.F.; Buckley, C.; Vincent, A.; Dias-Tosta, E.; Yoshikawa, H.; Waddington-Cruz, M.; Pulley, M.T.; Rivner, M.H.; Kostera-Pruszczyk, A.; Pascuzzi, R.M.; Jackson, C.E.; Ramos, G.S. Garcia; Verschuuren, J.J.G.M.; Massey, J.M.; Kissel, J.T.; Werneck, L.C.; Benatar, M.; Barohn, R.J.; Tandan, R.; Mozaffar, T.; Conwit, R.; Odenkirchen, J.; Sonett, J.R.; Jaretzki, A.; Newsom-Davis, J.; Cutter, G.R.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Thymectomy has been a mainstay in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, but there is no conclusive evidence of its benefit. We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial comparing thymectomy plus prednisone with prednisone alone. METHODS We compared extended transsternal thymectomy plus alternate-day prednisone with alternate-day prednisone alone. Patients 18 to 65 years of age who had generalized nonthymomatous myasthenia gravis with a disease duration of less than 5 years were included if they had Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America clinical class II to IV disease (on a scale from I to V, with higher classes indicating more severe disease) and elevated circulating concentrations of acetylcholine-receptor antibody. The primary outcomes were the time-weighted average Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis score (on a scale from 0 to 39, with higher scores indicating more severe disease) over a 3-year period, as assessed by means of blinded rating, and the time-weighted average required dose of prednisone over a 3-year period. RESULTS A total of 126 patients underwent randomization between 2006 and 2012 at 36 sites. Patients who underwent thymectomy had a lower time-weighted average Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis score over a 3-year period than those who received prednisone alone (6.15 vs. 8.99, P<0.001); patients in the thymectomy group also had a lower average requirement for alternate-day prednisone (44 mg vs. 60 mg, P<0.001). Fewer patients in the thymectomy group than in the prednisone-only group required immunosuppression with azathioprine (17% vs. 48%, P<0.001) or were hospitalized for exacerbations (9% vs. 37%, P<0.001). The number of patients with treatment-associated complications did not differ significantly between groups (P=0.73), but patients in the thymectomy group had fewer treatment-associated symptoms related to immunosuppressive medications (P<0.001) and lower distress levels related to symptoms (P=0.003). CONCLUSIONS Thymectomy improved

  20. Unusual association of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and myasthenia gravis: A dysregulation of the adaptive immune system?

    PubMed

    Del Mar Amador, Maria; Vandenberghe, Nadia; Berhoune, Nawel; Camdessanché, Jean-Philippe; Gronier, Sophie; Delmont, Emilien; Desnuelle, Claude; Cintas, Pascal; Pittion, Sophie; Louis, Sarah; Demeret, Sophie; Lenglet, Timothée; Meininger, Vincent; Salachas, François; Pradat, Pierre-François; Bruneteau, Gaëlle

    2016-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder affecting neuromuscular junctions that has been associated with a small increased risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Here, we describe a retrospective series of seven cases with a concomitant diagnosis of ALS and myasthenia gravis, collected among the 18 French reference centers for ALS in a twelve year period. After careful review, only six patients strictly met the diagnostic criteria for both ALS and myasthenia gravis. In these patients, limb onset of ALS was reported in five (83%) cases. Localization of myasthenia gravis initial symptoms was ocular in three (50%) cases, generalized in two (33%) and bulbar in one (17%). Median delay between onset of the two conditions was 19 months (6-319 months). Anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies testing was positive in all cases. All patients were treated with riluzole and one had an associated immune-mediated disease. In the one last ALS case, the final diagnosis was false-positivity for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies. The co-occurrence of ALS and myasthenia gravis is rare and requires strict diagnostic criteria. Its demonstration needs thoughtful interpretation of electrophysiological results and exclusion of false positivity for myasthenia gravis antibody testing in some ALS cases. This association may be triggered by a dysfunction of adaptive immunity.

  1. Deficits in endogenous adenosine formation by ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 impair neuromuscular transmission and immune competence in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Laura; Correia, Alexandra; Cristina Costa, Ana; Guerra-Gomes, Sónia; Ferreirinha, Fátima; Magalhães-Cardoso, Maria Teresa; Vilanova, Manuel; Correia-de-Sá, Paulo

    2015-01-01

    AMP dephosphorylation via ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 is the rate limiting step to generate extracellular adenosine (ADO) from released adenine nucleotides. ADO, via A2A receptors (A2ARs), is a potent modulator of neuromuscular and immunological responses. The pivotal role of ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73, in controlling extracellular ADO formation, prompted us to investigate its role in a rat model of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Results show that CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells express lower amounts of ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 as compared to controls. Reduction of endogenous ADO formation might explain why proliferation of CD4(+) T cells failed upon blocking A2A receptors activation with ZM241385 or adenosine deaminase in EAMG animals. Deficits in ADO also contribute to neuromuscular transmission failure in EAMG rats. Rehabilitation of A2AR-mediated immune suppression and facilitation of transmitter release were observed by incubating the cells with the nucleoside precursor, AMP. These findings, together with the characteristic increase in serum adenosine deaminase activity of MG patients, strengthen our hypothesis that the adenosinergic pathway may be dysfunctional in EAMG. Given that endogenous ADO formation is balanced by ecto-5'-nucleotidase/CD73 activity and that A2ARs exert a dual role to restore use-dependent neurocompetence and immune suppression in myasthenics, we hypothesize that stimulation of the two mechanisms may have therapeutic potential in MG.

  2. Muscle-specific regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway in MuSK antibody seropositive (MuSK+) experimental autoimmune Myasthenia gravis (EAMG).

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Mayank; Punga, Tanel; Punga, Anna Rostedt

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) patients with antibodies against muscle specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK+) typically present focal fatigue and atrophy of the facial and bulbar muscles, including the masseter muscle, whereas leg muscles often are clinically spared. This study addresses the regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway in the masseter muscle versus the leg muscle tibialis anterior (TA). We analyzed muscle morphology, protein levels of mTOR components as well as atrogenes and mitochondrial markers in these muscles of healthy control mice and mice with different clinical severity grades of MuSK+ experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG). Protein levels of mTOR components were reduced in the atrophic masseter muscle of MuSK+ EAMG mice, whereas enhanced accumulation of mTOR components was observed in the TA muscles. Two other muscles: omohyoid and soleus showed intermediate spectra. In conclusion, the anabolic mTOR signaling pathway is differentially regulated even in muscles with the same activity pattern in the same neuromuscular disease. This could in part explain the clinical phenotype in MuSK+ EAMG as well as in muscular dystrophies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Genetic control of autoantibody expression in autoimmune myasthenia gravis: role of the self-antigen and of HLA-linked loci.

    PubMed

    Giraud, M; Beaurain, G; Eymard, B; Tranchant, C; Gajdos, P; Garchon, H-J

    2004-08-01

    Autoantibodies against the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) play an essential role in the pathophysiology of autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG). Their serum titers, however, vary considerably among patients. Our aim was to investigate whether their variation might be explained by genetic factors. Using different methods, we have obtained strong evidence for a three-locus association influencing autoantibody titers in MG patients with thymus hyperplasia or with a normal thymus. Two of the loci, one encoding the AChR alpha-subunit, the other encoding the alpha-chain of the class II antigen-presentation molecule, HLA-DQ, demonstrated interaction to determine high autoantibody titers. The third locus was associated with the 8.1 ancestral HLA haplotype. It exerted an additive effect and it is postulated to have a nonantigen specific immunoregulatory function. Our study demonstrates for the first time that polymorphism of an autoantigen gene may quantitatively modify the immune response against it. Altogether, the data lend support to a three-gene model to explain autoantibody expression in a subset of MG patients.

  4. A study of the utility of azathioprine metabolite testing in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Rae, William; Burke, Georgina; Pinto, Ashwin

    2016-04-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterised by fatigable voluntary skeletal muscle weakness. The underlying pathogenesis is complex involving adaptive autoimmune responses. Azathioprine remains a first line broad acting immunosuppressant for MG. Due to varied clinical responses to azathioprine we aimed to investigate the relationship between azathioprine metabolites and symptom control. Mild correlations between Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis Score (QMG) vs. 6-thioguanine nucleotides (R=-0.317 p=0.186) and QMG vs. lymphocyte count (R=0.402 p=0.08) were found. Azathioprine metabolite measurement should be considered in MG patients with; pancytopenia, deranged liver function or recurrent infections.

  5. Epidemiology of myasthenia gravis in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Breiner, Ari; Widdifield, Jessica; Katzberg, Hans D; Barnett, Carolina; Bril, Vera; Tu, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Incidence and prevalence estimates in myasthenia gravis have varied widely. Recent studies based on administrative health data have large sample sizes but lack rigorous validation of MG cases, and have not examined the North American population. Our aim was to explore trends in MG incidence and prevalence for the years 1996-2013 in the province of Ontario, Canada (population 13.5 million). We employed a previously validated algorithm to identify MG cases. Linking with census data allowed for the calculation of crude- and age/sex-standardized incidence and prevalence rates for the years 1996-2013. The regional distribution of MG cases throughout the province was examined. Mean age at the first myasthenia gravis encounter was 60.2 ± 17.1 years. In 2013, there were 3611 prevalent cases in Ontario, and the crude prevalence rate was 32.0/100,000 population. Age- and sex-standardized prevalence rates rose consistently over time from 16.3/100,000 (15.4-17.1) in 1996 to 26.3/100,000 (25.4-27.3) in 2013. Standardized incidence rates remained stable between 1996 (2.7/100,000; 95% CL 2.3-3.0) and 2013 (2.3/100,000; 2.1-2.6). Incidence was highest in younger women and older men, and geographic variation was evident throughout the province. In conclusion, this large epidemiological study shows rising myasthenia gravis prevalence with stable incidence over time, which is likely reflective of patients living longer, possibly due to improved disease treatment. Our findings provide accurate information on the Canadian epidemiology of myasthenia gravis and burden for health care resources planning for the province, respectively.

  6. Myasthenia Gravis in Pregnancy: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Berlit, Sebastian; Tuschy, Benjamin; Spaich, Saskia; Sütterlin, Marc; Schaffelder, Regine

    2012-01-01

    Objective. To present a case of maternal myasthenia gravis in pregnancy and give a systematic review of the literature. Case. We report the case of a 38-year-old parturient with a life-threatening complication of immune-mediated myasthenia gravis shortly after an elective cesarean section on patient's request under spinal anesthesia at 35 + 3 weeks of gestation. The newborn was transferred to the pediatric unit for surveillance and did not show any signs of muscular weakness in the course of time. The mother developed a respiratory insufficiency on the second day postpartum. The myasthenic crisis led to a progressive dyspnoea within minutes, which exacerbated in a secondary generalized seizure with cardiac-circulatory arrest. After successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the patient was transferred to intensive care. The interdisciplinary therapeutic approach included ventilatory assistance via endotracheal intubation, parenteral pyridostigmine, azathioprine, and steroids. By interdisciplinary measures, a stable state was regained. Conclusion. Myasthenia gravis especially when associated with pregnancy is a high-risk disease. As this disease predominantly occurs in women of reproductive age, it is important to be aware of this condition in obstetrics and its interdisciplinary diagnostic and therapeutic management. PMID:22567528

  7. Identification of novel MicroRNA signatures linked to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis pathogenesis: down-regulated miR-145 promotes pathogenetic Th17 cell response.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiao; Zheng, Shuangshuang; Xin, Ning; Dou, Changxin; Fu, Linlin; Zhang, Xiuying; Chen, Jing; Zhang, Yanyan; Geng, Deqin; Xiao, Chenghua; Cui, Guiyun; Shen, Xia; Lu, Yang; Wang, Jinhua; Dong, Ruiguo; Qiao, Yuehua; Zhang, Yong

    2013-12-01

    Emerging evidence demonstrates that miRNAs, a new family of key mRNA regulatory molecules, have crucial roles in controlling and modulating immunity. Their contribution to myasthenia gravis (MG), a T cell-dependent, antibody-mediated nervous system autoimmune disease, has not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, using a highly sensitive microarray-based approach, we identified 11 miRNAs with differential expression between Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) from experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) rats and control rats. miR-145 is one of the most significantly down-regulated miRNAs in PBMC from EAMG rats. Down-regulation of miR-145 expression was confirmed in PBMC and CD4+CD25- T cells (T effector cells) from both EAMG rats and MG patients by real-time PCR. Bioinformatics target prediction identified two crucial immune-related molecules-CD28 and NFATc1, as putative targets of miR-145. Furthermore, miR-145 inhibited CD28 and NFATc1 expression by directly targeting their 3'-UTRs, which was abolished by mutation of the miR-145 and CD28/NFATc1 binding sites. In vitro up-regulation of miR-145 in CD4+ T cells can significantly reduce CD28 protein levels accompanied by decreased proliferative response. In a dendritic cell (DC)-T cell coculture system, overexpression of miR-145 in AChR-specific CD4+ T cells suppresses NFATc1 expression and T Helper 17 cells level. Finally, we observed that administration of lentiviral-miR-145 decreased the severity of ongoing, established EAMG with decreased IL-17 production, and also decreased serum anti-AChR IgG levels. Our studies provide an important new insight into the pathogenesis of EAMG and MG, which may open a new perspective for the development of effective gene therapy for EAMG/MG.

  8. IL-17-producing CD4(+) T cells contribute to the loss of B-cell tolerance in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Schaffert, Hanne; Pelz, Andreas; Saxena, Abhishek; Losen, Mario; Meisel, Andreas; Thiel, Andreas; Kohler, Siegfried

    2015-05-01

    The role of Th17 cells in the pathogenesis of autoantibody-mediated diseases is unclear. Here, we assessed the contribution of Th17 cells to the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), which is induced by repetitive immunizations with Torpedo californica acetylcholine receptor (tAChR). We show that a significant fraction of tAChR-specific CD4(+) T cells is producing IL-17. IL-17(ko) mice developed fewer or no EAMG symptoms, although the frequencies of tAChR-specific CD4(+) T cells secreting IL-2, IFN-γ, or IL-21, and the percentage of FoxP3(+) Treg cells were similar to WT mice. Even though the total anti-tAChR antibody levels were equal, the complement fixating IgG2b subtype was reduced in IL-17(ko) as compared to WT mice. Most importantly, pathogenic anti-murine AChR antibodies were significantly lower in IL-17(ko) mice. Furthermore, we confirmed the role of Th17 cells in EAMG pathogenesis by the reconstitution of TCR β/δ(ko) mice with WT or IL-17(ko) CD4(+) T cells. In conclusion, we show that the level of IgG2b and the loss of B-cell tolerance, which results in pathogenic anti-murine AChR-specific antibodies, are dependent on IL-17 production by CD4(+) T cells. Thus, we describe here for the first time how Th17 cells are involved in the induction of classical antibody-mediated autoimmunity. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Survivin as a potential mediator to support autoreactive cell survival in myasthenia gravis: a human and animal model study.

    PubMed

    Kusner, Linda L; Ciesielski, Michael J; Marx, Alexander; Kaminski, Henry J; Fenstermaker, Robert A

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms that underlie the development and maintenance of autoimmunity in myasthenia gravis are poorly understood. In this investigation, we evaluate the role of survivin, a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family, in humans and in two animal models. We identified survivin expression in cells with B lymphocyte and plasma cells markers, and in the thymuses of patients with myasthenia gravis. A portion of survivin-expressing cells specifically bound a peptide derived from the alpha subunit of acetylcholine receptor indicating that they recognize the peptide. Thymuses of patients with myasthenia gravis had large numbers of survivin-positive cells with fewer cells in the thymuses of corticosteroid-treated patients. Application of a survivin vaccination strategy in mouse and rat models of myasthenia gravis demonstrated improved motor assessment, a reduction in acetylcholine receptor specific autoantibodies, and a retention of acetylcholine receptor at the neuromuscular junction, associated with marked reduction of survivin-expressing circulating CD20+ cells. These data strongly suggest that survivin expression in cells with lymphocyte and plasma cell markers occurs in patients with myasthenia gravis and in two animal models of myasthenia gravis. Survivin expression may be part of a mechanism that inhibits the apoptosis of autoreactive B cells in myasthenia gravis and other autoimmune disorders.

  10. [Dysphagia as the sole manifestation of myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Romo González, Ramiro Javier; Chaves, Emiliano; Copello, Hercilia

    2010-06-01

    Dysphagia as the sole manifestation of myasthenia gravis is very rare. Here we describe a case of an adult patient who developed an insidious onset of oropharyngeal dysphagia as the first and sole manifestation of myasthenia gravis. After multiple evaluations the underlying disease was recognized by electromyographics studies. English and Spanish literature on the matter was reviewed.

  11. AN ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION OF NEUROMUSCULAR TRANSMISSION IN MYASTHENIA GRAVIS,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    with myasthenia gravis . With repetitive nerve stimulation at frequencies above 2/sec, only the first few stimuli elicited muscle contractions in most...It is tentatively concluded that in myasthenia gravis there is a deficiency in the amount of ACh in the quanta of transmitter released from the motor nerve terminals. (Author)

  12. Myasthenia gravis and masticatory muscle myositis in a dog

    PubMed Central

    Clooten, Jennifer K.; Woods, J. P.; Smith-Maxie, Laura L.

    2003-01-01

    A 21-month-old, castrated male Vizsla was presented for pelvic limb weakness, difficulty opening his mouth, ptyalism, voice change, and urinary incontinence. Myasthenia gravis and masticatory myositis were diagnosed. The unusual clinical findings, diagnosis, treatment, and case outcome are described, followed by a brief discussion of myasthenia gravis and masticatory myositis. PMID:12839242

  13. Myasthenia gravis and masticatory muscle myositis in a dog.

    PubMed

    Clooten, Jennifer K; Woods, J P; Smith-Maxie, Laura L

    2003-06-01

    A 21-month-old, castrated male Vizsla was presented for pelvic limb weakness, difficulty opening his mouth, ptyalism, voice change, and urinary incontinence. Myasthenia gravis and masticatory myositis were diagnosed. The unusual clinical findings, diagnosis, treatment, and case outcome are described, followed by a brief discussion of myasthenia gravis and masticatory myositis.

  14. Surgical approaches to the thymus in patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Magee, Mitchell J; Mack, Michael J

    2009-02-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission affecting 2 out of every 100,000 people. Neurologists and surgeons still debate what role surgery should play in its management. Many patients who might benefit from thymectomy are denied the opportunity because of misconceptions, ignorance, or trepidation. By offering effective methods of less invasive thymectomy to these patients, a significant number of patients and treating neurologists previously unwilling to consider surgery may realize the benefits of this established, proven treatment alternative. The surgical approaches reviewed include: transcervical, videothoracoscopic, robotic-assisted, transsternal, and combined transcervical-transsternal maximal thymectomy.

  15. Steroids induce acetylcholine receptors on cultured human muscle: Implications for myasthenia gravis

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, I.; Blakely, B.T.; Pavlath, G.K.; Travis, M.; Blau, H.M. )

    1990-10-01

    Antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), which are diagnostic of the human autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis, block AChR function and increase the rate of AChR degradation leading to impaired neuromuscular transmission. Steroids are frequently used to alleviate symptoms of muscle fatigue and weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis because of their well-documented immunosuppressive effects. The authors show here that the steroid dexamethasone significantly increases total surface AChRs on cultured human muscle exposed to myasthenia gravis sera. The results suggest that the clinical improvement observed in myasthenic patients treated with steroids is due not only to an effect on the immune system but also a direct effect on muscle. They propose that the identification and development of pharmacologic agents that augment receptors and other proteins that are reduced by human genetic or autoimmune disease will have broad therapeutic applications.

  16. Steroids induce acetylcholine receptors on cultured human muscle: implications for myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, I; Blakely, B T; Pavlath, G K; Travis, M; Blau, H M

    1990-01-01

    Antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), which are diagnostic of the human autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis, block AChR function and increase the rate of AChR degradation leading to impaired neuromuscular transmission. Steroids are frequently used to alleviate symptoms of muscle fatigue and weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis because of their well-documented immunosuppressive effects. We show here that the steroid dexamethasone significantly increases total surface AChRs on cultured human muscle exposed to myasthenia gravis sera. Our results suggest that the clinical improvement observed in myasthenic patients treated with steroids is due not only to an effect on the immune system but also to a direct effect on muscle. We propose that the identification and development of pharmacologic agents that augment receptors and other proteins that are reduced by human genetic or autoimmune disease will have broad therapeutic applications. Images PMID:2236023

  17. Stapedius reflexometry. A diagnostic test of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Ahuja, G K; Verma, A; Ghosh, P; Nagaraj, M N

    1980-06-01

    Contraction of the stapedius muscle can be measured by electroacoustic impedance bridge. Muscle weakness and easy fatiguability which are cardinal features of myasthenia gravis (MG) are manifested by increased threshold and early decay of the stapedius reflex. This can be used as an objective test in the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. Stapedius reflex was measured using Madsen Zo72 electroacoustic impedance bridge in 10 patients with myasthenia gravis and in an equal number of controls. The test was done before and 30 min after intramuscular injection of neostigmin. All patients with myasthenia gravis showed an elevated reflex threshold and 5 patients showed reflex decay. These findings reverted to normal after neostigmin injection. Stapedius reflexometry is a simple objective test for the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis.

  18. Expression of interleukin-22 in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Zheng, S; Dou, C; Xin, N; Wang, J; Wang, J; Li, P; Fu, L; Shen, X; Cui, G; Dong, R; Lu, J; Zhang, Y

    2013-07-01

    IL-17 and IL-22 are implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. The roles of IL-22 in the pathophysiology of myasthenia gravis (MG) remain unsettled. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible relationship between serum IL-22, IL-17 levels, anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody (anti-AChR Ab) titres and clinical parameters in patients with MG. The serum IL-22, IL-17 levels and anti-AChR Ab titres were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), while the expression of IL-22 and IL-17 mRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from healthy and MG subjects were detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Furthermore, PBMC from 12 patients with generalized MG were purified and treated with recombinant human IL-22 (rhIL-22), the IL-17 levels of supernatant were detected by ELISA. We found that the IL-17 levels were significantly increased, but IL-22 levels were significantly decreased in the serum of patients with MG compared with healthy controls. Consistantly, a significant decrease in IL-22 mRNA levels and an increase in IL-17 mRNA levels were detected in PBMC collected from patients with MG, compared with healthy controls. A negative correlation between IL-22 mRNA in PBMC, serum IL-22 and serum anti-AChR Ab levels was found in patients with MG. Moreover, in cultured MG PBMC treated with recombinant human IL-22 (rhIL-22), the IL-17 levels were decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Our findings indicated a possible role of IL-22 as a protective factor in MG. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Myasthenia gravis: Association of British Neurologists' management guidelines.

    PubMed

    Sussman, Jon; Farrugia, Maria E; Maddison, Paul; Hill, Marguerite; Leite, M Isabel; Hilton-Jones, David

    2015-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction for which many therapies were developed before the era of evidence based medicine. The basic principles of treatment are well known, however, patients continue to receive suboptimal treatment as a result of which a myasthenia gravis guidelines group was established under the aegis of The Association of British Neurologists. These guidelines attempt to steer a path between evidence-based practice where available, and established best practice where evidence is unavailable. Where there is insufficient evidence or a choice of options, the guidelines invite the clinician to seek the opinion of a myasthenia expert. The guidelines support clinicians not just in using the right treatments in the right order, but in optimising the use of well-known therapeutic agents. Clinical practice can be audited against these guidelines. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  20. A Genome-wide Association Study of Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Renton, Alan E.; Pliner, Hannah A.; Provenzano, Carlo; Evoli, Amelia; Ricciardi, Roberta; Nalls, Michael A.; Marangi, Giuseppe; Abramzon, Yevgeniya; Arepalli, Sampath; Chong, Sean; Hernandez, Dena G.; Johnson, Janel O.; Bartoccioni, Emanuela; Scuderi, Flavia; Maestri, Michelangelo; Raphael Gibbs, J.; Errichiello, Edoardo; Chiò, Adriano; Restagno, Gabriella; Sabatelli, Mario; Macek, Mark; Scholz, Sonja W.; Corse, Andrea; Chaudhry, Vinay; Benatar, Michael; Barohn, Richard J.; McVey, April; Pasnoor, Mamatha; Dimachkie, Mazen M.; Rowin, Julie; Kissel, John; Freimer, Miriam; Kaminski, Henry J.; Sanders, Donald B.; Lipscomb, Bernadette; Massey, Janice M.; Chopra, Manisha; Howard, James F.; Koopman, Wilma J.; Nicolle, Michael W.; Pascuzzi, Robert M.; Pestronk, Alan; Wulf, Charlie; Florence, Julaine; Blackmore, Derrick; Soloway, Aimee; Siddiqi, Zaeem; Muppidi, Srikanth; Wolfe, Gil; Richman, David; Mezei, Michelle M.; Jiwa, Theresa; Oger, Joel; Drachman, Daniel B.; Traynor, Bryan J.

    2016-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Myasthenia gravis is a chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular disease characterized by fluctuating weakness of voluntary muscle groups. Although genetic factors are known to play a role in this neuroimmunological condition, the genetic etiology underlying myasthenia gravis is not well understood. OBJECTIVE To identify genetic variants that alter susceptibility to myasthenia gravis, we performed a genome-wide association study. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS DNA was obtained from 1032 white individuals from North America diagnosed as having acetylcholine receptor antibody–positive myasthenia gravis and 1998 race/ethnicity-matched control individuals from January 2010 to January 2011. These samples were genotyped on Illumina OmniExpress single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays. An independent cohort of 423 Italian cases and 467 Italian control individuals were used for replication. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES We calculated P values for association between 8114394 genotyped and imputed variants across the genome and risk for developing myasthenia gravis using logistic regression modeling. A threshold P value of 5.0 × 10−8 was set for genome-wide significance after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. RESULTS In the over all case-control cohort, we identified association signals at CTLA4 (rs231770; P = 3.98 × 10−8; odds ratio, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.25–1.49), HLA-DQA1 (rs9271871; P = 1.08 × 10−8; odds ratio, 2.31; 95% CI, 2.02 – 2.60), and TNFRSF11A (rs4263037; P = 1.60 × 10−9; odds ratio, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.29–1.53). These findings replicated for CTLA4 and HLA-DQA1 in an independent cohort of Italian cases and control individuals. Further analysis revealed distinct, but overlapping, disease-associated loci for early- and late-onset forms of myasthenia gravis. In the late-onset cases, we identified 2 association peaks: one was located in TNFRSF11A (rs4263037; P = 1.32 × 10−12; odds ratio, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.44–1.68) and the other was detected

  1. A genome-wide association study of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Renton, Alan E; Pliner, Hannah A; Provenzano, Carlo; Evoli, Amelia; Ricciardi, Roberta; Nalls, Michael A; Marangi, Giuseppe; Abramzon, Yevgeniya; Arepalli, Sampath; Chong, Sean; Hernandez, Dena G; Johnson, Janel O; Bartoccioni, Emanuela; Scuderi, Flavia; Maestri, Michelangelo; Gibbs, J Raphael; Errichiello, Edoardo; Chiò, Adriano; Restagno, Gabriella; Sabatelli, Mario; Macek, Mark; Scholz, Sonja W; Corse, Andrea; Chaudhry, Vinay; Benatar, Michael; Barohn, Richard J; McVey, April; Pasnoor, Mamatha; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Rowin, Julie; Kissel, John; Freimer, Miriam; Kaminski, Henry J; Sanders, Donald B; Lipscomb, Bernadette; Massey, Janice M; Chopra, Manisha; Howard, James F; Koopman, Wilma J; Nicolle, Michael W; Pascuzzi, Robert M; Pestronk, Alan; Wulf, Charlie; Florence, Julaine; Blackmore, Derrick; Soloway, Aimee; Siddiqi, Zaeem; Muppidi, Srikanth; Wolfe, Gil; Richman, David; Mezei, Michelle M; Jiwa, Theresa; Oger, Joel; Drachman, Daniel B; Traynor, Bryan J

    2015-04-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular disease characterized by fluctuating weakness of voluntary muscle groups. Although genetic factors are known to play a role in this neuroimmunological condition, the genetic etiology underlying myasthenia gravis is not well understood. To identify genetic variants that alter susceptibility to myasthenia gravis, we performed a genome-wide association study. DNA was obtained from 1032 white individuals from North America diagnosed as having acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive myasthenia gravis and 1998 race/ethnicity-matched control individuals from January 2010 to January 2011. These samples were genotyped on Illumina OmniExpress single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays. An independent cohort of 423 Italian cases and 467 Italian control individuals were used for replication. We calculated P values for association between 8,114,394 genotyped and imputed variants across the genome and risk for developing myasthenia gravis using logistic regression modeling. A threshold P value of 5.0×10(-8) was set for genome-wide significance after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. In the overall case-control cohort, we identified association signals at CTLA4 (rs231770; P=3.98×10(-8); odds ratio, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.25-1.49), HLA-DQA1 (rs9271871; P=1.08×10(-8); odds ratio, 2.31; 95% CI, 2.02-2.60), and TNFRSF11A (rs4263037; P=1.60×10(-9); odds ratio, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.29-1.53). These findings replicated for CTLA4 and HLA-DQA1 in an independent cohort of Italian cases and control individuals. Further analysis revealed distinct, but overlapping, disease-associated loci for early- and late-onset forms of myasthenia gravis. In the late-onset cases, we identified 2 association peaks: one was located in TNFRSF11A (rs4263037; P=1.32×10(-12); odds ratio, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.44-1.68) and the other was detected in the major histocompatibility complex on chromosome 6p21 (HLA-DQA1; rs9271871; P=7.02×10(-18); odds ratio, 4.27; 95

  2. Treatment of experimental myasthenia gravis with total lymphoid irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    de Silva, S.; Blum, J.E.; McIntosh, K.R.; Order, S.; Drachman, D.B.

    1988-07-01

    Total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) has been reported to be effective in the immunosuppressive treatment of certain human and experimental autoimmune disorders. We have investigated the effects of TLI in Lewis rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) produced by immunization with purified torpedo acetylcholine receptor (AChR). The radiation is given in 17 divided fractions of 200 rad each, and nonlymphoid tissues are protected by lead shielding. This technique suppresses the immune system, while minimizing side effects, and permits the repopulation of the immune system by the patient's own bone marrow cells. Our results show that TLI treatment completely prevented the primary antibody response to immunization with torpedo AChR, it rapidly abolished the ongoing antibody response in established EAMG, and it suppressed the secondary (anamnestic) response to a boost of AChR. No EAMG animals died during TLI treatment, compared with six control animals that died of EAMG. TLI produces powerful and prompt immunosuppression and may eventually prove useful in the treatment of refractory human myasthenia gravis.

  3. Immunoglobulin G4-Related Inflammatory Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Associated With Myasthenia Gravis, With Contained Rupture.

    PubMed

    Jun, Heungman; Jung, Cheol Woong

    2016-11-01

    Immunoglobulin (Ig) G4-related disease is reportedly among the various causes of inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysm (IAAA). Many IgG4-related diseases are closely related to allergic constitution and autoimmune disease. We report a case of a 72-year-old man with IgG4-related IAAA associated with myasthenia gravis, with contained rupture.

  4. Immunological relationship between acetylcholine receptor and thymus: a possible significance in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Aharonov, A; Tarrab-Hazdai, R; Abramsky, O; Fuchs, S

    1975-01-01

    A defined immunological cross-reaction was observed between acetylcholine receptor fraction from the electric eel, Electrophorus electricus, and two calf thymus fractions. The cross-reaction was demonstrated on the cellular level by means of the lymphocyte transformation technique, and on the humoral level, by means of the microcomplement fixation assay. In the human disease myasthenia gravis both acetylcholine receptor at the neuromuscular junction and the thymus are affected, probably by an autoimmune mechanism. The immunological cross-reaction between acetylcholine receptor and thymic components may explain the association between endplate and thymus disorders in myasthenia gravis. PMID:1055418

  5. Ectopic germinal centers, BAFF and anti-B-cell therapy in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Ragheb, Samia; Le Panse, Rozen; Lisak, Robert P

    2013-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated by antibodies directed to molecules of the endplate of the neuromuscular junction. B cells play a major role in MG disease since they produce the pathogenic antibodies and therapies targeting B cells are effective. The aim of this article was to review the role of B cells in myasthenia gravis. We will first describe what we know about B cells in this disease and examine the involvement of the B cells in the thymus of MG patients. We will detail the role of factors associated with B-cell function such as BAFF. Finally, we will discuss the effects of therapy targeting B cells.

  6. Myasthenia gravis and scleroderma: two cases and a review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Zivković, Sasa A; Medsger, Thomas A

    2007-05-01

    Myasthenia gravis is uncommon in patients with scleroderma, and when diagnosed is usually associated with previous use of d-penicillamine. Clinically, both myasthenia and scleroderma may present with fatigue, weakness and bulbar symptoms, so one of diagnoses may be delayed. We report two new cases and review clinical features of 12 other reported cases of co-existing scleroderma and myasthenia gravis, unrelated to previous d-penicillamine therapy. Co-occurrence of myasthenia and scleroderma was reported almost exclusively (13/14) in women with a mean latency of 7.03 years. Most patients (10/11) had seropositive generalized myasthenia, and there were no cases with exclusively ocular symptoms. Three patients with pre-existing myasthenia were safely treated with d-penicillamine. Myasthenia and scleroderma occur in the context of an underlying autoimmune diathesis, but their co-occurrence could be underreported as the recognition of either disorder may be delayed by overlapping clinical symptoms. Our findings also suggest that d-penicillamine may be cautiously used in selected patients with pre-existing scleroderma and myasthenia, when potential benefits outweigh the risk of possible myasthenia exacerbation.

  7. An update on laboratory diagnosis in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Oger, Joel; Frykman, Hans

    2015-09-20

    This review describes the state of the art for the use of laboratory testing in myasthenia gravis. The review brings a detailed description of the different clinical forms of auto-immune myasthenia and of the Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS). They stress the differences between the different forms of acquired (auto-immune) myasthenia. Then they present a summary of the different antibodies found in the disease. They insist on the advantage of the RIPA assay to measure antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor. They stress the different types of contribution of each of these antibodies to the clinical diagnosis. They also describe the methods to measure each of the specific antibodies that have recently permitted to split the diagnosis: Abs to omega-conotoxin receptor in Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), abs to the acetylcholine receptor (AchR) in MG, Abs to muscle specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) in Ab negative MG, and Abs to low molecular weight receptor related low-density lipo protein-4 (LRP-4). They also broach over the striated antibodies, less frequent and clinically less useful such as anti-titin, -ryanodine, -agrin and -rapsyn. This represent a 360° view of the field as presented in Toronto in October 2014.

  8. Myasthenia gravis and related disorders: Pathology and molecular pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ha, James C; Richman, David P

    2015-04-01

    Disorders affecting the presynaptic, synaptic, and postsynaptic portions of the neuromuscular junction arise from various mechanisms in children and adults, including acquired autoimmune or toxic processes as well as genetic mutations. Disorders include autoimmune myasthenia gravis associated with acetylcholine receptor, muscle specific kinase or Lrp4 antibodies, Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, nerve terminal hyperexcitability syndromes, Guillain Barré syndrome, botulism, organophosphate poisoning and a number of congenital myasthenic syndromes. This review focuses on the various molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms of these disorders, characterization of which has been crucial to the development of treatment strategies specific for each pathogenic mechanism. In the future, further understanding of the underlying processes may lead to more effective and targeted therapies of these disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neuromuscular Diseases: Pathology and Molecular Pathogenesis.

  9. Animal models of myasthenia gravis: utility and limitations

    PubMed Central

    Mantegazza, Renato; Cordiglieri, Chiara; Consonni, Alessandra; Baggi, Fulvio

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disease caused by the immune attack of the neuromuscular junction. Antibodies directed against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) induce receptor degradation, complement cascade activation, and postsynaptic membrane destruction, resulting in functional reduction in AChR availability. Besides anti-AChR antibodies, other autoantibodies are known to play pathogenic roles in MG. The experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) models have been of great help over the years in understanding the pathophysiological role of specific autoantibodies and T helper lymphocytes and in suggesting new therapies for prevention and modulation of the ongoing disease. EAMG can be induced in mice and rats of susceptible strains that show clinical symptoms mimicking the human disease. EAMG models are helpful for studying both the muscle and the immune compartments to evaluate new treatment perspectives. In this review, we concentrate on recent findings on EAMG models, focusing on their utility and limitations. PMID:27019601

  10. Myasthenia gravis exacerbation after discontinuing mycophenolate

    PubMed Central

    Rocke, David M.; Dengel, Karsten; Richman, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To determine whether discontinuation or marked reduction of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) causes MG exacerbations. Methods: We identified 88 patients with MG who took MMF during the 5-year period 2007–2011 at our MG clinic. We then performed detailed chart reviews and recorded all MG exacerbations and their relationship to MMF and other treatment changes. We also recorded demographic data and disease characteristics (including antibody status and Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America status). Results: There were 14 patients who had an MG exacerbation during the study period. Of these, 13 had discontinued MMF therapy, with a median time until exacerbation of 16 weeks after discontinuation (9 patients) or marked dose reduction (4 patients) of MMF therapy (exacerbation in the absence of change in any other component of the immunosuppressive regimen). Using the cluster option in a Cox regression analysis, the MMF coefficient was −5.32, with a standard error of 1.05 and a p value of 0.0002, corresponding to an estimated hazard ratio of 204. Conclusions: This retrospective cohort study suggests that discontinuation/marked reduction of MMF therapy may increase the risk of MG exacerbation many fold, supporting the hypothesis that MMF plays a role in the maintenance of MG remission/minimal manifestation status. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that in patients with MG taking MMF, discontinuation or marked reduction of MMF causes MG exacerbation. PMID:26850977

  11. Correlation between acetylcholine receptor antibody levels and thymic pathology in myasthenia gravis: a review.

    PubMed

    Huang, G Z; Lo, Y L

    2013-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis is the most common chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease. Anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies are found in at least 80% of patients with generalized myasthenia and have been implicated in disease pathogenesis. Thymic abnormalities are frequently found in seropositive patients, and the thymus is thought to be involved in generation of autoimmunity. This article reviews existing literature on the role of AChR antibodies in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis, and the correlation between AChR antibody titers and thymic pathology. Most studies found that highest titers are seen in thymic hyperplasia, followed by intermediate titers in thymoma, and lowest titers in atrophic or normal thymus. One publication found no difference between titers in thymoma and normal thymus.

  12. Metastatic thymoma and acquired generalized myasthenia gravis in a beagle.

    PubMed

    Moffet, Adrienne C

    2007-01-01

    A 16-year-old, spayed female beagle was diagnosed with metastatic thymoma causing a probable paraneoplastic syndrome of generalized acquired myasthenia gravis. Anticholinesterase treatment was initiated; however, 5 days later the dog died.

  13. Etiology of myasthenia gravis: innate immunity signature in pathological thymus.

    PubMed

    Cavalcante, Paola; Cufi, Perrine; Mantegazza, Renato; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Bernasconi, Pia; Le Panse, Rozen

    2013-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease affecting the neuromuscular junction (NMJ), whose clinical hallmark is muscle weakness and early fatigability. The main target of autoimmunity in MG is the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) located in the NMJ. It is now widely accepted that the thymus is probably the prime site of autoimmunity development and maintenance in AChR-positive MG patients; however, the exact mechanisms triggering and perpetuating the intra-thymic autoimmune response to AChR are still unknown. As with many autoimmune diseases, MG has a multifactorial etiology, resulting from complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors, as fully described in this review. Among environmental factors, viral infections could play a central role in autoimmunity, mainly through the induction of dysregulated Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated innate immune responses, which can lead to inflammation and adaptive autoimmune response. Growing evidence of chronic inflammation, TLR activation, and persistent viral infections in the thymus of MG patients, strongly supports the hypothesis that, in the context of a genetic susceptible background, the intrathymic innate immune responses to pathogen infections might contribute to MG etiology.

  14. Extraocular Muscle Susceptibility to Myasthenia Gravis Unique Immunological Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Soltys, Jindrich; Gong, Bendi; Kaminski, Henry J.; Zhou, Yuefang; Kusner, Linda L.

    2008-01-01

    Extraocular muscle (EOM) is susceptible to neuromuscular junction disorders, in particular, myasthenia gravis (MG). While EOM physiological characteristics and the ocular motor system requirements contribute to the propensity of ocular motor deficits observed among patients with MG, the authors propose that EOM have immunological features that place the muscles at risk for immune attack. Genomic profiling studies have demonstrated that genes associated with the immune response are differentially expressed in EOM, with particular differences in both classical and alternative complement-mediated immune response pathways. Intrinsic complement regulators are expressed at lower levels at rodent EOM neuromuscular junctions, which would put them at risk for the complement-mediated injury that occurs in MG. In fact, systemic C inhibition in experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) induced by administration of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies or immunization with AChR will eliminate complement deposition at junctions of other skeletal muscle, but not EOM. Also, EOM junctions have greater injury in active and passive EAMG by several measures, suggesting that the lack of complement inhibition puts the EOM at risk. Among ocular myasthenia patients, serum AChR antibody levels are low, which would support the concept that EOM junctions are more susceptible to antibody injury than are other junctions. These observations suggest that complement inhibitory therapies may prove to be particularly effective in treatment of ocular myasthenia. PMID:18567871

  15. Worsening of myasthenia gravis after administration of injectable long-acting risperidone for treatment of schizophrenia; first case report and a call for caution.

    PubMed

    Al-Hashel, Jasem Y; Ismail, Ismail Ibrahim; John, John K; Ibrahim, Mohammed; Ali, Mahmoud

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterized by muscle weakness due to autoantibodies affecting the neuromuscular junction. Co-occurrence of myasthenia gravis and schizophrenia is very rare and raises a challenge in management of both diseases. Antipsychotic drugs exhibit anticholinergic side effects and have the potentials of worsening myasthenia. Long-acting risperidone is an injectable atypical antipsychotic drug that has not been previously reported to worsen myasthenia gravis in literature. We report the first case report of worsening of myasthenia after receiving long-acting risperidone injection for schizophrenia in a 29-year-old female with both diseases. She started to have worsening 2 weeks following the first injection and her symptoms persisted despite receiving plasma exchange. This could be explained by the pharmacokinetics of the drug. We recommend that long-acting risperidone should be used with caution in patients with myasthenia gravis, and clinicians must be aware of the potential risks of this therapy.

  16. Clinical features of myasthenia gravis in southern China: a retrospective review of 2,154 cases over 22 years.

    PubMed

    Huang, X; Liu, W B; Men, L N; Feng, H Y; Li, Y; Luo, C M; Qiu, L

    2013-06-01

    The objectives of the study are to study the clinical features of myasthenia gravis in southern China. A retrospective study was carried out on all patients who were diagnosed with myasthenia gravis at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University during 1987-2009. Of the 2,154 myasthenia gravis patients, the gender ratio (male:female) was 1:1.15. The median age at onset was 18 years. There was a single peak distribution of age at onset, and 44.8 % were children (≤ 14 years) at first onset. 1,766 patients (82.0 %) only had ocular symptoms at onset. 1,451 patients (67.4 %) were classified as Osserman grade I. 250 unselected patients received anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies test, in which only 51.2 % were positive. Computed tomography scan/magnetic resonance Imaging of chest were done in 1,354 patients, of which 899 patients (66.4 %) had thymic hyperplasia and 201(14.8 %) had thymoma. There were 150 patients (7.0 %) with myasthenia gravis combined with other autoimmune diseases, in which hyperthyroidism was most common (84 %). 189 (8.8 %) patients experienced 267 episodes of crisis. The rate of family myasthenia gravis was 1.6 % (35/2,154). In conclusion, the clinical features and demography of myasthenia gravis patients in this study are significantly different from prior studies on other regions and ethnic groups.

  17. Thymectomy in the management of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Jaretzki, Alfred; Steinglass, Kenneth M; Sonett, Joshua R

    2004-03-01

    There continues to be a debate regarding the effectiveness of thymectomy in the treatment of nonthymomatous myasthenia gravis (MG) and, when undertaken, which thymectomy technique is the procedure of choice. The debate persists primarily because of the lack of controlled prospective studies. Analysis has been complicated by the absence, until very recently, of accepted objective definitions of severity of the illness and response to therapy as well as variable patient selection, timing of surgery, type of surgery, and methods of analysis of results. Without resolution of these issues by properly controlled prospective studies, there can be no unequivocal determination of the effectiveness of thymectomy or valid comparison of the various thymectomy techniques. In this review, based on previous analyses, attempts will be made to clarify some of the controversial issues concerning thymectomy for nonthymomatous MG and make limited recommendations based on the best available evidence.

  18. Myasthenia gravis: a clinical-immunological update.

    PubMed

    Binks, Sophie; Vincent, Angela; Palace, Jacqueline

    2016-04-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the archetypic disorder of both the neuromuscular junction and autoantibody-mediated disease. In most patients, IgG1-dominant antibodies to acetylcholine receptors cause fatigable weakness of skeletal muscles. In the rest, a variable proportion possesses antibodies to muscle-specific tyrosine kinase while the remainder of seronegative MG is being explained through cell-based assays using a receptor-clustering technique and, to a lesser extent, proposed new antigenic targets. The incidence and prevalence of MG are increasing, particularly in the elderly. New treatments are being developed, and results from the randomised controlled trial of thymectomy in non-thymomatous MG, due for release in early 2016, will be of particular clinical value. To help navigate an evidence base of varying quality, practising clinicians may consult new MG guidelines in the fields of pregnancy, ocular and generalised MG (GMG). This review focuses on updates in epidemiology, immunology, therapeutic and clinical aspects of GMG in adults.

  19. Myasthenia Gravis and the Myasthenic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Herrmann, Christian

    1970-01-01

    Two disorders of neuromuscular transmission producing muscle weakness and easy fatigability which may confront the physician are myasthenia gravis and the myasthenic syndrome. The former has early symptoms and signs of oculobulbar and then extremity weakness with rapid decline of action potential and contractile strength with repetitive use and nerve-muscle stimulation. Anticholinesterases improve strength. The myasthenic syndrome has early symptoms and signs of pelvic girdle, pectoral girdle and proximal limb muscle weakness. This is worst when first starting to use or carry out nerve muscle stimulation in the rested muscles. It improves significantly for a time with use or on rapid stimulation, and then declines with continued activation. Deep tendon reflexes are sluggish or absent. Small cell carcinoma of the lung is often associated. Guanidine improves the strength. Other features and possible underlying mechanisms of the two disorders help to differentiate and treat them. PMID:5457513

  20. Ephedrine for myasthenia gravis, neonatal myasthenia and the congenital myasthenic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Vrinten, Charlotte; van der Zwaag, Angeli M; Weinreich, Stephanie S; Scholten, Rob J P M; Verschuuren, Jan J G M

    2014-12-17

    Myasthenia is a condition in which neuromuscular transmission is affected by antibodies against neuromuscular junction components (autoimmune myasthenia gravis, MG; and neonatal myasthenia gravis, NMG) or by defects in genes for neuromuscular junction proteins (congenital myasthenic syndromes, CMSs). Clinically, some individuals seem to benefit from treatment with ephedrine, but its effects and adverse effects have not been systematically evaluated. To assess the effects and adverse effects of ephedrine in people with autoimmune MG, transient neonatal MG, and the congenital myasthenic syndromes. On 17 November 2014, we searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Specialized Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE. We also searched reference lists of articles, conference proceedings of relevant conferences, and prospective trial registers. In addition, we contacted manufacturers and researchers in the field. We considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs comparing ephedrine as a single or add-on treatment with any other active treatment, placebo, or no treatment in adults or children with autoimmune MG, NMG, or CMSs. Two review authors independently assessed study design and quality, and extracted data. We contacted study authors for additional information. We collected information on adverse effects from included articles, and contacted authors. We found no RCTs or quasi-RCTs, and therefore could not establish the effect of ephedrine on MG, NMG and CMSs. We describe the results of 53 non-randomised studies narratively in the Discussion section, including observations of endurance, muscle strength and quality of life. Effects may differ depending on the type of myasthenia. Thirty-seven studies were in participants with CMS, five in participants with MG, and in 11 the precise form of myasthenia was unknown. We found no studies for NMG. Reported adverse effects included tachycardia, sleep

  1. Adult-onset Nemaline Myopathy Coexisting With Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Lingling; Wang, Yanling; Liu, Xiaofeng; Hu, Yanxia; Li, Nianchun; Qiu, Guoping; Luo, Yun; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular junction disorder which is characterized by fluctuating muscle fatigue. However, the association of MG with nemaline myopathy is rarely reported. Here we report a case of MG coexisting with adult-onset nemaline myopathy. A 55-year-old man endured fluctuating muscle weakness with positive acetylcholine receptor and titin antibodies. After the patient was administrated cholinergic drugs and immunosuppression, the muscle weakness of the patient had mildly been alleviated. Electromyography showed a progressive decrement in the amplitude of muscle action potential at low frequency. Muscle biopsy showed numerous nemalines in the muscle fibers. This is the first reported case of nemalines present in the muscle fibers of adult patient with MG. The pathogenesis of nemaline may be related to titin antibody in adult-onset nemaline myopathy with MG. PMID:26825889

  2. Thymoma related myasthenia gravis in humans and potential animal models.

    PubMed

    Marx, Alexander; Porubsky, Stefan; Belharazem, Djeda; Saruhan-Direskeneli, Güher; Schalke, Berthold; Ströbel, Philipp; Weis, Cleo-Aron

    2015-08-01

    Thymoma-associated Myasthenia gravis (TAMG) is one of the anti-acetylcholine receptor MG (AChR-MG) subtypes. The clinico-pathological features of TAMG and its pathogenesis are described here in comparison with pathogenetic models suggested for the more common non-thymoma AChR-MG subtypes, early onset MG and late onset MG. Emphasis is put on the role of abnormal intratumorous T cell selection and activation, lack of intratumorous myoid cells and regulatory T cells as well as deficient expression of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) by neoplastic thymic epithelial cells. We review spontaneous and genetically engineered thymoma models in a spectrum of animals and the extensive clinical and immunological overlap between canine, feline and human TAMG. Finally, limitations and perspectives of the transplantation of human and murine thymoma tissue into nude mice, as potential models for TAMG, are addressed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Misdiagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis and Subsequent Clinical Implication

    PubMed Central

    Al-Asmi, Abdullah; Nandhagopal, Ramachandiran; Jacob, P C; Gujjar, Arunodaya

    2012-01-01

    The autoimmune disease, myasthenia gravis (MG), can mimic a variety of neurological disorders leading to a delay in diagnosis and treatment. On occasions, misdiagnosis of MG could lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful therapeutic interventions. We report on a 12 year-old boy, in whom MG was mistaken for meningitic sequelae and subsequently for critical neuropathy/myopathy resulting in considerable morbidity for nearly a decade. Subsequent correct diagnosis and optimal management resulted in significant improvement in his functional status. We discuss the importance of considering MG as one of the potential differential diagnoses among cases of recurrent respiratory pump failure, or unexplained bulbar symptoms where documentary proof of the previous diagnoses including work-up for MG is lacking. We also review the literature on MG misdiagnosis and highlight the potential pitfalls in MG diagnosis. PMID:22375266

  4. Severe Preeclampsia in the Setting of Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Keeney, Renée

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune disease that leads to progressive muscle weakness and is common during female reproductive years. The myasthenic mother and her newborn must be observed carefully, as complications during all stages of pregnancy and the puerperium may arise suddenly. Preeclampsia is a common obstetrical condition for which magnesium sulfate is used for seizure prophylaxis. However, magnesium sulfate is strongly contraindicated in MG as it impairs already slowed nerve-muscle connections. Similarly, many first-line antihypertensive medications, including calcium channels blockers and β-blockers, may lead to MG exacerbation. This case describes the effective obstetrical management of a patient with MG who developed severe preeclampsia. The effective use of levetiracetam and various antihypertensive medications including intravenous labetalol is described. A review of the ten reported cases of MG complicated by preeclampsia is examined to aggregate observations of clinical care, with focus on delivery methods, anticonvulsants, and antihypertensive medications. PMID:28280642

  5. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Myasthenia Gravis: An Unusual Association

    PubMed Central

    Chogtu, Bharti; Malik, Daliparty Vasudev

    2016-01-01

    Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic fibrosing lung condition with high morbidity and mortality, accounting for about 25% of the cases of interstitial lung diseases. It usually has a progressive course resulting in death due to respiratory failure. Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease, caused by antibody mediated activity against acetylcholine receptor at the neuromuscular junction. It is characterized by fluctuating muscle weakness and fatigue. Extensive literature search did not reveal any case report of an association between these two conditions. Here we present a case of a patient with IPF who also developed MG. The diagnosis of IPF was based on High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) of the lung and that of MG was based on clinical criteria and electrophysiological testing. The case was successfully managed. PMID:27190866

  6. Genetic basis of myasthenia gravis - a comprehensive review.

    PubMed

    Avidan, Nili; Le Panse, Rozen; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Miller, Ariel

    2014-08-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies against proteins of the postsynaptic membrane in the neuromuscular junction. The estimated number of MG patients is steadily increasing, and it had more than doubled in the last 20 years. Monozygotic MG twin concordance is estimated to be about 35% supporting the central role of environmental factors in MG etiology. Epigenetics, presume to be the mechanistic link between environmental and genetic risk factors in disease development, provides support for specific microRNAs associated with MG. Genetic studies have mainly pointed at specific HLA alleles implicated in MG susceptibility, however recently both TNFAIP3-interacting protein 1 (TNIP1) and tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor 22 (PTPN22) were indicated to be associated with MG in a GWAS study. A gender bias was observed for SNPs in the HLA-locus, suggesting female-specific alleles have an increase risk for MG. Moreover, sex hormones play a pivotal role in the gender bias in autoimmunity in general and in MG in particular. Hence the genetic basis of gender bias might be highly pertinent to MG and deserves further characterization. Pathway-based analyses that combine information across multiple genes into a limited number of molecular networks have been found to be a powerful approach. Both regulatory T-cell (Treg) differentiation and NF-κB signaling pathway have been shown to have relevance to MG pathophysiology. Hence studies centered around two pathways might be a fruitful approach to identify additional polymorphisms associated with myasthenia gravis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Improved methodology to obtain large quantities of correctly folded recombinant N-terminal extracellular domain of the human muscle acetylcholine receptor for inducing experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis in rats

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Chenjing; Zhang, Hongliang; Xu, Jiang; Gao, Jie

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Human myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder of the neuromuscular system. Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) is a well-established animal model for MG that can be induced by active immunization with the Torpedo californica-derived acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Due to the expensive cost of purifying AChR from Torpedo californica, the development of an easier and more economical way of inducing EAMG remains critically needed. Material and methods Full-length cDNA of the human skeletal muscle AChR α1 subunit was obtained from TE671 cells. The DNA fragment encoding the extracellular domain (ECD) was then amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and inserted into pET-16b. The reconstructed plasmid was transformed into the host strain BL21(DE3)pLysS, which was derived from Escherichia coli. Isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) was used to induce the expression of the N-terminal ECD. The produced protein was purified with immobilized Ni2+ affinity chromatography and refolded by dialysis. Results The recombinant protein was efficiently refolded to soluble active protein, which was verified by ELISA. After immunization with the recombinant ECD, all rats acquired clinical signs of EAMG. The titer of AChR antibodies in the serum was significantly higher in the EAMG group than in the control group, indicating successful induction of EAMG. Conclusions We describe an improved procedure for refolding recombinant ECD of human muscle AChR. This improvement allows for the generation of large quantities of correctly folded recombinant ECD of human muscle AChR, which provides for an easier and more economical way of inducing the animal model of MG. PMID:24904677

  8. Quality of life in 188 patients with myasthenia gravis in China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yongxiang; Zhang, Min; Guo, Jun; Ma, Shan; Fan, Lingling; Wang, Xianni; Li, Chuan; Guo, Peng; Wang, Jie; Li, Hongzeng; Li, Zhuyi

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a kind of chronic autoimmune disease which can weaken patients' motor function and, furthermore, produce negative impact on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The primary purpose of this research was to evaluate factors that might affect the HRQoL of MG patients. A cross-sectional clinical research was carried out including 188 successive patients with MG. Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) classification and Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis (QMG) score were applied to assess the severity of the disease. The Medical Outcome Survey 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) was used to estimate the HRQoL. Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS) were utilized to measure the depression and anxiety symptom. Factors may influence the HRQoL of MG patients include age, educational level, occupation, the situation of the thymus, the type of MG and generalized myasthenia gravis (GMG), the severity of the disease and the psychological disorder. Higher QMG and HARS scores were two significant factors that can prognosticate lower Physical Composite Score (PCS) and Mental Composite Score (MCS), while older age was just a significant factor which has prognostic value for lower PCS. The results of this research may have a potential guiding significance for the clinical treatment strategy and improve the quality of life in patients with MG consequently. In addition to the treatment of physical symptoms, the psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression should be concerned as well.

  9. Two patients with co-morbid myasthenia gravis in a Brazilian cohort of inflammatory bowel disease.

    PubMed

    Gondim, Francisco de A A; de Oliveira, Gisele R; Araújo, Davi F; Souza, Marcellus Henrique Loiola Ponte; Braga, Lúcia Libanez Bessa Campelo; Thomas, Florian P

    2014-11-01

    Co-morbid auto-immune disorders may affect 0.2% of the population. We present the clinical and electrodiagnostic findings of 2 patients with inflammatory bowel disease and myasthenia gravis from a Brazilian cohort of 218 inflammatory bowel disease patients. Patient 1: A 40year-old man was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 37 and underwent total colectomy 3years later. After prednisone was tapered, he experienced a clinical relapse and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. He then developed quadriparesis, bilateral ptosis, dysphagia and dysarthria. Patient 2: A 41year-old woman (diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis at age 35) developed speech impairment and ptosis. On both patients, symptoms quickly progressed over few weeks. Myasthenia gravis was diagnosed and confirmed by abnormal repetitive nerve stimulation and elevated anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody titers. Pyridostigmine and prednisone successfully treated both patients. Myasthenia gravis prevalence over 9years was 0.9%. Myasthenia gravis clinical course was not significantly modified by inflammatory bowel disease relapses and should be suspected with new onset weakness.

  10. Pembrolizumab-induced myasthenia gravis: A fatal case report.

    PubMed

    March, Katherine L; Samarin, Michael J; Sodhi, Amik; Owens, Ryan E

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Pembrolizumab, a monoclonal antibody which inhibits the programmed cell death 1 receptor, has been shown to efficaciously enhance pre-existing immune responses to malignancies. However, safety concerns must also be considered as pembrolizumab use has been associated with several life-threatening immune-related adverse events (irAEs). We report a fatal case of pembrolizumab-induced myasthenia gravis in a patient with no prior myasthenia gravis history. Case report A 63-year-old male presented with right eyelid drooping, puffiness, blurred vision, and shortness of breath two weeks after an initial infusion of pembrolizumab. He was subsequently diagnosed with new onset acetylcholine-receptor positive myasthenia gravis. Despite aggressive treatment with corticosteroids, pyridostigmine, intravenous immunoglobulin, and plasmapheresis, the patient clinically deteriorated and ultimately expired from acute respiratory failure after a 12-day hospitalization. Discussion Current package labeling for pembrolizumab warns against various irAEs associated with its use including pneumonitis, colitis, and endocrinopathies. To date, only one case of new onset myasthenia gravis and two case reports of myasthenia gravis exacerbation have been identified. This case further highlights the mortality risk associated with development of irAEs. Conclusion While rare, evidence for the development of MG associated with pembrolizumab is growing. Prompt recognition of symptoms and discontinuation of pembrolizumab is necessary to help improve prognosis.

  11. Bedside testing for myasthenia gravis: the ice-test

    PubMed Central

    Browning, J; Wallace, M; Chana, J; Booth, J

    2010-01-01

    A 67-year-old man presented to the acute medical take with a history of droopy eyelids and difficulty swallowing. A diagnosis of myasthenia gravis was suspected from the clinical history. The patient's symptoms were progressive, raising concerns of aspiration pneumonia or respiratory compromise if untreated. Definitive diagnosis of myasthenia gravis relies upon a combination of serological and electrophysiological investigations, the results of which are not immediately available in an acute situation. Bedside tests are therefore of practical clinical importance to enable prompt and effective initiation of treatment, particularly where critical symptoms are present. The ice-test is a straightforward and non-invasive investigation with a high sensitivity for myasthenia gravis and is a useful alternative to edrophonium testing. It is especially helpful in patients with cardiac and respiratory co-morbidities for whom acetylcholinesterase inhibitors are contraindicated. We describe a case where this simple bedside test successfully expedited the correct treatment and improved patient care. PMID:22798513

  12. Differential Diagnosis of Hallucinations in a Patient with Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Hizem, Yosr; Ben Djebara, Mouna; Kacem, Imen; Gargouri, Amina; Gouider, Riadh

    2013-01-01

    We present the case of a 63-year-old woman with comorbidity of myasthenia gravis and psychosis. Different diagnostic hypotheses based on a review of the literature are discussed. A protracted history of physical spousal abuse, patient symptoms, and results of different investigations allowed us to conclude that the patient had a form of posttraumatic stress disorder with secondary psychotic features. Psychosis due to myasthenia gravis is rarely seen, and it remains unclear what is the pathophysiology, if any, for such an association. The present case highlights the difficulties the physician faces in disentangling psychosis as a potential manifestation of myasthenia gravis itself versus being caused by a medical side effect of treatment, or psychosis due to a distinct co-occurring neurologic or psychiatric condition. PMID:24307978

  13. Recent Advances in Genetic Predisposition of Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Kambouris, Manousos E.; Patrinos, George P.; Tzartos, Socrates J.

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated by the presence of autoantibodies that bind to components of the neuromuscular junction, causing the symptoms of muscular weakness and fatigability. Like most autoimmune disorders, MG is a multifactorial, noninherited disease, though with an established genetic constituent. The heterogeneity observed in MG perplexes genetic analysis even more, as it occurs in various levels, including diverse autoantigens, thymus histopathology, and age at onset. In this context of distinct subgroups, a plethora of association studies, discussed in this review, have assessed the involvement of various HLA and non-HLA related loci in MG susceptibility, over the past five years. As expected, certain HLA alleles were strongly associated with MG. Many of the non-HLA genes, such as PTPN22 and CTLA-4, have been previously studied in MG and other autoimmune diseases and their association with MG has been reevaluated in more cohesive groups of patients. Moreover, novel risk or protective loci have been revealed, as in the case of TNIP1 and FOXP3. Although the majority of these results have been derived from candidate gene studies, the focal point of all recent genetic studies is the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) conducted on early-onset MG patients. PMID:24294607

  14. Refractory myasthenia gravis – clinical profile, comorbidities and response to rituximab

    PubMed Central

    Sudulagunta, Sreenivasa Rao; Sepehrar, Mona; Sodalagunta, Mahesh Babu; Settikere Nataraju, Aravinda; Bangalore Raja, Shiva Kumar; Sathyanarayana, Deepak; Gummadi, Siddharth; Burra, Hemanth Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an antibody mediated autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by fatigable muscle weakness. A proportion of myasthenia gravis patients are classified as refractory due to non responsiveness to conventional treatment. This retrospective study was done to evaluate clinical profile, epidemiological, laboratory, and features of patients with MG and mode of management using rituximab and complications. Methods: Data of myasthenia gravis patients admitted or presented to outpatient department (previous medical records) with MG between January 2008 and January 2016 were included. A total of 512 patients fulfilled the clinical and diagnostic criteria of myasthenia gravis of which 76 patients met the diagnostic certainty for refractory myasthenia gravis and were evaluated. Results: Out of 76 refractory MG patients, 53 (69.73%) patients fulfilled all the three defined criteria. The median age of onset of the refractory MG group was 36 years with a range of 27–53 years. In our study 25 patients (32.89%) belonged to the age group of 21–30 years. Anti-MuSK antibodies were positive in 8 non-refractory MG patients (2.06%) and 36 refractory MG patients (47.36%). Mean HbA1C was found to be 8.6±2.33. The dose of administered prednisone decreased by a mean of 59.7% (p=3.3x10–8) to 94.6% (p=2.2x10–14) after the third cycle of rituximab treatment. Conclusion: The refractory MG patients are most commonly female with an early age of onset, anti-MuSK antibodies, and thymomas. Refractory MG patients have higher prevalence and poor control (HbA1C >8%) of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia probably due to increased steroid usage. Rituximab is very efficient in treatment of refractory MG with adverse effects being low. PMID:27790079

  15. Prevalence of myasthenia gravis in the Catalan county of Osona.

    PubMed

    Aragonès, J M; Altimiras, J; Roura, P; Alonso, F; Bufill, E; Munmany, A; Alfonso, S; Illa, I

    The reported prevalence of myasthenia gravis ranges between 5 and 24 cases per 100,000, and people over 65years account for less than 50% of all cases. The prevalence and clinical characteristics of myasthenia gravis in the county of Osona were studied in patients younger and older than 65. The study draws from the county-based prospective myasthenia gravis register implemented by the Neurology Department at Hospital General de Vic in 1991. The prevalence of myasthenia gravis was 32.89×10(5) inhabitants (95%CI, 23.86-41.91). The standardized prevalence (European population) was 35.47×10(5) inhabitants (95%CI, 26.10-44.84). The ratio of women to men was 1.3. Overall, the group of patients older than 65 accounted for 62.75% of all cases. The prevalence of myasthenia gravis increased considerably in older age groups. No cases were registered among patients under 25years old, prevalence was 21.87×10(5) in the 25 to 64 age group, and prevalence in patients over 65 years increased to 122.35×10(5). The clinical characteristics prior to treatment and at the cut-off date are similar (P>.05) in patients younger than 65 and those aged 65 and older. These figures show the highest prevalence rate reported to date. This high prevalence is due to the rate observed among patients older than 65. These results provide a new warning that myasthenia gravis may be underdiagnosed in the elderly population. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  16. Dysfunctional chemosensation in myasthenia gravis: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Leon-Sarmiento, Fidias E; Leon-Ariza, Daniel S; Doty, Richard L

    2013-09-01

    Myasthenia gravis has traditionally been viewed as a disorder that solely affects the neuromuscular junction within the peripheral nervous system. However, there is now evidence that the cholinergic dysfunction of this disorder may be more widespread than previously believed. This article provides a systematic review of the studies that examined smell and taste function in myasthenia gravis. We analyzed studies that reported chemosensory function alterations in patients with myasthenia gravis. PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, EMBASE, and SciELO, searched to identify articles published from January 1950 through December 2012, were supplemented by relevant articles. The following information was identified from each article: the number of patients, number of controls (if any), clinical stage of patients, neurological involvement, serological state, taste or smell involvement, chemosensory test used, and country of publication. Ten studies reporting smell and taste function and dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis were identified, most of which were case reports commenting on apparent abnormalities in the taste system. The sole empirical study that investigated taste function, however, was negative, suggesting that some reports of taste loss may reflect olfactory loss. One study clearly documented olfactory dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis, dysfunction most likely attributable to altered central nervous system cholinergic function. Chemosensory dysfunction has been reported in a number of patients with myasthenia gravis. Given the close association between complaints of taste dysfunction and loss of flavor sensations secondary to olfactory system damage, quantitative testing should be used to accurately assess the nature and degree of the dysfunction present in this debilitating disorder.

  17. Surgical correction of blepharoptosis in patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, E A; Bartley, G B; Chapman, K L; Waller, R R

    2000-01-01

    PURPOSE: To describe the results of surgical correction of blepharoptosis in a series of patients with myasthenia gravis. METHODS: We reviewed the medical records of all patients with myasthenia gravis who underwent surgical correction for blepharoptosis at the Mayo Clinic between 1985 and 1999. The primary outcome measure was change in interpalpebral eyelid fissure height. RESULTS: Eighteen blepharoptosis procedures were performed on 11 patients with myasthenia gravis. Eight of the 11 patients had ocular myasthenia gravis, and 3 had systemic myasthenia gravis. Of the 18 procedures performed, 11 were external levator advancements (ELA), 6 were frontalis slings, and 1 was a tarsomyectomy. Patients were followed up postoperatively for an average of 34 months (range, 9 to 126 months). The amount of ptosis was quantified preoperatively and postoperatively for 9 of the 11 eyelids that underwent ELA. For these eyelids, there was a statistically significant improvement in the mean interpalpebral eyelid fissure height, from 4.2 mm preoperatively to 8.1 mm postoperatively, with a mean difference of 3.9 mm (95% confidence interval, 2.3 to 5.5 mm; P = .0005). Postoperative complications included worsened diplopia in 1 patient who underwent ELA and exposure keratopathy in 1 patient who underwent a frontalis sling procedure. Two of the eyelids that underwent ELA developed recurrent ptosis, requiring additional surgery more than 2 years after the initial procedure. CONCLUSION: Surgical correction of blepharoptosis is an appropriate treatment option in patients with myasthenia gravis who fail medical therapy. Potential complications include worsened diplopia and exposure keratopathy. Images FIGURE 1A FIGURE 1B FIGURE 2A FIGURE 2B FIGURE 3A FIGURE 3B FIGURE 3C FIGURE 3D FIGURE 3E FIGURE 3F FIGURE 3G FIGURE 3H FIGURE 4A FIGURE 4B FIGURE 4C FIGURE 4D FIGURE 1A,B FIGURE 2A,B PMID:11190021

  18. Myasthenia gravis and hypothyroidism in a dog with meningomyelitis.

    PubMed

    Levine, Jonathan M; Bergman, Robert L; Coates, Joan R; Shelton, G Diane

    2005-01-01

    A 12-year-old, spayed female miniature poodle was evaluated because of a 4-day history of paraparesis, dysuria, and tenesmus. Neurological assessment suggested peripheral nervous system dysfunction, predominantly pelvic limb weakness with a possible concurrent sixth lumbar (L(6)) to second sacral (S(2)) myelopathy. Further studies supported the diagnoses of myasthenia gravis, hypothyroidism, and meningomyelitis. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of concurrent myasthenia gravis and meningomyelitis in the dog. It was unclear whether the identified conditions evolved from a shared etiopathogenesis or were merely coincidental.

  19. Acquired myasthenia gravis and cholangiocellular carcinoma in a dog.

    PubMed

    Krotje, L J; Fix, A S; Potthoff, A D

    1990-08-15

    Acquired myasthenia gravis and cholangiocellular carcinoma were diagnosed in a 7-year-old English Setter referred because of forelimb lameness, exercise-induced weakness, and fever. Three months earlier, the dog had had a pleuropulmonary infection caused by a Fusobacterium sp. The concurrent development of myasthenia gravis and cholangiocellular carcinoma in this dog may be explained by a paraneoplastic syndrome, although it is unproven. The cholangiocellular carcinoma may have possessed an acetylcholine receptor-like antigen on the tumor surface, which induced autoantibodies to cross-react with acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction.

  20. Antibodies in myasthenia gravis and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Angela; McConville, John; Farrugia, Maria Elena; Bowen, John; Plested, Paul; Tang, Teresa; Evoli, Amelia; Matthews, Ian; Sims, Gary; Dalton, Paolo; Jacobson, Leslie; Polizzi, Agata; Blaes, Frans; Lang, Bethan; Beeson, David; Willcox, Nick; Newsom-Davis, John; Hoch, Werner

    2003-09-01

    Acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies are present in around 85% of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) as measured by the conventional radioimmunoprecipitation assay. Antibodies that block the fetal form of the AChR are occasionally present in mothers who develop MG after pregnancy, especially in those whose babies are born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. The antibodies cross the placenta and block neuromuscular transmission, leading to joint deformities and often stillbirth. In these mothers, antibodies made in the thymus are mainly specific for fetal AChR and show restricted germline origins, suggesting a highly mutated clonal response; subsequent spread to involve adult AChR could explain development of maternal MG in those cases who first present after pregnancy. In the 15% of "seronegative" MG patients without AChR antibodies (SNMG), there are serum factors that increase AChR phosphorylation and reduce AChR function, probably acting via a different membrane receptor. These factors are not IgG and could be IgM or even non-Ig serum proteins. In a proportion of SNMG patients, however, IgG antibodies to the muscle-specific kinase, MuSK, are present. These antibodies are not found in AChR antibody-positive MG and are predominantly IgG4. MuSK antibody positivity appears to be associated with more severe bulbar disease that can be difficult to treat effectively.

  1. T and B lymphocytes in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Itoyama, Y; Kawanami, S; Goto, I; Kuroiwa, Y

    1979-01-01

    Peripheral blood lymphocytes from seventeen non-thymectomized and nine thymectomized patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) and thirteen healthy controls were examined for the presence of surface markers characteristic of T and B lymphocytes by rosette formation with sheep red blood cells (SRBC). T cells were identified by their capacity to spontaneously form rosettes with SRBCs. The percentage of B lymphocytes was determined by the erythrocyte antibody complement (EAC) rosette-forming test. The EAC complex was prepared with either whole rabbit anti-SRBC serum or with the IgM fraction of rabbit anti-SRBC serum. The two kind of erythrocyte complement rosette-forming cells (EAC-RFC) are designated erythrocyte-haemolysin-complement RFC (EA(H)C-RFC), and erythrocyte-IgM-complement RFC (EA(M)C-RFC). The percentage of total lymphocytes and T cells was not altered in MG patients. The percentage of 'active' T cells, which have been considered to be more actively involved in cellular immunity, was also similar in MG patients and controls. A significant increase in EA(H)C-RFC occurred in both thymectomized and non-thymectomized MG patients, while in B cells detected by EA(M)C-RFC no alterations were found. The increase in EA(H)C-RFC in lymphocytes from MG patients may be due to an increase in the 19S antibody-forming B lymphocytes or to an increase in T cells which have Fc receptors on their surface. PMID:315844

  2. Cognitive fatigue in patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Berit; Schweden, Tabea L K; Mehl, Theresa; Menge, Uwe; Zierz, Stephan

    2017-09-01

    Cognitive fatigue has frequently been reported in myasthenia gravis (MG). However, objective assessment of cognitive fatigability has never been evaluated. Thirty-three MG patients with stable generalized disease and 17 healthy controls underwent a test battery including repeated testing of attention and concentration (d2-R) and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test. Fatigability was based on calculation of linear trend (LT) reflecting dynamic performance within subsequent constant time intervals. Additionally, fatigue questionnaires were used. MG patients showed a negative LT in second d2-R testing, indicating cognitive fatigability. This finding significantly differed from stable cognitive performance in controls (P < 0.05). Results of Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test testing did not differ between groups. Self-assessed fatigue was significantly higher in MG patients compared with controls (P < 0.001), but did not correlate with LT. LT quantifies cognitive fatigability as an objective measurement of performance decline in MG patients. Self-assessed cognitive fatigue is not correlated with objective findings. Muscle Nerve 56: 449-457, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Impairments in Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Barnett, Carolina; Bril, Vera; Kapral, Moira; Kulkarni, Abhaya; Davis, Aileen M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Myasthenia gravis is characterized by weakness and fatigability of different muscle groups, including ocular, bulbar and the limbs. Therefore, a measure of disease severity at the impairment level in myasthenia needs to reflect all the relevant impairments, as well as their variations with activity and fatigue. We conducted a qualitative study of patients with myasthenia, to explore their experiences and related impairments, aimed at developing a conceptual framework of disease severity at the impairment level in myasthenia gravis. Methods Twenty patients representing the spectrum of disease participated in semi-structured interviews. Interviews were recorded and the transcripts were analyzed by content analysis using an inductive approach with line-by-line open coding. Themes were generated from these codes. Results Two main themes were identified: the severity of the impairments and fatigability (i.e., triggering or worsening of an impairment with activity). The impairments were further classified within body regions (ocular, bulbar and axial/limbs). Fatigability was described as a phenomenon affecting the whole body but also affecting specific impairments, and was associated with fluctuation of the symptoms. Patients were concerned that clinical examination at a single point in time might not reflect their true clinical state due to fatigability and fluctuations in severity. Conclusions This conceptual framework reflects the relevance of both severity and fatigability in understanding impairment-based disease severity in myasthenia. This framework could inform the development of impairment measures in myasthenia gravis. PMID:24844418

  4. [Symptoms of myasthenia gravis in a patient with a history of thymectomy for invasive thymoma].

    PubMed

    Giraldo, Lilliana María; Duque, Camilo; Uribe, Carlos Santiago; Hernández, Olga Helena

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an antibody-mediated autoimmune disease. Approximately 10-15% of patients present with a thymoma, the presence of which is associated with greater severity of symptoms, myasthenic crisis, and irresponsiveness to front-line therapy. A thymectomy is recommended in young patients with generalized myasthenia gravis and in all patients presenting with thymoma. The patient was a 43-year-old woman, who first showed symptoms of myasthenic crisis in 2005 and presented with invasive thymoma managed with thymectomy and radiotherapy. In the subsequent three years, the patient presented with severe symptoms and two myasthenic crises that required mechanical ventilation and immunoglobulin treatment. Contrast chest computed tomography examinations showed no recurrence. Between 2009 and 2012, the patient experienced decreased symptom severity. In 2013, the patient presented with an exacerbation of symptoms; a contrast chest magnetic resonance scan showed a lesion in the anterior mediastinum, previously observed in 2011, suggestive of residual tissue as opposed to fibrosis. Regular management was started with immunoglobulins; a positron emission tomography scan was inconclusive, requiring a new resection, which showed no evidence of tumor recurrence. Patients with myasthenia gravis and those with myasthenia-related thymoma both share thymectomy as an element of treatment. However, following the procedure, exacerbation or reappearance of symptoms does not necessarily represent new alterations in the thymus.

  5. Congenital myasthenic syndrome due to mutation in CHRNE gene with clinical worsening and thymic hyperplasia attributed to association with autoimmune-myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Santos, Ernestina; Moreira, Isabel; Coutinho, Ester; Gonçalves, Guilherme; Lopes, Carlos; Lopes Lima, José; Leite, M Isabel

    2015-12-01

    We report a patient with congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) due to mutation in CHRNE with symptoms since the age of 4; mild to moderate fatigable weakness involved mainly ocular, bulbar and limb muscles; functional impact of the disease in their development and physical activity was modest. By the age of 34, the patient experienced gradual worsening of fatigue with dyspnoea and pronounced limb weakness, requiring significant increase of pyridostigmine. Further, a remarkable and sustained clinical improvement followed thymectomy with hyperplastic thymus. Despite of the absence of detectable antibodies to acetyl-choline receptor (AChR) (including clustered-AChR), muscle-specific kinase and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-4 antibodies in the serum obtained nine years after thymectomy, the clinical, genetic and histological features are in keeping with the extremely rare association of two rare neuromuscular junction disorders - CMS and myasthenia gravis (MG). The inexistence of other conditions that could potentially associate with thymic hyperplasia also supports the diagnosis of MG. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Determinants of quality of life in Brazilian patients with myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Mourão, Aline Mansueto; Gomez, Rodrigo Santiago; Barbosa, Luiz Sergio Mageste; da Silva Freitas, Denise; Comini-Frota, Elizabeth Regina; Kummer, Arthur; Lemos, Stella Maris Aguiar; Teixeira, Antonio Lucio

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: The aims of the current study were 1) to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Brazilian version of the 15-item Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life Scale and 2) to investigate the quality of life of Brazilian patients with myasthenia gravis and its determinants. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 69 patients with myasthenia gravis who underwent neurological evaluation and completed questionnaires regarding quality of life (the 36-item Short Form of the Medical Outcomes Study and the 15-item Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life Scale), anxiety and depressive symptoms. RESULTS: The Brazilian version of the 15-item Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life Scale showed high internal consistency and good concurrent validity with the 36-item Short Form of the Medical Outcomes Study and its subscales. Determinants of quality of life in Brazilian patients with myasthenia gravis included the current status of myasthenia gravis as assessed by the Myasthenia Gravis Composite, the current prednisone dose and the levels of anxiety and depression. CONCLUSION: The Brazilian version of the 15-item Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life Scale is a valid instrument. Symptom severity, prednisone dosage and anxiety and depression levels impact the quality of life of patients with myasthenia gravis. PMID:27464292

  7. Thymic remodeling associated with hyperplasia in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Le Panse, Rozen; Bismuth, Jacky; Cizeron-Clairac, Géraldine; Weiss, Julia Miriam; Cufi, Perrine; Dartevelle, Philippe; De Rosbo, Nicole Kerlero; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2010-08-01

    Acquired myasthenia gravis (MG), a neurological autoimmune disease, is caused by autoantibodies against components of the neuromuscular junction that lead to disabling muscle fatigability. The thymus is clearly involved in the pathogenesis of early-onset MG with anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies, and thymic hyperplasia of lympho-proliferative origin is a hallmark of the disease. In this review, we describe the structural and cellular changes associated with thymic hyperplasia, its main characteristics being the development of ectopic germinal centers (GCs) associated with active neoangiogenic processes, such as development of high endothelial venules and lymphangiogenesis. What triggers such thymic abnormalities in MG is not yet clear. A thymic transcriptome analysis has demonstrated a strong inflammatory signature in MG that could orchestrate the development of thymic hyperplasia. In this context, thymic epithelial cells (TECs) seem to play a central role, either by contributing or responding to the inflammatory environment and up-regulating the autoimmune response. In particular, MG TECs clearly overexpress various cytokines, among which chemokines play a crucial role in the recruitment of peripheral lymphocytes to the thymus via the newly expanded vessel network, thereby leading to the development of ectopic GCs. Clearly, a better understanding of major events that lead to thymic hyperplasia will help optimize strategies toward more specific therapy for MG.

  8. The auto-antigen repertoire in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Vrolix, Kathleen; Fraussen, Judith; Molenaar, Peter C; Losen, Mario; Somers, Veerle; Stinissen, Piet; De Baets, Marc H; Martínez-Martínez, Pilar

    2010-08-01

    Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is an antibody-mediated autoimmune disorder affecting the postsynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). MG is characterized by an impaired signal transmission between the motor neuron and the skeletal muscle cell, caused by auto-antibodies directed against NMJ proteins. The auto-antibodies target the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in about 90% of MG patients. In approximately 5% of MG patients, the muscle specific kinase (MuSK) is the auto-antigen. In the remaining 5% of MG patients, however, antibodies against the nAChR or MuSK are not detectable (idiopathic MG, iMG). Although only the anti-nAChR and anti-MuSK auto-antibodies have been demonstrated to be pathogenic, several other antibodies recognizing self-antigens can also be found in MG patients. Various auto-antibodies associated with thymic abnormalities have been reported, as well as many non-MG-specific auto-antibodies. However, their contribution to the cause, pathology and severity of the disease is still poorly understood. Here, we comprehensively review the reported auto-antibodies in MG patients and discuss their role in the pathology of this autoimmune disease.

  9. Left ventricular rupture after double valve replacement in a patient with myocarditis due to myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Argiriou, Mihalis; Patris, Vasilis; Lama, Niki; Katsaridis, Sotirios; Argiriou, Orestis; Charitos, Christos

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterised by weakness of the skeletal muscles, with remissions and exacerbations due to antibodies acting on the acetylcholine receptors. This leads to the characteristic defect transmission in the neuromuscular junction. Treatment includes anticholinesterase agents, thymectomy, and immunosuppression. Surgical thymectomy can induce remission or improvement, allowing for reduction in the immunosuppressive treatment. The case of an 84-year-old female patient with myasthenia gravis, aortic valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation and myocarditis is described. The development of myocarditis was related to inflammatory cell infiltration, and progressive and additive focal cellular necrosis associated with reactive myocardial fibrosis. After replacement of the mitral valve, complications arose when a rupture of the left ventricular posterior wall occurred, which caused massive bleeding and sudden death on the operating table.

  10. Results of surgical treatment for juvenile myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Roque, F J; Hernández-Oliver, M O; Medrano Plana, Y; Castillo Vitlloch, A; Fuentes Herrera, L; Rivero-Valerón, D

    2017-04-01

    Radical or extended thymectomy is an effective treatment for myasthenia gravis in the adult population. There are few reports to demonstrate the effectiveness of this treatment in patients with juvenile myasthenia gravis. The main objective of this study was to show that extended transsternal thymectomy is a valid option for treating this disease in paediatric patients. Twenty-three patients with juvenile myasthenia gravis underwent this surgical treatment in the period between April 2003 and April 2014; mean age was 12.13 years and the sample was predominantly female. The main indication for surgery, in 22 patients, was the generalised form of the disease (Osserman stage II) together with no response to 6 months of medical treatment. The histological diagnosis was thymic hyperplasia in 22 patients and thymoma in one patient. There were no deaths and no major complications in the postoperative period. After a mean follow-up period of 58.87 months, 22 patients are taking no medication or need less medication to manage myasthenic symptoms. Extended (radical) transsternal thymectomy is a safe and effective surgical treatment for juvenile myasthenia gravis. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  11. Hickam's dictum: Myasthenia Gravis presenting concurrently with Graves' disease.

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Shekhar; Rebello, Roshan; Wolmarans, Louise; Elston, Marianne

    2017-09-07

    We present two patients with Graves' disease and concurrent myasthenia gravis. The impact of the dual diagnosis on the clinical course and the potential for a delayed diagnosis of myasthenia gravis is discussed. Patient 1, a 28-year-old man was diagnosed with Graves' disease following his second respiratory arrest. His history was strongly suggestive of a second pathology. Patient 2, a 66-year-old Cantonese woman with established Graves' disease presented with thionamide-related neutropaenia. Examination revealed bilateral ptosis and right lateral rectus palsy. Both patients had thyrotoxicosis secondary to Graves' disease with concurrent myasthenia gravis. Although neuromuscular weakness is common in Graves' disease, coexisting myasthenia gravis (MG) is rare and can cause profound morbidity. Ocular signs in both diseases may cause diagnostic confusion although ptosis suggests coexisting MG. In both cases, the thyrotoxicosis delayed the diagnosis of MG. © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd (unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.

  12. Ocular myasthenia gravis after D-penicillamine administration.

    PubMed Central

    Katz, L J; Lesser, R L; Merikangas, J R; Silverman, J P

    1989-01-01

    A 68-year-old black woman who was put on D-penicillamine therapy (250-500 mg per day, total dose 15 g) for rheumatoid arthritis developed ocular myasthenia gravis. Two weeks after she discontinued D-penicillamine her signs and symptoms cleared with no other treatment. Review of previous cases and possible immunological mechanisms are discussed. PMID:2692700

  13. Myasthenia gravis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Leite, M.I.; Coutinho, E.; Lana-Peixoto, M.; Apostolos, S.; Waters, P.; Sato, D.; Melamud, L.; Marta, M.; Graham, A.; Spillane, J.; Villa, A.M.; Callegaro, D.; Santos, E.; da Silva, A. Martins; Jarius, S.; Howard, R.; Nakashima, I.; Giovannoni, G.; Buckley, C.; Hilton-Jones, D.; Vincent, A.

    2012-01-01

    Objective: To describe 16 patients with a coincidence of 2 rare diseases: aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-Ab)–mediated neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (AQP4-NMOSD) and acetylcholine receptor antibody (AChR-Ab)–mediated myasthenia gravis (AChR-MG). Methods: The clinical details and antibody results of 16 patients with AChR-MG and AQP4-NMOSD were analyzed retrospectively. Results: All had early-onset AChR-MG, the majority with mild generalized disease, and a high proportion achieved remission. Fifteen were female; 11 were Caucasian. In 14/16, the MG preceded NMOSD (median interval: 16 years) and 11 of these had had a thymectomy although 1 only after NMOSD onset. In 4/5 patients tested, AQP4-Abs were detectable between 4 and 16 years prior to disease onset, including 2 patients with detectable AQP4-Abs prior to thymectomy. AChR-Abs decreased and the AQP4-Ab levels increased over time in concordance with the relevant disease. AChR-Abs were detectable at NMOSD onset in the one sample available from 1 of the 2 patients with NMOSD before MG. Conclusions: Although both conditions are rare, the association of MG and NMOSD occurs much more frequently than by chance and the MG appears to follow a benign course. AChR-Abs or AQP4-Abs may be present years before onset of the relevant disease and the antibody titers against AQP4 and AChR tend to change in opposite directions. Although most cases had MG prior to NMOSD onset, and had undergone thymectomy, NMOSD can occur first and in patients who have not had their thymus removed. PMID:22551731

  14. Autoantibodies to Agrin in Myasthenia Gravis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Bealmear, Beverly; Ragheb, Samia; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Lewis, Richard A.; Lisak, Robert P.; Mei, Lin

    2014-01-01

    To determine if patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) have antibodies to agrin, a proteoglycan released by motor neurons and is critical for neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation, we collected serum samples from 93 patients with MG with known status of antibodies to acetylcholine receptor (AChR), muscle specific kinase (MuSK) and lipoprotein-related 4 (LRP4) and samples from control subjects (healthy individuals and individuals with other diseases). Sera were assayed for antibodies to agrin. We found antibodies to agrin in 7 serum samples of MG patients. None of the 25 healthy controls and none of the 55 control neurological patients had agrin antibodies. Two of the four triple negative MG patients (i.e., no detectable AChR, MuSK or LRP4 antibodies, AChR-/MuSK-/LRP4-) had antibodies against agrin. In addition, agrin antibodies were detected in 5 out of 83 AChR+/MuSK-/LRP4- patients but were not found in the 6 patients with MuSK antibodies (AChR-/MuSK+/LRP4-). Sera from MG patients with agrin antibodies were able to recognize recombinant agrin in conditioned media and in transfected HEK293 cells. These sera also inhibited the agrin-induced MuSK phosphorylation and AChR clustering in muscle cells. Together, these observations indicate that agrin is another autoantigen in patients with MG and agrin autoantibodies may be pathogenic through inhibition of agrin/LRP4/MuSK signaling at the NMJ. PMID:24632822

  15. [Myasthenia gravis and pregnancy. Report on 13 cases].

    PubMed

    Picone, O; Audibert, F; Gajdos, P; Fernandez, H

    2003-11-01

    To evaluate our experience of myasthenia during pregnancy. Retrospective study in a tertiary care university hospital including pregnant women affected by myasthenia gravis and who delivered in the obstetrical tertiary center. Medical and delivery reports were analyzed. Between 1994 and 2002, 12 women, age 31 (25-36), delivered 14 children. One women delivered twice, and there was one twin pregnancy. Clinical symptoms of myasthenia worsened in five. One was admitted twice to the intensive care unit during her pregnancy. Two were admitted to intensive care unit during the first month of post-partum. Gestational age at birth was 39.3 weeks (38-40.6), all birth weights were normal: 3329 g (2660-4520). Six women delivered vaginally, two by instrumental extraction and five by cesarean section. Apgar score was normal for all infants: 9/10. The level of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies (anti AchR) was high: 36.4 nM/L (0-46.8) (normal below 0.6 nM/L), but was not related to neonatal outcome. Three children presented neonatal myasthenia. We recommend obstetrical monitoring in tertiary centers for pregnant women with myasthenia gravis because of the risk of neonatal myasthenia. Measurement of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies may be useful. Pediatric and maternal observation is necessary in the first days of post partum.

  16. Passive transfer of experimental autoimmune myasthenia by lymph node cells in inbred guinea pigs

    PubMed Central

    1975-01-01

    Passive transfer of experimental autoimmune myasthenia (EAM) was performed with lymph node cells from donor guinea pigs immunized with purified acetylcholine receptor (AChR) from Torpedo californica. Recipient animals revealed the same clinical signs and electromyographic patterns as observed in actively challenged animals. These phenomena are parallel to the clinical manifestations of the human disease myasthenia gravis, in which cellular response to AChR was recently demonstrated. PMID:1165476

  17. Juvenile myasthenia gravis: recommendations for diagnostic approaches and treatment.

    PubMed

    Della Marina, Adela; Trippe, Heike; Lutz, Soeren; Schara, Ulrike

    2014-04-01

    Juvenile myasthenia gravis (JMG) is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission caused by production of antibodies against components of the postsynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction. Ethnicity has influence on incidence, clinical presentation, and the course of the disease. The patients present with a wide range of symptoms-from isolated intermittent ocular symptoms to general muscle weakness with or without respiratory insufficiency. Compared with adults and adolescents, the clinical signs and course of disease in children exhibit differences and occasionally untypical symptoms. Therefore, JMG is often missed and the diagnosis delayed. Isolated ocular symptoms are frequent at onset, spontaneous remission or intermittent symptoms over the longer period of time can occur. Very young children may present with generalized muscle weakness already during the second year of life and in this patient group, specific antibodies can only be slightly increased or even negative. Existing therapeutic options include immunosuppressive therapy and thymectomy but potential long-term side effects on the growing organism and possible influence on immune response in very young children should be considered. Specific clinical symptoms, diagnostic procedures, and a therapeutic approach with consideration of this age group's specificities are discussed. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  18. Undiagnosed myasthenia gravis owing to a very unusual primary presentation.

    PubMed

    Khan, Khurram A; Bennett, Jeffrey D

    2014-10-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an uncommon autoimmune disorder presenting with fluctuating, progressive muscle weakness. The typical initial presentation includes ocular symptoms of ptosis, diplopia, or both. In the literature, other late symptoms have been described. The inability to close the jaws or difficulty in closing the jaws is an uncommon symptom of muscle weakness. Studies have found that only 4% of patients with MG ever complain of, or demonstrate, masticatory muscular weakness with an inability to close the jaws or difficulty in closing the jaws. In the present case, although the patient may have manifested other symptoms, his primary complaint was the inability to masticate as a result of muscular weakness and the difficulty in closing the jaw. The symptoms had reportedly been present for several months. The case is interesting in that the patient presented with an uncommon symptom as the primary complaint. The patient's recall and communication of his medical history was poor, and it is unclear as to all the factors that may have delayed the diagnosis. However, it is important for dentists to recognize these atypical symptoms of MG so that they can either order the initial tests or make the appropriate referral. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Dysphonia as the primary complaint in a case of myasthenia gravis: diagnosis and speech therapy.

    PubMed

    Nemr, Nair Kátia; Simões-Zenari, Marcia; Ferreira, Tainá Soares; Fernandes, Heloisa Regina; Mansur, Letícia Lessa

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease, manifested by progressive muscular weakness and fatigue. There are frequent ocular and bulbar symptoms, among them, dysphonia. This article reports a case of dysphonia that contributed to the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis through a speech evaluation. The patient sought speech therapy with the ENT diagnosis of presbyphonia. The perceptual voice assessment and acoustic analysis pointed out respiration, glottal voice source and resonance affections. Considering that some of the data obtained from anamnesis and vocal assessments were not directly related to presbyphonia, the speech therapist discussed the case with the physician and they both concluded it was necessary to refer the patient to a neurological evaluation. The neurologist then raised the diagnostic hypotheses of myasthenia gravis and requested further examinations. The patient underwent speech therapy and drug treatment. A vocal reassessment, which occurred two months after the initial treatment, showed improvement in voice quality, with great impact on quality of life. This article shows the importance of detailed clinical speech evaluation and participation of a speech therapist in an interdisciplinary team.

  20. Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Therapy in the Chronic Management of Myasthenia Gravis: A Retrospective Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Bourque, P. R.; Pringle, C. E.; Cameron, W.; Cowan, J.; Chardon, J. Warman

    2016-01-01

    Background Immunoglobulin therapy has become a major treatment option in several autoimmune neuromuscular disorders. For patients with Myasthenia Gravis (MG), intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has been used for both crisis and chronic management. Subcutaneous Immunoglobulins (SCIg), which offer the advantage of home administration, may be a practical and effective option in chronic management of MG. We analyzed clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in nine cases of chronic disabling MG who were either transitioned to, or started de novo on SCIg. Methods and Findings This was a retrospective cohort study for the period of 2015–2016, with a mean follow-up period of 6.8 months after initiation of SCIg. All patients with MG treated with SCIg at the Ottawa Hospital, a large Canadian tertiary hospital with subspecialty expertise in neuromuscular disorders were included, regardless of MG severity, clinical subtype and antibody status. The primary outcome was MG disease activity after SCIg initiation. This outcome was measured by 1) the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) clinical classification, and 2) subjective scales of disease activity including the Myasthenia Gravis activities of daily living profile (MG-ADL), Myasthenia Gravis Quality-of-life (MG-QOL 15), Visual Analog (VA) satisfaction scale. We also assessed any requirement for emergency department visits or hospitalizations. Safety outcomes included any SCIg related complication. All patients were stable or improved for MGFA class after SCIg initiation. Statistically significant improvements were documented in the MG-ADL, MG-QOL and VAS scales. There were no exacerbations after switching therapy and no severe SCIg related complications. Conclusions SCIg may be a beneficial therapy in the chronic management of MG, with favorable clinical outcome and patient satisfaction results. PMID:27490101

  1. Investigation on the mechanism of exacerbation of myasthenia gravis by aminoglycoside antibiotics in mouse model.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changqin; Hu, Fang

    2005-01-01

    To investigate the underlying mechanism of the exacerbation of myasthenia gravis by aminoglycoside antibiotics. C57/BL6 mice were immunized with acetylcholine receptor (AChR), extracted from electric organ of Narcine timilei according to Xu Haopeng's methods, in complete Fruends adjuvant (CFA) to establish experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). EAMG mice were divided randomly into 5 groups: MG group, NS group and three antibiotics groups. The clinical symptom scores of mice were evaluated on d7 after the last immunization and d14 of antibiotics treatment. Repetitive nerve stimulation (RNS) was performed and the levels of anti-AChR antibody (AChR-Ab) were tested at the same time. The mean clinical symptom grades of gentamycin group (1.312, 2.067), amikacin group (1.111, 1.889) and etimicin group (1.263, 1.632) were significantly higher than those of MG group (1.000, 1.200) (P<0.05). The positive rates of RNS of three antibiotics groups were 69.23%, 58.82% and 63.16% respectively, which were significantly higher than those of MG group and NS group (40.00%, 40.00%, P<0.05). The AChR-Ab level in serum and the expression of AChR on neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of mice in three antibiotics groups were also higher than those of MG group. Our results indicated that aminoglycoside antibiotics could aggravate the symptom of myasthenia gravis. The exacerbation of myasthenia gravis by these antibiotics probably involves competitively restraining the release of acetylcholine from presynaptic membrane, impairing the depolarization of postsynaptic membrane, depressing the irritability of myocyte membrane around the end-plate membrane and consequently leading to the blockade of neuromuscular junction.

  2. Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Therapy in the Chronic Management of Myasthenia Gravis: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

    PubMed

    Bourque, P R; Pringle, C E; Cameron, W; Cowan, J; Chardon, J Warman

    2016-01-01

    Immunoglobulin therapy has become a major treatment option in several autoimmune neuromuscular disorders. For patients with Myasthenia Gravis (MG), intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has been used for both crisis and chronic management. Subcutaneous Immunoglobulins (SCIg), which offer the advantage of home administration, may be a practical and effective option in chronic management of MG. We analyzed clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in nine cases of chronic disabling MG who were either transitioned to, or started de novo on SCIg. This was a retrospective cohort study for the period of 2015-2016, with a mean follow-up period of 6.8 months after initiation of SCIg. All patients with MG treated with SCIg at the Ottawa Hospital, a large Canadian tertiary hospital with subspecialty expertise in neuromuscular disorders were included, regardless of MG severity, clinical subtype and antibody status. The primary outcome was MG disease activity after SCIg initiation. This outcome was measured by 1) the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) clinical classification, and 2) subjective scales of disease activity including the Myasthenia Gravis activities of daily living profile (MG-ADL), Myasthenia Gravis Quality-of-life (MG-QOL 15), Visual Analog (VA) satisfaction scale. We also assessed any requirement for emergency department visits or hospitalizations. Safety outcomes included any SCIg related complication. All patients were stable or improved for MGFA class after SCIg initiation. Statistically significant improvements were documented in the MG-ADL, MG-QOL and VAS scales. There were no exacerbations after switching therapy and no severe SCIg related complications. SCIg may be a beneficial therapy in the chronic management of MG, with favorable clinical outcome and patient satisfaction results.

  3. Delivery of an miR155 inhibitor by anti-CD20 single-chain antibody into B cells reduces the acetylcholine receptor-specific autoantibodies and ameliorates experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Y-Z; Tian, F-F; Yan, M; Zhang, J-M; Liu, Q; Lu, J-Y; Zhou, W-B; Yang, H; Li, J

    2014-05-01

    MicroRNA-155 (miR155) is required for antibody production after vaccination with attenuated Salmonella. miR155-deficient B cells generated reduced germinal centre responses and failed to produce high-affinity immunoglobulin (Ig)G1 antibodies. In this study, we observed up-regulation of miR155 in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), and miR155 was also up-regulated in torpedo acetylcholine receptor (T-AChR)-stimulated B cells. We used an inhibitor of miR155 conjugated to anti-CD20 single-chain antibody to treat both the cultured B cells and the experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) mice. Our results demonstrated that silencing of miR155 by its inhibitor impaired the B cell-activating factor (BAFF)-R-related signalling pathway and reduced the translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB into the nucleus. Additionally, AChR-specific autoantibodies were reduced, which may be related to the altered amounts of marginal zone B cells and memory B cells in the spleens of EAMG mice. Our study suggests that miR155 may be a promising target for the clinical therapy of MG. © 2014 British Society for Immunology.

  4. Delivery of an miR155 inhibitor by anti-CD20 single-chain antibody into B cells reduces the acetylcholine receptor-specific autoantibodies and ameliorates experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Y-Z; Tian, F-F; Yan, M; Zhang, J-M; Liu, Q; Lu, J-Y; Zhou, W-B; Yang, H; Li, J

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNA-155 (miR155) is required for antibody production after vaccination with attenuated Salmonella. miR155-deficient B cells generated reduced germinal centre responses and failed to produce high-affinity immunoglobulin (Ig)G1 antibodies. In this study, we observed up-regulation of miR155 in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), and miR155 was also up-regulated in torpedo acetylcholine receptor (T-AChR)-stimulated B cells. We used an inhibitor of miR155 conjugated to anti-CD20 single-chain antibody to treat both the cultured B cells and the experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) mice. Our results demonstrated that silencing of miR155 by its inhibitor impaired the B cell-activating factor (BAFF)-R-related signalling pathway and reduced the translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB into the nucleus. Additionally, AChR-specific autoantibodies were reduced, which may be related to the altered amounts of marginal zone B cells and memory B cells in the spleens of EAMG mice. Our study suggests that miR155 may be a promising target for the clinical therapy of MG. PMID:24387321

  5. The mechanism of acetylcholine receptor in binding MuSK in myasthenia gravis and the role of HSP90 molecular chaperone.

    PubMed

    Chen, Rongbo; Chen, Siqia; Liao, Juan; Chen, Xiaopu; Xu, Xiaoling

    2016-01-01

    As an autoimmune disease, myasthenia gravis is caused by the dysfunction of neural transmission. Acetylcholine is known to exert its function after entering into synaptic cleft through binding onto postsynaptic membrane. The role of acetylcholine in binding MuSK in myasthenia gravis, however, remains unknown. A total of 38 myasthenia gravis patients and 27 healthy controls were included in this study for the detection of the expression of MuSK using immunofluorescent method. Expression of both MuSK and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured by Western blot, followed by the correlation analysis between heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and IL-6 which were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In myasthenia gravis patients, MuSK was co-localized with acetylcholine at the postsynaptic membrane. Such accumulation of MuSK, however, did not occur in normal people. Meanwhile we also observed elevated expression of IL-6 in myasthenia gravis patients (p<0.05). ELISA assay showed higher expression of HSP90 in patients. Further signaling pathway screening revealed the activation of IL-6-mediated pathways including STAT3 and SPH2. In conclusion, MuSK was co-localized with acetylcholine in myasthenia gravis patients, with elevated expression. HSP90 in disease people can activate IL-6 mediated signaling pathways.

  6. Association of HLA-DQA1*0101/2 and DQB1*0502 with myasthenia gravis in southern Iranian patients.

    PubMed

    Yousefipour, Gholam-Ali; Salami, Zahra; Farjadian, Shirin

    2009-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular junction characterized by skeletal muscle weakness and fatigability. Different genes may control the induction and clinical presentation of this disease. Various HLA alleles are reported as predisposing or protective genetic elements in myasthenia gravis. The aim of this study was to investigate the probable association between HLA-DQ alleles and myasthenia gravis in southern Iranian patients. HLA-DQA1 and DQB1 alleles were determined in 104 sporadic patients with myasthenia gravis using polymerase chain reaction - restriction fragment length polymorphism method and the results were compared to 816 healthy controls. HLA-DQA1*0101/2 (39.4%) and DQB1*0502 (21.6%) were the most frequent alleles in southern Iranian patients with myasthenia gravis. These alleles revealed positive associations with the disease with relative risks of 1.69 and 2.41, respectively. The most common haplotype was DQA1*0101/2-DQB1*0502 in these patients. According to the results of this study, DQA1*0101/2 and DQB1*0502 alleles might be considered as predisposing genetic factors to myasthenia gravis while DQA1*0501, DQB1*0301 and *0602/3 show protective roles against this disease.

  7. Myasthenia gravis and thymic neoplasms: A brief review.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ritesh

    2015-12-16

    Thymoma is the most common mediastinal tumor. They have varied presentation ranging from asymptomatic incidental mediastinal masses to locally extensive tumor with compressive symptoms and distant metastases. They have frequent association with various paraneoplastic syndromes (PNS). The most common PNS associated with thymoma is myasthenia gravis (MG). Patients of thymoma with MG have a favourable outcome due to early disclosure of the disease. Histologically they are classified into five subtypes and Masaoka-Koga staging system is used for staging. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy play an important role along with anti-myasthenia drugs. This review would like to highlight the association of thymoma with MG and associated clinical and therapeutic issues.

  8. Mosaic caveolin-3 expression in acquired rippling muscle disease without evidence of myasthenia gravis or acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies.

    PubMed

    Lo, Harriet P; Bertini, Enrico; Mirabella, Massimiliano; Domazetovska, Ana; Dale, Russell C; Petrini, Stefania; D'Amico, Adele; Valente, Enza Maria; Barresi, Rita; Roberts, Mark; Tozzi, Giulia; Tasca, Giorgio; Cooper, Sandra T; Straub, Volker; North, Kathryn N

    2011-03-01

    Inherited rippling muscle disease is an autosomal dominant disorder usually associated with caveolin-3 mutations. Rare cases of acquired rippling muscle disease with abnormal caveolin-3 localisation have been reported, without primary caveolin-3 mutations and in association with myasthenia gravis and acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies, or thymoma. We present three new patients with electrically-silent muscle rippling and abnormal caveolin-3 localisation, but without acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies, or clinical or electrophysiological evidence of myasthenia gravis. An autoimmune basis for rippling muscle disease is supported by spontaneous recovery and normalisation of caveolin-3 staining in one patient and alleviation of symptoms in response to plasmapheresis and immunosuppression in another. These patients expand the autoimmune rippling muscle disease phenotype, and suggest that autoantibodies to additional unidentified muscle proteins result in autoimmune rippling muscle disease. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Future perspectives in target-specific immunotherapies of myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Dalakas, Marinos C.

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease caused by complement-fixing antibodies against acetylcholine receptors (AChR); antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, regulatory T cells (Tregs) and T helper (Th) 17+ cells are essential in antibody production. Target-specific therapeutic interventions should therefore be directed against antibodies, B cells, complement and molecules associated with T cell signaling. Even though the progress in the immunopathogenesis of the disease probably exceeds any other autoimmune disorder, MG is still treated with traditional drugs or procedures that exert a non-antigen specific immunosuppression or immunomodulation. Novel biological agents currently on the market, directed against the following molecular pathways, are relevant and specific therapeutic targets that can be tested in MG: (a) T cell intracellular signaling molecules, such as anti-CD52, anti-interleukin (IL) 2 receptors, anti- costimulatory molecules, and anti-Janus tyrosine kinases (JAK1, JAK3) that block the intracellular cascade associated with T-cell activation; (b) B cells and their trophic factors, directed against key B-cell molecules; (c) complement C3 or C5, intercepting the destructive effect of complement-fixing antibodies; (d) cytokines and cytokine receptors, such as those targeting IL-6 which promotes antibody production and IL-17, or the p40 subunit of IL-12/1L-23 that affect regulatory T cells; and (e) T and B cell transmigration molecules associated with lymphocyte egress from the lymphoid organs. All drugs against these molecular pathways require testing in controlled trials, although some have already been tried in small case series. Construction of recombinant AChR antibodies that block binding of the pathogenic antibodies, thereby eliminating complement and antibody-depended-cell-mediated cytotoxicity, are additional novel molecular tools that require exploration in experimental MG. PMID:26600875

  10. Effect of therapeutic plasma exchange on immunoglobulins in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Guptill, Jeffrey T; Juel, Vern C; Massey, Janice M; Anderson, Amanda C; Chopra, Manisha; Yi, John S; Esfandiari, Ehsanollah; Buchanan, Tim; Smith, Bryan; Atherfold, Paul; Jones, Emma; Howard, James F

    2016-11-01

    An integrated understanding of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) effects on immunoglobulins, autoantibodies, and natural or acquired (vaccine) protective antibodies in patients with autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is lacking. Prior studies measured TPE effects in healthy volunteers or heterogeneous autoimmune disease populations. We prospectively profiled plasma IgA, IgM, IgG, IgG subclasses (IgG1-4), acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies (AChR+), and protective antibodies in patients with AChR + MG receiving TPE for an exacerbation. TPE was performed according to institutional practice and patients were profiled for up to 12 weeks. Ten patients were enrolled (median age = 72.9 years; baseline MG-Composite = 21; median TPE treatments = 6 during their first course) and all improved. The maximum decrease in all immunoglobulins, including AChR autoantibodies, was achieved on the final day of the first TPE course (∼60-70% reduction). Three weeks post-TPE, mean AChR autoantibody, total IgG, IgG1, and IgG2 titers were below the reference range and had not recovered within 20% of baseline, whereas other measured immunoglobulins approached baseline values. We did not generally observe an "overshoot" of immunoglobulins above pre-TPE levels or accelerated recovery of pathologic AChR autoantibodies. Protective antibody profiles showed similar patterns as other IgGs and were detectable at levels associated with protection from infection. A slow return to baseline for IgGs (except IgG3) was observed, and we did not observe any obvious effect of concomitant medications on this recovery. Collectively, these findings enhance our understanding of the immunological effects of TPE and further support the concept of rapid immunoglobulin depletion for the treatment of patients with MG.

  11. Microthymoma in elderly-onset myasthenia gravis detected preoperatively.

    PubMed

    Hino, Haruaki; Nishimura, Takashi; Seki, Atsuko; Nitadori, Jun-Ichi; Arai, Tomio; Nakajima, Jun

    2016-10-01

    A 77-year-old woman with a 3-month history of muscle weakness was diagnosed with elderly-onset generalized myasthenia gravis (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America classification IIa) based on a high serum acetylcholine receptor antibody level (25.4 nmol·L(-1)) and neurological findings. Computed tomography detected a small nodule (diameter 15 mm) in the anterior mediastinum, which was suspected to be a thymoma. An extended thymectomy was performed. The pathological examination revealed a 6-mm-diameter thymoma, termed a microthymoma, accompanied with a unilocular thymic cyst without capsule formation (type B2 according to the World Health Organization classification). Some fat tissue was also found within the tumor.

  12. Myasthenia gravis: new therapeutic approaches based on pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Richard A

    2013-10-15

    Over the past 40 years Dr. Robert Lisak has made important contributions to our understanding of the pathophysiology and therapy of myasthenia gravis. This review will touch upon some of his work as it discusses current therapies and the potential for new treatments based on the evolving knowledge of the underlying basis of the disease. The recognition of different immune mechanisms that can cause the phenotype that we acknowledge as myasthenia gravis coincides with the introduction of monoclonal antibodies and other new therapies that can target specific aspects of the disease. This has raised our hopes for treatments that will have less side effects and be more effective. In some cases these hopes have been realized. In other instances, the situation remains a "work in progress". Dr. Lisak's work and teachings remain cogent to our modern approach to this classic immunologic disease.

  13. Do associated auto-antibodies influence the outcome of myasthenia gravis after thymectomy?

    PubMed

    Keijzers, Marlies; Damoiseaux, Jan; Vigneron, Alain; Bodart, Nicolas; Kessels, Alfons; Dingemans, Anne-Marie C; Hochstenbag, Monique; Maessen, Jos; De Baets, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular autoimmune disease, where antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor destroy this receptor. The role of thymectomy in the treatment of MG remains controversial. Because of the frequent association with other autoimmune diseases, we hypothesized that patients with multiple autoantibodies (autoAbs) might have a lower chance of reaching complete stable remission after thymectomy. We analyzed sera of 85 MG patients who underwent a thymectomy between April 2004 and December 2012. We used four different immunodot kits (D-Tek, Mons, Belgium): ANA25 Quantrix, Synthetase 10 Diver, Myositis 7 Diver and Liver 10 profile Diver, all automatized on the BlueDiver Instrument (D-Tek). The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) postintervention status was used to determine the outcome after thymectomy. AutoAbs other than anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies were detected in 29.4% of the patients of whom 16.5% clinically had a second autoimmune disease. In none of the seronegative patients other autoAbs were detected. No significant difference was observed in the 3-years remission rate after thymectomy in patients with or without antibodies other than anti-AChR antibodies. Although these autoAbs do not predict outcome in our MG patient cohort, screening for multiple autoAbs in MG patients might be warranted to identify patients with additional autoimmune diseases.

  14. Dropped head as an unusual presenting sign of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    D'Amelio, M; Di Benedetto, N; Ragonese, P; Daniele, O; Brighina, F; Fierro, B; Savettieri, G

    2007-04-01

    Prominent or isolated weakness of cervical extensor muscles is a relatively rare clinical sign. Commonly, this is known as "dropped-head syndrome". This abnormal flexion of the head may occur in a variety of neuromuscular diseases and in a few non-neurological disorders as well. The case we describe concerns a 61-year-old woman with dropped-head syndrome as the unique complaint of myasthenia gravis.

  15. Inferior oblique muscle paresis as a sign of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Almog, Yehoshua; Ben-David, Merav; Nemet, Arie Y

    2016-03-01

    Myasthenia gravis may affect any of the six extra-ocular muscles, masquerading as any type of ocular motor pathology. The frequency of involvement of each muscle is not well established in the medical literature. This study was designed to determine whether a specific muscle or combination of muscles tends to be predominantly affected. This retrospective review included 30 patients with a clinical diagnosis of myasthenia gravis who had extra-ocular muscle involvement with diplopia at presentation. The diagnosis was confirmed by at least one of the following tests: Tensilon test, acetylcholine receptor antibodies, thymoma on chest CT scan, or suggestive electromyography. Frequency of involvement of each muscle in this cohort was inferior oblique 19 (63.3%), lateral rectus nine (30%), superior rectus four (13.3%), inferior rectus six (20%), medial rectus four (13.3%), and superior oblique three (10%). The inferior oblique was involved more often than any other muscle (p<0.01). Eighteen (60%) patients had ptosis, six (20%) of whom had bilateral ptosis. Diagnosing myasthenia gravis can be difficult, because the disease may mimic every pupil-sparing pattern of ocular misalignment. In addition diplopia caused by paresis of the inferior oblique muscle is rarely encountered (other than as a part of oculomotor nerve palsy). Hence, when a patient presents with vertical diplopia resulting from an isolated inferior oblique palsy, myasthenic etiology should be highly suspected.

  16. Anti-LRP4 autoantibodies in AChR- and MuSK-antibody-negative myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Pevzner, Alexandra; Schoser, Benedikt; Peters, Katja; Cosma, Nicoleta-Carmen; Karakatsani, Andromachi; Schalke, Berthold; Melms, Arthur; Kröger, Stephan

    2012-03-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by a defect in synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction causing fluctuating muscle weakness with a decremental response to repetitive nerve stimulation or altered jitter in single-fiber electromyography (EMG). Approximately 80% of all myasthenia gravis patients have autoantibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in their serum. Autoantibodies against the tyrosine kinase muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) are responsible for 5-10% of all myasthenia gravis cases. The autoimmune target in the remaining cases is unknown. Recently, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP4) has been identified as the agrin receptor. LRP4 interacts with agrin, and the binding of agrin activates MuSK, which leads to the formation of most if not all postsynaptic specializations, including aggregates containing acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in the junctional plasma membrane. In the present study we tested if autoantibodies against LRP4 are detectable in patients with myasthenia gravis. To this end we analyzed 13 sera from patients with generalized myasthenia gravis but without antibodies against AChR or MuSK. The results showed that 12 out of 13 antisera from double-seronegative MG patients bound to proteins concentrated at the neuromuscular junction of adult mouse skeletal muscle and that approximately 50% of the tested sera specifically bound to HEK293 cells transfected with human LRP4. Moreover, 4 out of these 13 sera inhibited agrin-induced aggregation of AChRs in cultured myotubes by more than 50%, suggesting a pathogenic role regarding the dysfunction of the neuromuscular endplate. These results indicate that LRP4 is a novel target for autoantibodies and is a diagnostic marker in seronegative MG patients.

  17. What's in a smile?: Quantification of the vertical smile of patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Weijnen, F G; van der Bilt, A; Wokke, J H; Kuks, J B; van der Glas, H W; Bosman, F

    2000-02-15

    Many patients with myasthenia gravis who experience bulbar symptoms show a vertical smile, which may have a considerable, and often underestimated, impact on social life. Peri-oral muscle function can be quantified by calculating lip-length and snout indices, which indicate the degree to which a person is capable of smiling and of pursing the lips, respectively. In the present study patients with bulbar myasthenia gravis were compared to patients with ocular myasthenia gravis, patients now in remission (but previously suffering from bulbar myasthenia gravis), and healthy subjects. The lip-length and snout indices of patients with bulbar myasthenia gravis were significantly lower than those of the other groups. The facial impairments were no longer detectable in patients with bulbar myasthenia gravis in remission and no subclinical impairments in lip-length and snout indices were found in the ocular myasthenia gravis group. These findings were consistent with the patients' reports of impairment of smiling and other oral functions. The patients suffering from a vertical smile or other oral impairments were well aware of their condition, most probably because of the social consequences of being unable to smile. The indices could be of importance in the longitudinal evaluation of therapy in individual patients and in pharmacotherapeutical research. We found a low correlation between the lip-length and snout indices, which reflects the capricious pattern of involvement of separate muscles in myasthenia gravis. Therefore both indices deserve special attention if they are used for monitoring myasthenic symptoms.

  18. Thymoma-associated exfoliative dermatitis with post-thymectomy myasthenia gravis in a cat.

    PubMed

    Singh, Ameet; Boston, Sarah E; Poma, Roberto

    2010-07-01

    Thymoma-associated exfoliative dermatitis was suspected in a cat with a cranial mediastinal mass. The dermatopathy resolved with surgical removal of a thymoma. The cat manifested neurologic signs consistent with myasthenia gravis 7 wk after surgery. Exfoliative dermatitis and post-thymectomy myasthenia gravis in the same cat has not been reported previously.

  19. Periductal lymphocytic infiltrates in salivary glands in myasthenia gravis patients lacking Sjögren's syndrome.

    PubMed Central

    Lindahl, G; Lefvert, A K; Hedfors, E

    1986-01-01

    In eight of eleven patients with clinical and serological evidence of myasthenia gravis (MG), immunohistological analysis of biopsies from labial salivary glands (LSG) showed focal periductal lymphocytic infiltrates, mainly composed of anti-Leu 3a+ T helper lymphocytes, a finding usually regarded as indicative for Sjögren's syndrome (SS). None of the patients could however, according to functional criteria, be considered as having SS. This study thus indicates that lymphocytic infiltrates in LSG can be seen in MG, which has been thought of as an organspecific autoimmune disease with symptoms and signs confined to striated muscles. Images Fig. 1 PMID:2948746

  20. Low-dose spinal anesthesia for urgent laparotomy in severe myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Miguel Angel Palomero; Mencía, Teresa Pérez; Álvarez, Felipe Villar; Báez, Yolanda Laporta; Pérez, Gloria María Santos; García, Andrés López

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease with an incidence of 2-10/100,000 cases per year, characterized by muscle weakness secondary to destruction of postsynaptic acetylcholine receptors. In these patients, important perioperative issues remain unresolved, namely, optimal administration of cholinesterase inhibitors, risks of regional anesthesia, and prediction of need of postoperative mechanical ventilation. We describe the use of a low-dose spinal anesthesia in a patient with MG who was submitted for emergence exploratory laparotomy. The utilization of low-dose spinal anesthesia allowed us to perform surgery with no adverse respiratory or cardiovascular events in this patient. PMID:23717241

  1. miR-15b is Downregulated in Myasthenia Gravis Patients and Directly Regulates the Expression of Interleukin-15 (IL-15) in Experimental Myasthenia Gravis Mice.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lei; Liu, Tiantian; Zhang, Min; Guo, Yapei; Song, Changdong; Song, Dandan; Liu, Hengfang

    2015-06-19

    miR-15b is significantly and consistently downregulated in different clinical phenotypes of myasthenia gravis (MG). However, its role in pathogenesis of MG is still not clear. This study aimed to explore the function of miR-15b in MG. Blood samples from early-onset MG, late-onset MG, thymoma patients, and healthy participants were collected. The expression pattern of IL-15 and miR-15b was identified by qRT-PCR and ELISA in patient serum and mouse tissue samples. The regulative role of miR-15b on IL-15 expression was verified in an experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) mice model. qRT-PCR and ELISA showed that miR-15b expression was significantly lower and IL-15 expression was significantly higher in all EMG, LMG, and thymoma cases compared to healthy controls. Based on mouse model, we confirmed that miR-15b knockdown could increase IL-15 expression in healthy mice, while miR-15b overexpression could inhibit IL-15 expression in EAMG mice. Through searching in bioinformatics databases, we identified a highly conserved consequential pairing between IL-15 and miR-15b. Subsequent dual luciferase assay further verified this match. This study is the first to report the miR-15b-IL-15 axis can directly regulate IL15 expression, which helps to further explain the abnormal IL-15 expression in MG patients and the pathogenesis of MG.

  2. Overlooked non-motor symptoms in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Shigeaki; Utsugisawa, Kimiaki; Suzuki, Norihiro

    2013-09-01

    Patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) may have various non-motor symptoms in addition to fatigability and weakness of skeletal muscles. Thymomas contain abundant immature thymocytes and developing CD4 and CD8 T cells. Thymomas are found in 15-25% of patients with MG and are associated with severe symptoms. We suggest that non-motor symptoms are based on the autoimmune disorders probably owing to an abnormal T cell repertoire from thymomas. Using previously reported cases and cases from our multicentre cooperative study, we review the clinical characteristics of patients with thymoma-associated MG who have non-motor symptoms. CD8 T cell cytotoxicity against haematopoietic precursor cells in bone marrow and unidentified autoantigens in hair follicles lead to the development of pure red cell aplasia, immunodeficiency and alopecia areata. In contrast, neuromyotonia, limbic encephalitis, myocarditis and taste disorders are autoantibody-mediated disorders, as is MG. Autoantibodies to several types of voltage-gated potassium channels and the related molecules can evoke various neurological and cardiac disorders. About 25% of patients with thymoma-associated MG have at least one non-motor symptom. Non-motor symptoms affect many target organs and result in a broad spectrum of disease, ranging from the impairment of quality of life to lethal conditions. Since relatively little attention is paid to non-motor symptoms in patients with thymoma-associated MG, the symptoms may be overlooked by many physicians. Early diagnosis is important, since non-motor symptoms can be treatable. A complete understanding of non-motor symptoms is necessary for the management of patients with thymoma-associated MG.

  3. [Pseudoparalytic myasthenia gravis. Diagnostic and therapeutic aspects in 60 separate cases].

    PubMed

    Mumenthaler, M; Lütschg, J

    1976-01-01

    Based on 60 of our own cases and on the medical literature the authors discuss the diagnostic, pathophysiological and therapeutic aspects of myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia is suspected in cases of motor weakness of changing intensity, diminishing by rest. The weak muscles are innervated by different peripheral nerves. At the beginning a weakness of upperlid-muscles, external eye muscles and bulbar muscles is particularly frequent. There is no sensory loss or other neurological symptoms. A transitory disappearance of motor weakness after an intravenous dose of Edrophonium (Tensilon) is a typical diagnostic sign. The effect is less evident with eye-muscle weakness. A typical appearance of potentials after repetitive stimulation of peripheral nerves as well as other characteristics in electrophysiological testing of muscles are of high diagnostic value. This allows differentiation from other types of muscle weakness. In the pathogenesis of myasthenia an autoimmune process related to a persistent thymus gland plays an important part. This leads to an ultrastructural change in the postsynaptic membrane of the muscle fibre. The postsynaptic membrane no longer reacts in a normal way to acetylcholine as a transmitter substance at the level of the motor endplate. Therefore the first step in the treatment of myasthenia consists of cholinesterase-inhibitors, specially Neostigmin (Prostigmin) and Pyridostigmin (Mestinon). Thymectomy is advised in all cases of myasthenia with the exception of the pure ocular form and of myasthenia in patients older than 60 years. The thymus gland is practically always persistent or hypertrophic in myasthenia. The suprasternal access is recommended. A thymoma should always be operated upon because of the danger of malignancy. In cases where thymectomy is not performed or not successful and if cholinesterase-inhibitors are not sufficiently efficient, treatment with corticosteroids or ACTH is recommended.

  4. A retrospective review of 15 patients with familial myasthenia gravis over a period of 25 years.

    PubMed

    Feng, Hui-Yu; Liu, Wei-Bin; Luo, Chuan-Ming; Yang, Li-Xuan; Fang, Wei; Qiu, Li; Huang, Xin; Li, Yan; Huang, Ru-Xun

    2012-08-01

    We observed, during a 25-year period, 15 patients from 6 families with autoimmune myasthenia gravis (all Chinese Han from Guangdong Province) referred to our department. Their mean onset age was 13.4 years (range 2-25 years) with 10 patients with juvenile onset. The female:male ratio was 3:2. Acetylcholine receptors antibody titers were increased in 11 patients (range 1.62-19.8 nmol/L). Thymectomy was performed in six patients, who received corticosteroids /immune inhibitor plus pyridostigmine treatments after surgery. The other patients were placed on therapy with azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, corticosteroids and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. All patients responded well to immunosuppressants, and psychiatric symptoms were observed only in one patient who received a high dose of corticosteroids. Patients with generalized type in the same family had different presentations with variable prognosis. HLA-A 0207 was found in 9 patients (9/15), HLA-B 4601 in 11 patients (11/15), and HLA-DRB1 0901 in 12 patients (12/15). When compared to familial autoimmune myasthenia gravis in other countries, we observed peculiar characteristics of Chinese populations, such as the within-family consistency was only found in families with ocular MG type (50% of all MG families), while the pathogenetic conditions and the prognoses of the generalized MG patients may differ greatly within the same family. These findings may shed new light on the genetic predisposition and the origin of immune abnormalities of MG patients.

  5. The value of computed tomography in myasthenia gravis

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, L.R.; Muhm, J.R.; Sheedy, P.F. II; Unni, K.K.; Bernatz, P.E.; Hermann, R.C. Jr.

    1983-01-01

    In a 5 year study, 19 patients with myasthenia gravis were studied by computed tomography (CT) and underwent thymectomy. CT was accurate in detecting the nine true thymic masses but could not differentiate thymomas from nonthymomatous masses, including thymic cysts. No thymoma was found in a patient under 25 years of age. In one case, the 18 sec scanner could not differentiate a large gland from a thymoma. In eight cases, glands with histologic thymic hyperplasia and histologically normal thymus appeared to be similar and could not be differentiated by CT.

  6. Myasthenia Gravis following Low-Osmolality Iodinated Contrast Media.

    PubMed

    Bonanni, Luca; Dalla Vestra, Michele; Zancanaro, Andrea; Presotto, Fabio

    2014-01-01

    We describe the case of 79-year-old man admitted to our general hospital for a 6-week history of progressive dysphagia to solids and liquids associated with weight loss. To reach a diagnosis a total body CT scan with low-osmolality iodinate contrast agent was performed. Two hours later the patient developed an acute respiratory failure requiring orotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. The laboratory and neurological tests allow formulating the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. In literature, other three case reports have associated myasthenic crisis with exposure to low-osmolality contrast media. This suggests being careful in administering low-osmolality contrast media in myasthenic patients.

  7. Hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis following plasma exchange during myasthenia gravis crisis.

    PubMed

    Ritzenthaler, Thomas; Grousson, Sébastien; Dailler, Frédéric

    2016-10-01

    Therapeutic plasma exchanges are increasingly used, notably during myasthenia gravis crisis. Repeated exchanges may induce severe adverse events. We reported a case of symptomatic hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis following a therapeutic plasma exchange. Analysis of 4% albumin substitution solution revealed a chloride concentration of 145 mmol/L, which could explain this acidosis. Infusion of high volume of 4% albumin during plasma exchanges may produce hyerchloremic metabolic acidosis. Special attention should be paid when repeated plasma exchanges are performed. J. Clin. Apheresis 31:479-480, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Myasthenia gravis and thymoma coexisting with myotonic dystrophy type 1.

    PubMed

    Ekmekci, Ozgul; Karasoy, Hatice; Bademkiran, Fikret; Akkus, Dilek Evyapan; Yuceyar, Nur

    2014-01-01

    We describe a 34-year old man presenting with subacute generalized myasthenic symptoms. His clinical features and laboratory investigations demonstrated both myasthenia gravis and myotonic dystrophy type 1. The computerized tomography of chest revealed anterior mediastinal mass. The lymphocyte-rich thymoma was removed surgically and he received radiotherapy. Recent observations suggested that the patients with myotonic dystrophy may have an increased risk of benign and malignant tumours but its coexistence with thymoma is very rare. The risk of thymoma associated with myotonic dystrophy is unknown.

  9. Pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis: update on disease types, models, and mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, William D.; Vincent, Angela

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) caused by antibodies that attack components of the postsynaptic membrane, impair neuromuscular transmission, and lead to weakness and fatigue of skeletal muscle. This can be generalised or localised to certain muscle groups, and involvement of the bulbar and respiratory muscles can be life threatening. The pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis depends upon the target and isotype of the autoantibodies. Most cases are caused by immunoglobulin (Ig)G1 and IgG3 antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). They produce complement-mediated damage and increase the rate of AChR turnover, both mechanisms causing loss of AChR from the postsynaptic membrane. The thymus gland is involved in many patients, and there are experimental and genetic approaches to understand the failure of immune tolerance to the AChR. In a proportion of those patients without AChR antibodies, antibodies to muscle-specific kinase (MuSK), or related proteins such as agrin and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4), are present. MuSK antibodies are predominantly IgG4 and cause disassembly of the neuromuscular junction by disrupting the physiological function of MuSK in synapse maintenance and adaptation. Here we discuss how knowledge of neuromuscular junction structure and function has fed into understanding the mechanisms of AChR and MuSK antibodies. Myasthenia gravis remains a paradigm for autoantibody-mediated conditions and these observations show how much there is still to learn about synaptic function and pathological mechanisms. PMID:27408701

  10. NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE MIMICKING MYASTHENIA GRAVIS IN A NIGERIAN FEMALE ADOLESCENT: COULD THIS BE NEMALINE ROD DISEASE?

    PubMed

    Oyinlade, O A; Lagunju, I A; Adebayo, B E

    2016-12-01

    Nemaline rod disease is a congenital myopathy, presentation of which may mimic myasthenia gravis. We report a suspected case of nemaline rod disease in a female adolescent who presented with features similar to myasthenia gravis but failed to respond effectively to its conventional management. She had features of respiratory failure and cardiomyopathy. Patient had a turbulent clinical course and finally succumbed to illness on the fifth day of admission. This report is meant to sensitize child neurologists and general paediatricians on the need to have a broad spectrum of considerations in the management of suspected myasthenia gravis, especially when response to anticholinesterase is poor.

  11. NEUROMUSCULAR DISEASE MIMICKING MYASTHENIA GRAVIS IN A NIGERIAN FEMALE ADOLESCENT: COULD THIS BE NEMALINE ROD DISEASE?

    PubMed Central

    Oyinlade, O.A.; Lagunju, I.A.; Adebayo, B.E.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Nemaline rod disease is a congenital myopathy, presentation of which may mimic myasthenia gravis. Method: We report a suspected case of nemaline rod disease in a female adolescent who presented with features similar to myasthenia gravis but failed to respond effectively to its conventional management. She had features of respiratory failure and cardiomyopathy. Results: Patient had a turbulent clinical course and finally succumbed to illness on the fifth day of admission. Conclusion: This report is meant to sensitize child neurologists and general paediatricians on the need to have a broad spectrum of considerations in the management of suspected myasthenia gravis, especially when response to anticholinesterase is poor. PMID:28337097

  12. Myasthenia gravis with presynaptic neurophysiological signs: Two case reports and literature review.

    PubMed

    Alboini, Paolo Emilio; Damato, Valentina; Iorio, Raffaele; Luigetti, Marco; Evoli, Amelia

    2015-08-01

    The distinction between myasthenia gravis and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome is based on clinical, neurophysiological and immunological features. We hereby report two cases with a clinical diagnosis of myasthenia gravis and neurophysiological features consistent with a pre-synaptic neuromuscular transmission defect. Both patients had increased anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody titres and showed a good response to cholinesterase inhibitors, along with a >100% facilitation of the compound muscle action potential on electrophysiological studies. We provide a review of English literature studies on co-existing features of myasthenia gravis and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, and discuss diagnostic controversies.

  13. Muscle-specific kinase antibody associated myasthenia gravis after bone marrow transplantation.

    PubMed

    Heidarzadeh, Zeinab; Mousavi, Seyyed-Asadollah; Ostovan, Vahid Reza; Nafissi, Shahriar

    2014-02-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a rare complication of bone marrow transplantation and graft versus host disease. We report a 30-year-old woman presented with oculobulbar and proximal limb weakness after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for chronic myelogenous leukemia. Also, she developed graft versus host disease following bone marrow transplantation. Investigations led to the diagnosis of muscle specific kinase antibody related myasthenia gravis. There have been only two case reports of muscle specific kinase antibody positive myasthenia gravis after bone marrow transplantation in the literature, but none of the previously reported cases had graft versus host disease.

  14. Adhesive ileus complicating recurrent intestinal pseudo-obstruction in a patient with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Seretis, Charalampos; Seretis, Fotios; Gemenetzis, George; Gourgiotis, Stavros; Lagoudianakis, Emmanuel; Pappas, Apostolos; Keramidaris, Dimitrios; Salemis, Nikolaos

    2012-05-01

    Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is considered to be one of the most frequent gastrointestinal manifestations of myasthenia gravis, accompanied by the presence of neoplasia of the thymus gland in the vast majority of the cases presented in the international literature. Despite the fact that myasthenia gravis has been implicated to be the cause of recurrent episodes of intestinal pseudo-obstruction, adhesive ileus has never been reported to complicate this - in any sense rare - condition. We present a unique case of a patient with myasthenia gravis, free of thymus neoplasia, who was submitted to emergency surgery due to the presence of extended adhesive ileus as a complication of chronic intestinal functional obstruction.

  15. Lack of evidence for Epstein-Barr virus infection in myasthenia gravis thymus.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Mandy; Höls, Ann-Kathrin; Liersch, Britta; Leistner, Rasmus; Gellert, Klaus; Schalke, Berthold; Marx, Alexander; Niedobitek, Gerald

    2011-09-01

    A role for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in myasthenia gravis pathogenesis has been suggested recently. Using in situ hybridization for the detection of the EBV-encoded RNAs and EBNA1-specific immunohistochemistry, we found no latently infected cells in a series of thymus specimens from patients with myasthenia gravis showing lymphofollicular thymitis. In addition, using immunohistochemistry and an antibody specific for the viral immediate early protein BZLF1, no evidence of lytic EBV infection was seen in these cases. Our results therefore do not support a direct role of thymic EBV infection in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis.

  16. Myasthenia gravis mimicking stroke: a case series with sudden onset dysarthria.

    PubMed

    Tremolizzo, Lucio; Giopato, Federico; Piatti, Maria Luisa; Rigamonti, Andrea; Ferrarese, Carlo; Appollonio, Ildebrando

    2015-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an immune-mediated disorder characterized by fluctuating fatigue of skeletal muscles, often involving extrinsic ocular or bulbar districts. Myasthenia gravis in the elderly is an under-recognized condition, sometimes confused with cerebrovascular disease. Here we present a case series of myasthenia patients which onset was characterized by sudden dysarthria, clearly raising this diagnostic dilemma. In the workout of sudden onset isolated dysarthria, MG should be always considered. In fact, even if myasthenia is a rare condition, lacunar stroke only with this clinical presentation is also unusual, and significant risks may arise (e.g., unexpected myasthenic crisis).

  17. Left ventricular rupture after double valve replacement in a patient with myocarditis due to myasthenia gravis : case report.

    PubMed

    Argiriou, Mihalis; Patris, Vasilis; Lama, Niki; Katsaridis, Sotirios; Argiriou, Orestis; Charitos, Christos

    2013-09-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterised by a weakness of the skeletal muscles, with remissions and exacerbations due to antibodies acting on the acetylcholine receptors. This leads to the characteristic defect transmission in the neuromuscular junction. Treatment includes anticholinesterase agents, thymectomy, and immunosuppression. Surgical thymectomy can induce remission or improvement, allowing for reduction in the immunosuppressive treatment. The case of an 84-year-old female patient with myasthenia gravis, aortic valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation and myocarditis is described. The development of myocarditis was related to inflammatory cell infiltration, and progressive and additive focal cellular necrosis associated with reactive myocardial fibrosis. After replacement of the mitral valve, complications arose whereby a rupture of the left ventricular posterior wall occurred, which caused massive bleeding and sudden death on the operating table.

  18. The role of T regulatory cells in immunopathogenesis of myasthenia gravis: implications for therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Alahgholi-Hajibehzad, Mahdi; Kasapoglu, Pinar; Jafari, Reza; Rezaei, Nima

    2015-01-01

    T regulatory cells (Tregs) are crucial for the development of self-tolerance and are the major focus in many studies interpreting the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune-based disease. In normal conditions, Tregs regulate the immune responses, while impaired regulatory function of these cells can lead to autoimmunity. Recent studies have confirmed that the thymic and peripheral blood CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs of MG are defective in functions and/or in numbers, which are associated with disease severity; approaches to correct the defects of these Tregs may be promising in the treatment of MG. This review discusses recent studies on characteristics, quantitative and qualitative changes of Tregs and possible mechanisms that are involved in the impairment of these cells in MG pathogenesis. In addition, new approaches inducing Treg generation that are currently being investigated as therapies for MG, will be discussed as well as proposed approaches for future therapies.

  19. International consensus guidance for management of myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Wolfe, Gil I.; Benatar, Michael; Evoli, Amelia; Gilhus, Nils E.; Illa, Isabel; Kuntz, Nancy; Massey, Janice M.; Melms, Arthur; Murai, Hiroyuki; Nicolle, Michael; Palace, Jacqueline; Richman, David P.; Verschuuren, Jan; Narayanaswami, Pushpa

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To develop formal consensus-based guidance for the management of myasthenia gravis (MG). Methods: In October 2013, the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America appointed a Task Force to develop treatment guidance for MG, and a panel of 15 international experts was convened. The RAND/UCLA appropriateness methodology was used to develop consensus guidance statements. Definitions were developed for goals of treatment, minimal manifestations, remission, ocular MG, impending crisis, crisis, and refractory MG. An in-person panel meeting then determined 7 treatment topics to be addressed. Initial guidance statements were developed from literature summaries. Three rounds of anonymous e-mail votes were used to attain consensus on guidance statements modified on the basis of panel input. Results: Guidance statements were developed for symptomatic and immunosuppressive treatments, IV immunoglobulin and plasma exchange, management of impending and manifest myasthenic crisis, thymectomy, juvenile MG, MG associated with antibodies to muscle-specific tyrosine kinase, and MG in pregnancy. Conclusion: This is an international formal consensus of MG experts intended to be a guide for clinicians caring for patients with MG worldwide. PMID:27358333

  20. Myasthenia Gravis Development and Crisis Subsequent to Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Gharagozli, Kurosh; Shojaei, Maziar; Harandi, Ali Amini; Akbari, Nayyereh; Ilkhani, Manouchehr

    2011-01-01

    During the last decade, sporadic combination of multiple sclerosis (MS) and myasthenia gravis (MG) has been reported repeatedly. Although these are anecdotal, they are important enough to raise concerns about co-occurrence of MG and MS. Here, we present a case of an MS patient who developed an MG crisis. She had received interferon for relapsing remitting MS. Interestingly, she developed an MG crisis 4 years after the diagnosis of MS. MS and MG have relatively the same distribution for age, corresponding to the younger peak of the bimodal age distribution in MG. They also share some HLA typing characteristics. Furthermore, some evidences support the role of systemic immune dysregulation due to a genetic susceptibility that is common to these two diseases. The association may be underdiagnosed because of the possible overlap of symptoms especially bulbar manifestations in which either MG or MS can mimic each other, leading to underestimating incidence of the combination. The evidence warrants physicians, especially neurologists, to always consider the possibility of the other disease when encountering any patients either with MS or MG. Anecdotal and sporadic reports of combination of multiple sclerosis (MS) and myasthenia gravis (MG) have been raised concerns about co-occurrence of them. PMID:21629802

  1. Anti-MuSK myasthenia gravis with prolonged remission.

    PubMed

    Bouwyn, Jean Paul; Magnier, Patrick; Bédat-Millet, Anne-Laure; Ahtoy, Patrick; Maltête, David; Lefaucheur, Romain

    2016-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) with antibodies against muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) is a rare disorder of neuromuscular transmission affecting preferentially bulbar, neck and respiratory muscles. We report the case of a 22-year-old man who presented with diplopia on lateral gaze to both sides, facial diplegia, nasal dysarthria and dysphagia. Repetitive nerve stimulation of the trapezius and orbicularis oculi muscles showed amplitude decrements of 19% and 41% respectively supporting the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. MUsK antibodies were positive. Corticosteroids were introduced and then tapered and discontinued at 6 months after initiation. The patient remained in remission and asymptomatic for 4 years without ongoing treatment or prior treatment with rituximab after this first relapse of MuSK-MG. MuSK- MG is considered a hard-to-treat condition and patients generally remain dependent on immunosuppression or prior treatment with rituximab. Our observation highlights that patients with MuSK-MG can have a benign course and that continued immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory therapy may not always be required. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Structure-activity relationship of quaternary acetylcholinesterase inhibitors - outlook for early myasthenia gravis treatment.

    PubMed

    Komloova, M; Musilek, K; Dolezal, M; Gunn-Moore, F; Kuca, K

    2010-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a rare autoimmune neuromuscular junction disorder mainly caused by antibodies being targeted against the muscle acetylcholine receptors (AChRs). The loss of AChRs leads to a defect in neuromuscular transmission resulting in muscle weakness and fatigue. Although once an often fatal illness, Myasthenia gravis can now be well managed with relatively safe and effective treatments. However, the severe myasthenic cases associated with thymus tumors remain often fatal exception in the management of the disease. The early treatment includes the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEI) which enhance neuromuscular transmission. To ensure a peripheral effect, charged molecules are used, particularly quaternary ammonium salts. The structure of AChEIs has been continuously modified to obtain the optimal ratio between AChE inhibition and potential side-effects. This review summarizes progress in the use of quaternary compounds as AChE inhibitors in vitro with respect to their structure and inhibitory ability. Namely, carbamic acid esters, piperidinium and pyridinium salts, bisquaternary pyridinium salts and heterogeneous quaternary inhibitors are all discussed. Among data found in the literature, many compounds have shown promising inhibition of AChE when compared to commercial standards (pyridostigmine, neostigmine). Besides a promising inhibitory ability, selectivity for AChE versus butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) for the most potent compounds (sub-nanomolar IC(50)) was also identified.

  3. Association of HLA-DR/DQ polymorphism with myasthenia gravis in Tunisian patients.

    PubMed

    Fekih-Mrissa, Najiba; Klai, Sarra; Zaouali, Jamel; Gritli, Nasreddine; Mrissa, Ridha

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder of the neuromuscular junction. MG has been shown to be associated with many human leukocyte antigens (HLA) in different populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the probable association between HLA-DR/DQ alleles and MG in Tunisian patients. HLA DR/DQ genotyping was performed using polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP) with 48 MG patients and 100 healthy individuals serving as the control group. Myasthenia gravis in Tunisian patients was found to be associated with the following alleles (p(c) denotes Bonferroni corrected probability values): HLA-DRB1*03 (p(c)<10(-3)), DRB1*04 (p(c)=0.005), DQB1*02 (p(c)=0.002) and, DQB1*03 (p(c)=0.007). Our data demonstrated a new HLA-MG predisposition with DRB1*04. The DRB1*03, DRB1*04, DQB1*02, and DQB1*03 alleles also could be predisposing genetic factors for MG in the Tunisian population. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. [Obstetrical anesthesia in 15 women with myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Santeularia, M T; Unzueta, M C; Casas, J I; Vilanova, F; Roldán, J; Villar Landeira, J

    1998-02-01

    To report our experience in managing anesthesia during obstetric delivery of women with myasthenia gravis (MG) and to review the anesthetic technique of choice for vaginal or cesarean delivery in such cases. Fifteen pregnancies in 12 patients were recorded between 1980 and 1996; 14 cases were documented. Disease course during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum, the course of pregnancy, the presence of severe neonatal myasthenia and anesthetic treatment during vaginal or cesarean delivery were analyzed. Improvement in MG was observed in 6 cases. No change was seen in 4 patients and 3 worsened. In one woman generalized MG debuted 15 days after delivery. Two neonates were premature and a third suffered severe neonatal myasthenia. Six vaginal deliveries were aided by forceps; 8 deliveries were by cesarean and 1 fetus was aborted. Lumbar epidural anesthesia was employed in 73.33% (5 vaginal deliveries and 6 cesareans) and general anesthesia in 26.66% (1 abortion, 1 vaginal delivery and 2 cesareans). Continuous lumbar epidural anesthesia is the technique of choice for vaginal as well as cesarean deliveries. The combination of opioids and local anesthetics is considered particularly beneficial for patients, as it allows the motor blockade to be decreased. General anesthesia is only indicated when there is bulbar involvement. Short-acting non depolarizing agents, among them atracurium Besilate, are the muscle relaxants of choice. Succinylcholine is contraindicated. Thanks to current optimization of anesthetic and recovery techniques and administration of non depolarizing muscle relaxants with neuromuscular monitoring, the prognosis for pregnant MG patients has improved considerably.

  5. [Advances in the research on immunopathogenesis of myasthenia gravis].

    PubMed

    Zieliński, Marcin; Kuzdzał, Jarosław; Soja, Jerzy; Szlubowski, Artur

    2003-01-01

    Microscopic structure and immunologic function of the thymus gland are outlined, with an emphasis on its role in the process of T and B lymphocytes maturation. Other types of thymic cells are also described, including epithelial and myoid cells that presumably have a central role in initiation of an autoimmunologic process leading to myasthenic symptoms development. A detailed account is presented of issues concerning pathophysiology of myasthenia, the structure of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AchR) at neuromuscular junctions, and mechanisms underlying its destruction by autoantibodies. The role of T and B lymphocytes, of various cytokine types, of autoantibodies to various striated muscle antigens, as well as a possible role of genetic and bacterial factors in the development of myasthenia gravis are discussed. In conclusion it is stressed that since recent research findings go beyond the classic theory of myasthenia, a new consistent theory of the disease immunopathogenesis must be created in the future to place all the newly discovered phenomena in a logical conceptual structure.

  6. The susceptibility of Aire(-/-) mice to experimental myasthenia gravis involves alterations in regulatory T cells.

    PubMed

    Aricha, Revital; Feferman, Tali; Scott, Hamish S; Souroujon, Miriam C; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Fuchs, Sara

    2011-02-01

    The autoimmune regulator (Aire) is involved in the prevention of autoimmunity by promoting thymic expression of tissue restricted antigens which leads to elimination of self-reactive T cells. We found that Aire knockout (KO) mice as well as mouse strains that are susceptible to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) have lower thymic expression of acetylcholine receptor (AChR- the main autoantigen in MG), compared to wild type (WT) mice and EAMG-resistant mouse strains, respectively. We demonstrated that Aire KO mice have a significant and reproducible lower frequency of CD4+Foxp3+ cells and a higher expression of Th17 markers in their thymus, compared to wild type (WT) mice. These findings led us to expect that Aire KO mice would display increased susceptibility to EAMG. Surprisingly, when EAMG was induced in young (2 month-old) mice, EAMG was milder in Aire KO than in WT mice for several weeks until the age of about 5 months. However, when EAMG was induced in relatively aged (6 month-old) mice, Aire KO mice presented higher disease severity than WT controls. This age-related change in susceptibility to EAMG correlated with an elevated proportion of Treg cells in the spleens of young but not old KO, compared to WT mice, suggesting a role for peripheral Treg cells in the course of disease. Our observations point to a possible link between Aire and Treg cells and suggest an involvement for both in the pathogenesis of myasthenia.

  7. Acetylcholine receptor binding antibody-associated myasthenia gravis and rhabdomyolysis induced by nivolumab in a patient with melanoma.

    PubMed

    Shirai, Takushi; Sano, Tasuku; Kamijo, Fuminao; Saito, Nana; Miyake, Tomomi; Kodaira, Minori; Katoh, Nagaaki; Nishie, Kenichi; Okuyama, Ryuhei; Uhara, Hisashi

    2016-01-01

    We reported an 81-year-old woman with metastatic melanoma, in whom myasthenia gravis and rhabdomyolysis developed after nivolumab monotherapy. The first symptom of myasthenia gravis was dyspnea. Ultrasonography detected hypokinesis of the bilateral diaphragm suggesting myasthenia gravis, although there was no abnormal finding of the lungs in computed tomography images. Acetylcholine receptor binding antibodies were low-titer positive in the preserved serum before administration of nivolumab, strongly suggesting that the myasthenia gravis was a nivolumab-related immune adverse event. Despite the remarkable clinical benefits of immune checkpoint inhibitors for patients with advanced melanoma, it is important to recognize unexpected immune-related adverse events.

  8. Study of demographic, clinical, laboratory and electromyographic symptoms in Myasthenia Gravis patients referred to the neurology clinic of Rasoul Akram hospital in 2015.

    PubMed

    Sadri, Y; Haghi-Ashtiani, B; Zamani, B; Akhundi, F H

    2015-01-01

    Introduction. Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disorder, which is clinically a neuromuscular illness that shows itself as muscular weakness and fatigue. The diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis depends on clinical evaluation, electrophysiological assessment, and autoantibody detection in serum. Known antibodies could be found in about 90% of the patients, which had a causative relation with disease symptoms. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was a survey on demographic features, clinical, laboratorial, and electromyographic signs of patients with Myasthenia Gravis referred to the neurology clinic of Rasoul Akram hospital. Materials and methods. This study was a descriptive cross-sectional one that used an easy sampling method: 54 patients with Myasthenia Gravis who were referred to the neurology clinic of Rasoul Akram were elected in 2015. The patients' information was recorded in the checklists based on the variables and the data were analyzed by using SPSS software version 21. The results. The demographic and the clinical symptoms data of 54 known Myasthenia Gravis patients, whose diagnosis was made according to the clinical symptoms, electrophysiological findings and autoantibody detection, were analyzed in this paper. There were 31 females (57.4%) and 23 males (42.6%) with an average age of 47.3 years. The average age of diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis in these patients was 42.8 years. Among the patients, 19 (35.2%) had a hospitalization history because of their disease. Due to laboratory findings, 10 patients (18.5%) had Musk antibody, 34 patients (62.9%) had acetylcholine receptor antibodies and 10 patients (18.5%) had none of these two antibodies. Moreover, in electromyographic findings, 38 patients (70.37%) had positive findings and 16 patients (29.6%) had normal findings. Discussion and Conclusion. Due to the chronic nature of this disease, and its rising trend, educating the people for the early detection of the disease, was necessary as soon as possible so

  9. Circulating and thymic CD4 CD25 T regulatory cells in myasthenia gravis: effect of immunosuppressive treatment.

    PubMed

    Fattorossi, Andrea; Battaglia, Alessandra; Buzzonetti, Alexia; Ciaraffa, Francesca; Scambia, Giovanni; Evoli, Amelia

    2005-09-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates an immunosuppressive role of the thymus-derived CD4+ T-cell population constitutively expressing high level of CD25, T regulatory (Treg) cells, in autoimmune diseases. Here we show that the number of Treg cells in the blood is significantly lower in untreated myasthenia gravis patients than in age-matched healthy subjects, whereas it is normal or elevated in patients on immunosuppressive therapy (prednisone frequently associated with azathioprine). Therapeutic thymectomy (Tx) for either the thymoma or non-neoplastic thymic alterations that are often associated with myasthenia gravis provided unique material for studying intrathymic Treg cells and correlating them with their peripheral counterparts. We observed that Tx prevents the increase of Treg cells in the circulation that follows immunosuppressive therapy (particularly evident if the thymus is not neoplastic), indicating that the thymus contributes to Treg-cell normalization. However, thymic Treg cells are not modulated by immunosuppressive therapy and even in thymectomized patients Treg-cell numbers in the blood eventually recover. The present findings suggest that a deficiency in Treg cells favours the development of myasthenia gravis and that their normalization is an important clinical benefit of immunosuppressive therapy. Treg normalization appears to be largely thymus independent and possibly reflects the reported capacity of corticosteroids to promote Treg-cell development.

  10. Verapamil-associated cardiogenic shock in a 71-year-old man with myasthenia gravis: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Introduction Myasthenia gravis is a rare neuromuscular disorder associated with a reduction in the availability of acetylcholine receptors at the post-synaptic membranes of skeletal muscles. This is caused by the production of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies at the neuromuscular junction due to an autoimmune insult, leading to a compromised neuromuscular transmission. Verapamil can influence, in a dose-dependent fashion, the neuromuscular transmission in myasthenia gravis. Case presentation We report a 71-year-old Caucasian man with myasthenia gravis suffering from a cardiogenic shock following a single dose of verapamil. The patient had uncontrolled atrial fibrillation with a heart rate of 120 beats/min. Atenolol 100 mg was started. The next day, verapamil SR 240 mg was started. Two hours after the first dose of verapamil, the patient complained of weakness and dyspnea with signs of shock; his blood pressure was 70/50 mm Hg and heart rate at 101 beats/min. An echocardiogram showed diffuse hypokinesis of both ventricles with an ejection fraction of 20%. Cardiac catheterization was performed and coronary arteries appeared without significant stenosis, but there was a diffuse hypokinesis. Verapamil was stopped and the patient received intravenous glucagon and calcium chloride. Both the anti-acetylcholine receptor and anti-striated muscle antibodies tested positive. A few hours later, another echocardiogram showed an improvement in the ventricular function, which returned to normal five days later. Conclusion Caution is needed when administering verapamil to patients with myasthenia gravis, especially when the anti-acetylcholine receptor and anti-striated muscle antibodies titres are positive. PMID:19830220

  11. Myasthenia Gravis: Brief Guide to Diagnosis and Management

    PubMed Central

    Herrmann, Christian

    1967-01-01

    Physicians should consider the possibility of myasthenia gravis in patients complaining of fluctuating muscle weakness and easy fatigability. The disorder may occur in either sex at any age. Repeated measurements of multiple muscle groups and functions to include baseline strength and response to a control as well as anticholinesterase drugs are desirable in reaching a diagnosis. Appropriate doses of anticholinesterase medication reduce weakness and fatigability in most patients. Selected patients may benefit from thymectomy. Patients in crisis failing to respond to anticholinesterase drugs, having difficulty maintaining a patent airway or adequate respiratory exchange are best managed by prompt tracheostomy using a cuffed tube, with adequate tracheobronchial toilet and mechanical respiratory assistance. ImagesFigure 1. PMID:6046860

  12. Inpatient cost analysis for treatment of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Omorodion, Jacklyn O; Pines, Jesse M; Kaminski, Henry J

    2017-02-27

    We explore trends in U.S. inpatient costs of care over a 10-year period. We compare myasthenia gravis (MG) with multiple sclerosis (MS) and overall U.S. hospital admissions using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Nationwide Inpatient Sample database for 2003-2013. Total costs of MG inpatient care rose 13-fold from 2003 to 2013. This was accounted for by a greater than sixfold increase in discharges and a greater than twofold increase in cost per discharge. The < 17 and >85 years age groups experienced the greatest increases in discharges. Medicare and Medicaid use increased. Regional variations in cost were apparent. There were greater rises in the Midwestern and Southern United States, which is dissimilar to MS and all hospital admissions. There was a dramatic and disproportionate rise in the number of MG discharges, most likely because of changes in practice patterns. Muscle Nerve, 2016. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Overcoming challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Evoli, Amelia; Iorio, Raffaele; Bartoccioni, Emanuela

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, the discovery of new autoantigens and the use of sensitive assays have expanded the clinical spectrum of myasthenia gravis (MG). In particular, antibodies binding to clustered acetylcholine receptors and to the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 have not only bridged a significant gap in diagnosis but also have relevant clinical implications. MG management includes different therapeutic options, from symptomatic agents as the only therapy in mildly affected cases to combined long-term immunosuppression and thymectomy in patients with severe disabling disease. MG biological diversity can influence the response to therapies and should be taken into account when planning treatment. Biologic agents are promising, though their use is currently limited to patients with refractory disease.

  14. Evaluation of maximal respiratory pressures in myasthenia gravis. Prognostic value.

    PubMed

    Muñoz Fernández, Carmen; Díez Tejedor, Exuperio; Frank Garcia, Ana; Pino, Jose María; Pérez Conde, Concepción; Barreiro Tella, Pablo

    2004-01-01

    We assess the prognosis of mild forms of myasthenia gravis (MG) by maximal respiratory pressures (MRP) and single fiber electromyography (SFEMG). Fifty MG patients (12 form I, 21 form IIa and 17 form IIb) are valued by MRP [maximal expiratory pressure (MEP) and maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP)] and SFEMG, and are followed-up clinically. We have found in form I patients developing form IIa and form IIa worsening to form IIb, MEP and MIP mean relative values significantly lower than the rest. Inversely, IIb form patients improving to IIa form display MIP mean relative values higher than the rest; no difference appears with MEP. A reduction under 50% of fifth-percentile implies clinical deterioration in forms I and IIa, while its surpassing in IIb form suggests a tendency to improvement. No evident differences are found by SFEMG. MRP allow the follow-up of MG patients and could warn us of a clinical prognosis.

  15. AMP-deaminase from thymus of patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Rybakowska, I; Szydłowska, M; Szrok, S; Bakuła, S; Kaletha, K

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is characterized clinically by skeletal muscle fatigue following the excessive exercise. Interestingly most of MG patients manifest parallely also some abnormalities of the thymus.AMP-deaminase (AMPD) from human thymus was not a subject of studies up to now. In this paper, mRNA expression and some physico-chemical and immunological properties of AMPD purified from the thymus of MG patients were described. Experiments performed identified the liver isozyme (AMPD2) as the main isoform of AMPD expressed in this organ. The activity of AMPD found in this organ was higher than in other human non-(skeletal) muscle tissues indicating on role the enzyme may play in supplying of guanylates required for the intensive multiplication of thymocytes.

  16. Prepubertal anti-Musk positive myasthenia gravis with long remission.

    PubMed

    Gungor-Tuncer, Ozlem; Orhan, Elif Kocasoy; Yilmaz, Vuslat; Parman, Yesim; Oflazer, Piraye; Saruhan-Direskeneli, Guher; Deymeer, Feza

    2014-01-01

    Anti-MuSK positive myasthenia gravis (MuSK-MG) is rare prepuberty. We report a female patient with MuSK-MG starting at 3.5years with ptosis as the sole symptom for 2years. A brief period of generalization was followed by complete stable remission for 6years. Prolonged ocular symptoms and long remissions are not features of MuSK-MG, but are often seen in prepubertal onset MG. The patient then presented at age 12 with moderately severe symptoms which were almost confined to oculobulbar muscles and were unresponsive to pyridostigmine. She was dependent on corticosteroids and thymectomy did not seem to be effective. She was later noted to have tongue atrophy after a period without treatment. Our patient thus presented with features seen in many prepubertal patients, but the later course was quite typical of MuSK-MG. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Dropped head with positive intravenous edrophonium, progressing to myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Sawa, Nobuhiro; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Eura, Nobuyuki; Ueno, Satoshi

    2013-01-31

    'Dropped head syndrome' (DHS) may be associated with a variety of neurological diseases. The absence of neurological clues to the underlying cause of DHS can make management particularly challenging. We review six patients who presented with only DHS, responded to intravenous edrophonium and turned out to have myasthenia gravis (MG) including similar patients who were previously documented. Six patients presented with neck weakness and three had bulbar symptoms. Acetylcholine receptor (AchR) was positive in four patients. One patient had thymoma. The interval from the onset of DH to the presentation of typical MG features was shorter in patients who tested positive for anti-Ach antibody (1-2 months) than in patients who tested negative for anti-AchR antibody (13 months, 4 years). Our results suggest that patients with DHS responding to intravenous edrophonium might turn out to have MG and such patients might respond to a combination of anticholinesterase agents and steroids.

  18. Adult-onset Nemaline Myopathy Coexisting With Myasthenia Gravis: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Cao, Lingling; Wang, Yanling; Liu, Xiaofeng; Hu, Yanxia; Li, Nianchun; Qiu, Guoping; Luo, Yun; Li, Weidong

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular junction disorder which is characterized by fluctuating muscle fatigue. However, the association of MG with nemaline myopathy is rarely reported. Here we report a case of MG coexisting with adult-onset nemaline myopathy. A 55-year-old man endured fluctuating muscle weakness with positive acetylcholine receptor and titin antibodies. After the patient was administrated cholinergic drugs and immunosuppression, the muscle weakness of the patient had mildly been alleviated. Electromyography showed a progressive decrement in the amplitude of muscle action potential at low frequency. Muscle biopsy showed numerous nemalines in the muscle fibers. This is the first reported case of nemalines present in the muscle fibers of adult patient with MG. The pathogenesis of nemaline may be related to titin antibody in adult-onset nemaline myopathy with MG.

  19. [Onset of myasthenia gravis in primary care. Presentation of a case].

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Cordovés, M M; Mirpuri-Mirpuri, P G; Pérez-Monje, A

    2013-10-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission involving the production of autoantibodies directed against skeletal muscle receptors, in most cases of acetylcholine. Clinically it is characterized by the appearance of muscle weakness after prolonged activity, which tends to recover after a period of rest, or administration of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. It is a relatively rare disease, although the prevalence has increased by improved diagnosis and increased longevity of the population. The diagnosis can be based on evidence after it is suspected using pharmacological, immunological or electrophysiology tests. Treatment can be divided into: symptomatic, short term and long term. We report the case of a patient who complained of diplopia, this muscle weakness being the most common initial symptom of the disease. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  20. Remarkably increased resistin levels in anti-AChR antibody-positive myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Da-Qi; Wang, Rong; Li, Ting; Li, Xin; Qi, Yuan; Wang, Jing; Yang, Li

    2015-06-15

    Resistin is a pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. To investigate serum resistin levels in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) and determine if there are associations between resistin levels and disease severity, we measured serum resistin levels in 102 patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive MG (AChR-MG). We further analyzed associations between serum resistin levels and clinical variables in patients with MG. Our findings demonstrate that serum resistin levels are elevated in patients with AChR-generalized MG and AChR-MG with thymoma and are correlated with disease severity. Resistin has potential as a useful serum biomarker for inflammation in AChR-MG.

  1. Ocular and generalized myasthenia gravis induced by human acetylcholine receptor γ subunit immunization.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaorong; Tuzun, Erdem; Li, Jing; Xiao, Tianlin; Saini, Shamsher S; Qi, Huibin; Allman, Windy; Christadoss, Premkumar

    2012-02-01

    HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice develop ocular myasthenia gravis (oMG), which then progresses to generalized MG (gMG) when immunized with the human acetylcholine receptor (H-AChR) α subunit. Because the fetal AChR γ subunit is expressed in adult extraocular muscles, we anticipated that γ subunit immunization would generate an immune response to mouse AChR and induce MG in mice. H-AChR γ subunit immunization in HLA-DQ8 mice induced an autoimmune response to mouse AChR and led to the destruction of AChR in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) by anti-AChR antibody and complement activation, and it triggered upregulation of AChR gene transcription. Our findings indicate that oMG may be induced by immunity to the AChR γ subunit. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Clinical characteristics and therapeutic evaluation of childhood myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    YANG, ZHI-XIAO; XU, KAI-LI; XIONG, HUI

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to analyze the clinical characteristics, classification and treatment of childhood myasthenia gravis (MG) and address the prognosis through follow-up. The clinical data of 135 children with MG were grouped according to clinical type and therapeutic drugs, retrospectively analyzed and prospectively monitored. Of the 135 MG patients, 85.2% had type I (ocular type), with only 4.2% progressing to systemic MG; 13.4% had type II (general type); and 1.5% had type III (fulminating type). Relapse occurred in 46.1% of the 102 patients that were followed up. The positive rate for the primary acetylcholine receptor antibody was 40.19%, without significant differences among clinical subtypes. The positive rate of the repetitive nerve stimulation frequency test by electromyography was 37.97%. Decreased expression of CD4+, CD8+, or CD3+ was present in 71% of the patients. Thymic hyperplasia was present in 5.93% of the patients, while 1.48% had thymoma. Steroid treatment was effective in the majority of the patients. Ocular type MG was common in this cohort of patients. The incidence and mortality of myasthenia crisis were low, the presence of concurrent thymoma was rare and only a limited number of children developed neurological sequelae. PMID:25780436

  3. Mechanism of nasal tolerance induced by a recombinant fragment of acetylcholine receptor for treatment of experimental myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Im, S H; Barchan, D; Fuchs, S; Souroujon, M C

    2000-11-01

    Acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is the major autoantigen in myasthenia gravis (MG) and experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG). Here we analyze the mechanisms involved in suppression of ongoing EAMG in rats by nasal administration of a recombinant fragment from the human AChR alpha-subunit. We demonstrate that such a fragment, expressed without a fusion partner, confers nasal tolerance that can be adoptively transferred. Our observations suggest that the underlying mechanism of this nasal tolerance is active suppression involving a shift from a Th1 to a Th2/Th3-regulated AChR-specific response which may be mediated by down regulation of costimulatory factors.

  4. Remission of Severe Myasthenia Gravis After Massive-Dose Vitamin D Treatment.

    PubMed

    Cadegiani, Flávio Adsuara

    2016-01-29

    Vitamin D has been shown to be related to autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. Correlations have been reported between vitamin D levels and prevalence and severity of other autoimmune disorders, and also between vitamin D therapy and disease improvement and remission. This is a case report of a patient with severe and refractory myasthenia gravis (MG) who followed a "high-dose vitamin D treatment", a massive-dose treatment (80,000 to 120,000 IU/day) promoted by a medical center in Brazil (but still not proven), and she had her first complete remission after this type of treatment with increased vitamin D serum levels (400 to 700 ng/mL). This case report may reinforce the reported correlation between vitamin D level and disease severity and introduces a possible new use for vitamin D as a potential target for treating autoimmune diseases. We recommend large, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized studies using high-dose vitamin D treatment for refractory autoimmune diseases to reliably assess this pharmacotherapy target for these diseases.

  5. HLA antigens and acetylcholine receptor antibody in the subclassification of myasthenia gravis in Hong Kong Chinese.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, B R; Ip, M S; Lam, K S; Ma, J T; Wy, C L; Yeung, R T; Dawkins, R L

    1986-03-01

    Thirty seven Chinese adults and 23 children in Hong Kong with myasthenia gravis were tested for HLA-A and -B antigens and acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody. HLA BW46 had a significantly increased prevalence in patients with juvenile onset ocular myasthenia gravis. Only one third of the juvenile ocular patients had AChR antibodies and the titres were generally low. In the adult patients taken as a whole there was a non-significant increase in the prevalence of HLA B5 and HLA B15. HLA BW46 was more prevalent in adult patients without AChR antibody and less prevalent in patients with AChR antibody but the findings were not statistically significant. It is suggested that ocular myasthenia gravis is determined by a pathological mechanism for which susceptibility is determined by HLA BW46. There was a strong correlation between ocular myasthenia gravis and Graves' disease in the adult patients. The possibility that ocular myasthenia gravis is accentuated by a BW46-associated predisposition to ocular Graves' disease is considered.

  6. HLA antigens and acetylcholine receptor antibody in the subclassification of myasthenia gravis in Hong Kong Chinese.

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, B R; Ip, M S; Lam, K S; Ma, J T; Wy, C L; Yeung, R T; Dawkins, R L

    1986-01-01

    Thirty seven Chinese adults and 23 children in Hong Kong with myasthenia gravis were tested for HLA-A and -B antigens and acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody. HLA BW46 had a significantly increased prevalence in patients with juvenile onset ocular myasthenia gravis. Only one third of the juvenile ocular patients had AChR antibodies and the titres were generally low. In the adult patients taken as a whole there was a non-significant increase in the prevalence of HLA B5 and HLA B15. HLA BW46 was more prevalent in adult patients without AChR antibody and less prevalent in patients with AChR antibody but the findings were not statistically significant. It is suggested that ocular myasthenia gravis is determined by a pathological mechanism for which susceptibility is determined by HLA BW46. There was a strong correlation between ocular myasthenia gravis and Graves' disease in the adult patients. The possibility that ocular myasthenia gravis is accentuated by a BW46-associated predisposition to ocular Graves' disease is considered. PMID:3958744

  7. Myasthenia Gravis: Anesthetic and Surgical Management of the Patient Undergoing Thymectomy

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Leonard C.; Chang, Jone; Saxton, George D.

    1965-01-01

    Experience in the anesthetic and surgical management of 25 patients with myasthenia gravis is recorded. These are subdivided into two groups: those operated on during the period 1950-1958 and those operated on during the period 1959-1964. The purpose of this paper is to indicate improvement in mortality and morbidity due to three major advances: (1) use of the decamethonium diagnostic test in a myasthenia gravis clinic; (2) improvements in assessment and management of respiratory insufficiency; and (3) avoidance of anticholinesterase treatment in the immediate and early postoperative recovery period. Fourteen patients with myasthenia gravis, including five with thymoma and two who were refractory to medication, were in the second (1959-1964) group. There were no deaths and no myasthenic or cholinergic crises. Three prophylactic tracheostomies were performed. No emergency bronchoscopies or tracheostomies were required. PMID:14323663

  8. Fcγ receptor polymorphisms do not predict response to intravenous immunoglobulin in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Carolina; Grinberg, Yakob; Ghani, Mahdi; Rogaeva, Ekaterina; Katzberg, Hans; St George-Hyslop, Peter; Bril, Vera

    2012-09-01

    We studied 63 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) requiring treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin, to determine if polymorphisms within the FCγR2A (rs1801274), FCγR2B (rs1050501), FCγR3A (rs396991), and FCγR3B (NA1/NA2) genes are correlated with response to treatment. There was no significant difference in any of the polymorphisms studied between responders and nonresponders. Patients with the FCγR2B-232I/I polymorphism had higher disease severity measured by the quatitative myasthenia gravis score (QMGS). There was no difference in the distribution of the FCγR2B-232 polymorphisms between the patients and 90 healthy controls. The finding of greater disease severity in patients with the FCγR2B-232I/I polymorphism requires confirmation in a larger population of patients with myasthenia gravis.

  9. Immune-mediated myasthenia gravis in a methimazole-treated cat.

    PubMed

    Bell, E T; Mansfield, C S; James, F E

    2012-11-01

    A 12-year-old female neutered ragdoll crossbred cat was presented for investigation of generalised weakness and regurgitation. The cat was being treated with transdermal methimazole for hyper-thyroidism, which had been diagnosed 10 weeks previously. An acetylcholine receptor antibody titre was consistent with acquired myasthenia gravis. Withdrawal of methimazole and treatment with pyridostigmine was followed by resolution of clinical signs and reduction of the acetylcholine -receptor antibody titre. Medical control of hyperthyroidism was subsequently achieved with carbimazole, administered in conjunction with pyridostigmine, and no recurrence of clinical signs was observed. Myasthenia gravis is an uncommon but clinically significant adverse effect of methimazole therapy in cats, and may be caused by immunomodulatory properties of this drug. An adverse drug reaction should be considered in cats receiving methimazole that develop myasthenia gravis, and potentially also other immune-mediated disorders. © 2012 British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

  10. Experimental myasthenia gravis in Aire-deficient mice: a link between Aire and regulatory T cells.

    PubMed

    Aricha, Revital; Feferman, Tali; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Fuchs, Sara; Souroujon, Miriam C

    2012-12-01

    Aire (autoimmune regulator) has a key role in the establishment of tolerance to autoantigens. Aire(-/-) mice present decreased thymic expression of AChR, significantly lower frequencies of regulatory T (T(reg)) cells, and higher expression of Th17 markers, compared to controls. We therefore predicted that Aire(-/-) mice would be more susceptible to induction of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). However, when EAMG was induced in young mice, Aire(-/-) mice presented a milder disease that wild-type (WT) controls. In contrast, when EAMG was induced in older mice, Aire(-/-) mice were more severely affected than WT mice. The relative resistance to EAMG in young Aire(-/-) mice correlated with increased numbers of T(reg) cells in their spleens compared to young controls. A similar age-related susceptibility was also observed when EAE was induced in Aire(-/-) mice, suggesting an age-related link among Aire, disease susceptibility, and peripheral T(reg) cells that may be a general feature of autoimmunity. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

  11. Seropositivity for West Nile Virus Antibodies in Patients Affected by Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Marilena; Cofano, Pietro; Lobreglio, Giambattista

    2016-01-01

    Background Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal muscles. Specific auto-antibodies against acetylcholine receptor (AChR) are present in the majority of MG patients, although the main cause behind its development still remains unclear. Recently MG development following West Nile virus (WNV) infection has been described in patients without any earlier evidence of MG. It is known that infectious agents trigger immune response and occasionally initiate autoimmune disease. WNV, the causative agent of both benign illness and neuroinvasive disease, has become endemic in many countries in all continents. Methods In the present study, 29 patients (15 males and 14 females, 19 - 78 years old) with confirmed diagnosis of MG and elevated levels of AChR autoantibodies were screened for the presence of serum anti-WNV antibodies and compared to a similar population affected by different autoimmune diseases. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody technique was used to evaluate the reaction of patients’ sera on cells infected by WNV. Results Positive fluorescent signals for anti-WNV IgG were obtained in 17% of MG patients, although no clinical manifestations related to WNV infection were reported. These results are in agreement with previous data and appear of great interest in the understanding of the pathogenic autoimmune mechanisms at the bases of MG development. Conclusion As already observed in other human autoimmune diseases, pathogen-triggered autoimmunity could be involved in MG by breaking immunological self-tolerance through possible mechanisms of molecular mimicry between virus proteins and AChR subunits. In predisposed individuals, WNV infection could also represent an additional risk factor to initiate MG. PMID:26858791

  12. Diagnosis of Tensilon-Negative Ocular Myasthenia Gravis By Daily Selfie.

    PubMed

    Guterman, Elan L; Botelho, James V; Horton, Jonathan C

    2016-09-01

    The initial symptoms of myasthenia gravis are usually ptosis and diplopia. The diagnosis is often confirmed by testing for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies or by observing the effects of intravenous edrophonium (Tensilon) injection. However, these standard tests may be negative in patients with isolated ocular findings. We present the case of an 83-year-old woman with negative serologic and Tensilon testing. She was asked to photograph herself daily. The resulting sequence of daily selfies captured striking fluctuations in her ocular alignment and ptosis. Daily selfies may be a useful strategy for confirming the clinical diagnosis of ocular myasthenia gravis.

  13. Diagnosis of Tensilon-Negative Ocular Myasthenia Gravis By Daily Selfie

    PubMed Central

    Guterman, Elan L.; Botelho, James V.; Horton, Jonathan C.

    2016-01-01

    The initial symptoms of myasthenia gravis are usually ptosis and diplopia. The diagnosis is often confirmed by testing for anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies or by observing the effects of intravenous edrophonium (Tensilon) injection. However, these standard tests may be negative in patients with isolated ocular findings. We present the case of an 83-year-old woman with negative serologic and Tensilon testing. She was asked to photograph herself daily. The resulting sequence of daily selfies captured striking fluctuations in her ocular alignment and ptosis. Daily selfies may be a useful strategy for confirming the clinical diagnosis of ocular myasthenia gravis. PMID:27529328

  14. Azathioprine therapy for acquired myasthenia gravis in five dogs.

    PubMed

    Dewey, C W; Coates, J R; Ducoté, J M; Meeks, J C; Fradkin, J M

    1999-01-01

    Five dogs with acquired myasthenia gravis (MG), verified via positive serum acetylcholine (ACh) receptor antibody concentrations, were treated with a drug protocol including azathioprine (AZA). Four of the five dogs were concurrently treated with pyridostigmine. Azathioprine was used as the sole immunosuppressive agent in four dogs. One dog was temporarily treated with a combination of an immunosuppressive dose of prednisone and AZA, then maintained on AZA as the sole immunosuppressive drug. Three patients experienced complete remission of clinical signs within three months of therapy. In the four dogs for which follow-up serum ACh receptor antibody concentrations were available, initial versus final concentrations decreased substantially (81%), coincident with clinical improvement. One dog died suddenly due to a suspected myasthenic crisis before attaining the target dose of AZA. Two of the four surviving dogs were euthanized approximately one and seven years after diagnosis. One of these two dogs was euthanized because of a rib osteosarcoma, and the other dog was euthanized because of paraparesis of undetermined cause. The remaining two dogs were alive and doing well at the time of final follow-up evaluation, approximately six months and one year after diagnosis. The use of AZA as a therapeutic agent for acquired canine MG has not been investigated. The cases presented in this report suggest a potentially important role for AZA in the treatment of acquired MG in dogs.

  15. Ocular presentation of myasthenia gravis: A natural history cohort.

    PubMed

    Kamarajah, Sivesh K; Sadalage, Girija; Palmer, Jonathan; Carley, Helena; Maddison, Paul; Sivaguru, Arulmaran

    2017-09-07

    There are limited data on the natural history of untreated myasthenia gravis (MG) with ocular presentation. We analyzed 93 patients from symptom onset who presented to the Birmingham Midlands Eye Centre (BMEC) between January 2004 and July 2015. We used multiple stepwise logistic regression to identify predictive factors of generalization and Kaplan-Meier analysis on time to generalization. Forty-six percent of patients developed generalized symptoms during the study period. Median time to generalization was 7 months. Time to generalization was earlier in patients seropositive for acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody (median 5 months vs. 21 months, P < 0.0001) and bilateral ptosis at onset (P = 0.015). Multivariate analysis identified AChR seropositivity [hazard ratio (HR) 5.03; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.48-17.14; P = 0.001] and disease onset < 50 years (HR 3.58; 95% CI 1.18-10.90; P = 0.035) as risk factors for generalization. As patients were steroid-naive before generalization, our cohort approximated the natural history of the condition. Muscle Nerve, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Anesthetic implications for video assisted thoracoscopic thymectomy in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    El-Dawlatly, Abdelazeem A; Al Kattan, Khaled; Hajjar, Waseem; Essa, Mohamed; Delvi, Bilal; Khoja, Abdulaziz

    2005-06-01

    Thymectomy is an established therapy in the management of generalized myasthenia gravis (MG). However, the optimal surgical approach to thymectomy has remained controversial. There are advocates for transternal, transcervical approaches for "maximal" thymectomy. Video-assisted thoracoscopic thymectomy (VATT) presents new approach to thymectomy. By minimizing chest wall trauma, VATT not only causes less postoperative pain, shortens hospital stay, gives better cosmetic results but also leads to wider acceptance by patients for earlier surgery. Anesthesia for thymectomy in MG is challenging. Currently we are using non-muscle relaxant technique (NMRT) which we adopted in 1994, for maximal thymectomy. In this paper, we present our limited experience with two cases of VATT using two different NMRTs. Two cases of MG underwent VATT under general anesthesia (GA) and one lung ventilation (OLV) using double lumen tube (DLT). In both cases NMRT was used which encompass, light GA plus thoracic epidural analgesia (TEA) in one case and without TEA in the other case. We believe that the use of NMRT provides good operative and postoperative conditions. In this report we have described two different NMRTs, one with TEA and the other without. Further studies are needed on large number of cases to establish an anesthetic protocol for VATT.

  17. Myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré cooccurrence syndrome.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Juan; Niu, Shiqin; Wang, Yan; Hu, Wenli

    2013-08-01

    The objective of this study was to review all cases in literature in which the clinical manifestations of myasthenia gravis (MG) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) were presented in the same patient including a new case of our own and identify the clinical characteristics and possible mechanisms of this syndrome. We reviewed 12 reports in which 13 cases were diagnosed as MG and GBS. The clinical manifestations of the 13 cases and our new case were analyzed in detail to show the characteristics of this kind of syndrome. Of all the cases, 5 females and 9 males, 6 of them were Chinese; 3 were Americans; 3 were Israelis; 1 was white and one was a Frenchman. The age of seven patients was no more than 45 years old. They all had the symptoms of extrocular muscle weakness. Nerve conduction and RNS abnormal were seen in all tested cases. Acetylcholine receptor antibody was positive in all tested patients. Prognosis was good in 8 of the 11 recorded patients. Although extremely rare, MG and GBS may present in the same patient with variant characteristics. The typical clinical characteristics of GBS and MG may be helpful for the diagnosis of future possible cases. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Assessment of physical fatigability and fatigue perception in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Berit; Mehl, Theresa; Schweden, Tabea L K; Menge, Uwe; Zierz, Stephan

    2017-05-01

    Fatigue includes both performance fatigability and fatigue perception. In 32 stable patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) and 17 controls, time-dependent physical performance was assessed by the arm movement test (AMT) and 6-minute walk test (6MWT). MG patients presented with low quantitative MG scores (mean 0.5, SD 0.5) and without pathologic decrement. Fatigability was based on calculation of linear trend (LT) reflecting dynamic performance within subsequent constant time intervals. Perception of physical fatigue was analyzed using fatigue questionnaires. MG patients showed a negative LT in both AMT and 6MWT, significantly differing from stable performance in controls. LT inversely correlated with elevation of acetylcholine receptor antibodies (r = -0.59, P < 0.005) but not with quantitative MG score and fatigue perception. LT allows quantification of fatigability as an objective measurement of decline in individual performance, even in patients without obvious neuromuscular deficits in routine testing. The missing correlation of experienced fatigue supports the multidimensional fatigue model. Muscle Nerve 55: 657-663, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Dendritic cells in hyperplastic thymuses from patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Nagane, Yuriko; Utsugisawa, Kimiaki; Obara, Daiji; Yamagata, Munehisa; Tohgi, Hideo

    2003-05-01

    To investigate the role of dendritic cells (DCs) in the hyperplastic myasthenia gravis (MG) thymus, we studied the frequency and distribution of three mature DC phenotypes (CD83(+)CD11c(+), CD86(+)CD11c(+), and HLA-DR(+)CD11c(+)) in samples from patients with MG whose symptoms dramatically improved following thymectomy and in non-MG control thymuses. In hyperplastic MG thymuses, mature DCs were much more numerous in nonmedullary areas, such as the subcapsular/outer cortex; around the germinal centers; and in extralobular connective tissue, particularly around blood vessels. Mature DCs strongly coexpressed CD44 and appeared to be components of a CD44-highly positive (CD44(high)) cell population migrating from the vascular system. Furthermore, in the hyperplastic MG thymus, the expression of secondary lymphoid-tissue chemokine (SLC) markedly increased especially around extralobular blood vessels, where the CD44(high) cell population accumulated. These findings suggest that DCs may migrate into the hyperplastic thymus from the vascular system via mechanisms that involve CD44 and SLC. DCs may present self-antigens, thereby promoting the priming and/or boosting of potentially autoreactive T cells against the acetylcholine receptor.

  20. Changes in inflammatory cytokine networks in myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Uzawa, Akiyuki; Kanai, Tetsuya; Kawaguchi, Naoki; Oda, Fumiko; Himuro, Keiichi; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmunological inflammatory disorder of the neuromuscular junction. Inflammation could be a key player for understanding the pathogenesis of MG. We measured the serum levels of 24 inflammatory cytokines in 43 patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive MG and 25 healthy controls. In patients with MG, serum levels of a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), IL-19, IL-20, IL-28A and IL-35 were significantly increased as compared with controls (p < 0.05). Among them, IL-20, IL-28A and IL-35 were significantly decreased after treatment (p < 0.05). In clinical subtype analyses, APRIL and IL-20 were increased in patients with late-onset MG and IL-28A levels were increased in patients with thymoma-associated MG compared with healthy controls (p < 0.01). The results of the present study demonstrate both anti-inflammatory and inflammatory cytokines are upregulated in MG, reflecting the importance of cytokine-mediated inflammation and its regulation in MG pathophysiology. PMID:27172995

  1. Thymectomy: role in the treatment of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Spillane, J; Hayward, M; Hirsch, N P; Taylor, C; Kullmann, D M; Howard, R S

    2013-07-01

    Thymectomy is a frequently used treatment for myasthenia gravis (MG) and is virtually always indicated in MG patients who have a thymoma. However, the evidence for thymectomy in non-thymomatous MG remains less certain-no randomised controlled trials have been published to date, although one is currently underway. We reviewed the management and clinical outcome of patients with MG who underwent thymectomy over a 12 year period. Eighty-nine patients who underwent transsternal thymectomy were identified. A thymoma was identified on histology in 24 %, whereas 48, 9 and 19 % had hyperplastic, atrophic and normal thymic histology, respectively. One patient developed post operative myasthenic crisis but generally the procedure was well tolerated. Outcome was favourable for the majority of patients, with 34 % achieving complete stable remission (CSR) and an additional 33 % achieving pharmacological remission. Moreover, steroid requirements fell progressively during follow-up. Patients with a hyperplastic gland had a significantly greater chance of achieving CSR compared to other histological subtypes and the incidence of CSR increased with a longer duration of follow-up. Thymectomy for MG is generally safe and well tolerated and is associated with a sustained improvement of symptoms in the majority of patients.

  2. Guidelines for standard preclinical experiments in the mouse model of myasthenia gravis induced by acetylcholine receptor immunization.

    PubMed

    Tuzun, Erdem; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Brenner, Talma; Kusner, Linda L; Le Panse, Rozen; Yang, Huan; Tzartos, Socrates; Christadoss, Premkumar

    2015-08-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by generalized muscle weakness due to neuromuscular junction (NMJ) dysfunction brought by acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies in most cases. Although steroids and other immunosuppressants are effectively used for treatment of MG, these medications often cause severe side effects and a complete remission cannot be obtained in many cases. For pre-clinical evaluation of more effective and less toxic treatment methods for MG, the experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) induced by Torpedo AChR immunization has become one of the standard animal models. Although numerous compounds have been recently proposed for MG mostly by using the active immunization EAMG model, only a few have been proven to be effective in MG patients. The variability in the experimental design, immunization methods and outcome measurements of pre-clinical EAMG studies make it difficult to interpret the published reports and assess the potential for application to MG patients. In an effort to standardize the active immunization EAMG model, we propose standard procedures for animal care conditions, sampling and randomization of mice, experimental design and outcome measures. Utilization of these standard procedures might improve the power of pre-clinical EAMG experiments and increase the chances for identifying promising novel treatment methods that can be effectively translated into clinical trials for MG.

  3. Rare association of Hodgkin lymphoma, Graves' disease and myasthenia gravis complicated by post-radiation neurofibrosarcoma: coincidence or genetic susceptibility?

    PubMed

    Simon, Zsófia; Ress, Zsuzsa; Toldi, József; Trauninger, Anita; Miltényi, Zsófia; Illés, Arpád

    2009-05-01

    With Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), other (autoimmune) diseases may occasionally occur or associate, whereas as a late treatment-complication, second tumour may develop. In our patient HL was diagnosed in 1996 and consequently received COPP/ABV and mantle irradiation. Due to the residual mediastinal tumour CRu was declared but later on no progression/relapse could be proved by PET. In 2000 Graves's disease, in 2001 myasthenia gravis was diagnosed, which showed resistance for immunosuppressant drugs, thus plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin treatments were applied. In 2005, the residual mediastinal tumour started progressive growth, which leads to thoracotomy in which the tumour was removed, it was malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour. The disease showed progression despite the chemotherapy applied and the patient died in 2007 due to respiratory failure. Not even the postmortem histopathologic examination revealed the relapse of HL. Association of Hodgkin lymphoma, and two antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases, Graves' disease and myasthenia gravis, is rare and has not yet been reported in the literature. The etiologic role of genetic predisposition and immune regulatory disorder must definitely be thought of, as the possibility of mere coincidence is extremely small. Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour is a rare complication of irradiation, which underlines the importance of the risk or/and response adapted therapy of HL.

  4. Low serum albumin concentrations are associated with disease severity in patients with myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Yi-Yun; Yang, De-Hao; Qian, Mei-Zi; Wei, Mao-Mao; Yin, Fang; Li, Jia; Li, Xiang; Chen, Ying; Ding, Zhang-Na; He, Yi-Bo; Zhang, Xu

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Serum albumin (S-Alb) is a widely used biomarker of nutritional status and disease severity in patients with autoimmune diseases. We investigated the correlation between S-Alb and the severity of myasthenia gravis (MG). A total number of 166 subjects were recruited in the study. Subjects were divided into 3 groups (T1 to T3) by S-Alb levels: T1: 21.1 to 38.4 g/L, T2: 38.5 to 41.5 g/L, T3: 41.6 to 48.9 g/L. Regression analysis was performed to determine the correlation of initial albumin concentrations and the severity of disease of MG. Lower levels of S-Alb were observed in subjects with increased disease severity than those with slight disease severity, meanwhile, incidence of myasthenia crisis increased in the lower albumin tertiles (P < 0.001). The disease severity assessment was performed according to the criteria established by the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and duration of disease, it showed that higher S-Alb concentrations were associated with lower disease severity. Odds ratios (ORs) of T2 to T3 were 0.241 (95% CI: 0.103–0.566, P < 0.001), 0.140 (95% CI: 0.054–0.367, P < 0.001) when compared with subjects in the T1, respectively. When subjects were stratified into hypoalbuminemia and normal albumin groups, we found that the association between S-Alb and MG remained significant in the hypoalbuminemia group only (OR: 0.693, 95% CI: 0.550–0.874, P = 0.002) after further adjustment for age, sex, BMI, and duration of disease. This is the first study to demonstrate that S-Alb was independently associated with MG severity. In patients with low S-Alb, S-Alb concentration could be a potential biomarker for MG disability. PMID:27684858

  5. Myasthenia gravis. CD4+ T epitopes on the embryonic gamma subunit of human muscle acetylcholine receptor.

    PubMed Central

    Protti, M P; Manfredi, A A; Wu, X D; Moiola, L; Dalton, M W; Howard, J F; Conti-Tronconi, B M

    1992-01-01

    In myasthenia gravis (MG) an autoimmune response against muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) occurs. Embryonic muscle AChR contains a gamma subunit, substituted in adult muscle by a homologous epsilon subunit. Antibodies and CD4+ cells specific for embryonic AChR have been demonstrated in MG patients. We identified sequence segments of the human gamma subunit forming epitopes recognized by four embryonic AChR-specific CD4+ T cell lines, propagated from MG patients' blood by stimulation with synthetic peptides corresponding to the human gamma subunit sequence. Each line had an individual epitope repertoire, but two 20-residue sequence regions were recognized by three lines of different HLA haplotype. Most T epitope sequences were highly diverged between the gamma and the other AChR subunits, confirming the specificity of the T cells for embryonic AChR. These T cells may have been sensitized against AChR expressed by a tissue other than innervated skeletal muscle, possibly the thymus, which expresses an embryonic muscle AChR-like protein, containing a gamma subunit. Several sequence segments forming T epitopes are similar to regions of microbial and/or mammalian proteins unrelated to the AChR. These findings are consistent with the possibility that T cell cross-reactivity between unrelated proteins ("molecular mimicry"), proposed as a cause of autoimmune responses, is not a rare event. PMID:1383275

  6. Preconditioned mesenchymal stem cells treat myasthenia gravis in a humanized preclinical model

    PubMed Central

    Sudres, Muriel; Maurer, Marie; Robinet, Marieke; Bismuth, Jacky; Truffault, Frédérique; Girard, Diane; Dragin, Nadine; Attia, Mohamed; Fadel, Elie; Santelmo, Nicola; Sicsic, Camille; Brenner, Talma

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) with anti–acetylcholine receptor (AChR) Abs is an autoimmune disease characterized by severe defects in immune regulation and thymic inflammation. Because mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) display immunomodulatory features, we investigated whether and how in vitro–preconditioned human MSCs (cMSCs) could treat MG disease. We developed a new humanized preclinical model by subcutaneously grafting thymic MG fragments into immunodeficient NSG mice (NSG-MG model). Ninety percent of the animals displayed human anti-AChR Abs in the serum, and 50% of the animals displayed MG-like symptoms that correlated with the loss of AChR at the muscle endplates. Interestingly, each mouse experiment recapitulated the MG features of each patient. We next demonstrated that cMSCs markedly improved MG, reducing the level of anti-AChR Abs in the serum and restoring AChR expression at the muscle endplate. Resting MSCs had a smaller effect. Finally, we showed that the underlying mechanisms involved (a) the inhibition of cell proliferation, (b) the inhibition of B cell–related and costimulatory molecules, and (c) the activation of the complement regulator DAF/CD55. In conclusion, this study shows that a preconditioning step promotes the therapeutic effects of MSCs via combined mechanisms, making cMSCs a promising strategy for treating MG and potentially other autoimmune diseases. PMID:28405609

  7. Genetics of Myasthenia Gravis: A Case-Control Association Study in the Hellenic Population

    PubMed Central

    Zagoriti, Zoi; Georgitsi, Marianthi; Giannakopoulou, Olga; Ntellos, Fotios; Tzartos, Socrates J.; Patrinos, George P.; Poulas, Konstantinos

    2012-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an heterogeneous autoimmune disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies against proteins of the postsynaptic membrane, in the neuromuscular junction. The contribution of genetic factors to MG susceptibility has been evaluated through family and twin studies however, the precise genetic background of the disease remains elusive. We conducted a case-control association study in 101 unrelated MG patients of Hellenic origin and 101 healthy volunteers in order to assess the involvement of common genetic variants in susceptibility to MG. We focused on three candidate genes which have been clearly associated with several autoimmune diseases, aiming to investigate their potential implication in MG pathogenesis. These are interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF-5), TNFα-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3), also known as A20, and interleukin-10 (IL-10), key molecules in the regulation of immune function. A statistical trend of association (P = 0.068) between IL-10 promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the subgroups of early and late-onset MG patients was revealed. No statistically significant differences were observed in the rest of the variants examined. As far as we are aware, this is the first worldwide attempt to address the possible association between IRF-5 and TNFAIP3 common genetic variants and the genetic basis of MG. PMID:23049601

  8. Novel CXCL13 transgenic mouse: inflammation drives pathogenic effect of CXCL13 in experimental myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Julia Miriam; Robinet, Marieke; Aricha, Revital; Cufi, Perrine; Villeret, Bérengère; Lantner, Frida; Shachar, Idit; Fuchs, Sara; Souroujon, Miriam C; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Le Panse, Rozen

    2016-02-16

    Abnormal overexpression of CXCL13 is observed in many inflamed tissues and in particular in autoimmune diseases. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disease mainly mediated by anti-acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies. Thymic hyperplasia characterized by ectopic germinal centers (GCs) is a common feature in MG and is correlated with high levels of anti-AChR antibodies. We previously showed that the B-cell chemoattractant, CXCL13 is overexpressed by thymic epithelial cells in MG patients. We hypothesized that abnormal CXCL13 expression by the thymic epithelium triggered B-cell recruitment in MG. We therefore created a novel transgenic (Tg) mouse with a keratin 5 driven CXCL13 expression. The thymus of Tg mice overexpressed CXCL13 but did not trigger B-cell recruitment. However, in inflammatory conditions, induced by Poly(I:C), B cells strongly migrated to the thymus. Tg mice were also more susceptible to experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) with stronger clinical signs, higher titers of anti-AChR antibodies, increased thymic B cells, and the development of germinal center-like structures. Consequently, this mouse model finally mimics the thymic pathology observed in human MG. Our data also demonstrated that inflammation is mandatory to reveal CXCL13 ability to recruit B cells and to induce tertiary lymphoid organ development.

  9. Novel CXCL13 transgenic mouse: inflammation drives pathogenic effect of CXCL13 in experimental myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Weiss, Julia Miriam; Robinet, Marieke; Aricha, Revital; Cufi, Perrine; Villeret, Bérengère; Lantner, Frida; Shachar, Idit; Fuchs, Sara; Souroujon, Miriam C.

    2016-01-01

    Abnormal overexpression of CXCL13 is observed in many inflamed tissues and in particular in autoimmune diseases. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disease mainly mediated by anti-acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies. Thymic hyperplasia characterized by ectopic germinal centers (GCs) is a common feature in MG and is correlated with high levels of anti-AChR antibodies. We previously showed that the B-cell chemoattractant, CXCL13 is overexpressed by thymic epithelial cells in MG patients. We hypothesized that abnormal CXCL13 expression by the thymic epithelium triggered B-cell recruitment in MG. We therefore created a novel transgenic (Tg) mouse with a keratin 5 driven CXCL13 expression. The thymus of Tg mice overexpressed CXCL13 but did not trigger B-cell recruitment. However, in inflammatory conditions, induced by Poly(I:C), B cells strongly migrated to the thymus. Tg mice were also more susceptible to experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) with stronger clinical signs, higher titers of anti-AChR antibodies, increased thymic B cells, and the development of germinal center-like structures. Consequently, this mouse model finally mimics the thymic pathology observed in human MG. Our data also demonstrated that inflammation is mandatory to reveal CXCL13 ability to recruit B cells and to induce tertiary lymphoid organ development. PMID:26771137

  10. Genetics of myasthenia gravis: a case-control association study in the Hellenic population.

    PubMed

    Zagoriti, Zoi; Georgitsi, Marianthi; Giannakopoulou, Olga; Ntellos, Fotios; Tzartos, Socrates J; Patrinos, George P; Poulas, Konstantinos

    2012-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an heterogeneous autoimmune disease characterized by the production of autoantibodies against proteins of the postsynaptic membrane, in the neuromuscular junction. The contribution of genetic factors to MG susceptibility has been evaluated through family and twin studies however, the precise genetic background of the disease remains elusive. We conducted a case-control association study in 101 unrelated MG patients of Hellenic origin and 101 healthy volunteers in order to assess the involvement of common genetic variants in susceptibility to MG. We focused on three candidate genes which have been clearly associated with several autoimmune diseases, aiming to investigate their potential implication in MG pathogenesis. These are interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF-5), TNFα-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3), also known as A20, and interleukin-10 (IL-10), key molecules in the regulation of immune function. A statistical trend of association (P = 0.068) between IL-10 promoter single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the subgroups of early and late-onset MG patients was revealed. No statistically significant differences were observed in the rest of the variants examined. As far as we are aware, this is the first worldwide attempt to address the possible association between IRF-5 and TNFAIP3 common genetic variants and the genetic basis of MG.

  11. The different roles of the thymus in the pathogenesis of the various myasthenia gravis subtypes.

    PubMed

    Marx, Alexander; Pfister, Frederick; Schalke, Berthold; Saruhan-Direskeneli, Güher; Melms, Arthur; Ströbel, Philipp

    2013-07-01

    The thymus plays distinct roles in the pathogenesis of the different Myasthenia gravis (MG) subtypes. Inflammatory, neoplastic and age-related alterations of the thymus are of pivotal relevance for the initiation of anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) autoimmunity in early onset MG, thymoma-associated MG and, likely, late onset MG, respectively. By contrast, the thymus is presumably not related to MG that is due to autoantibodies to the muscle specific kinase, MuSK. Finally, the role of the thymus is still obscure in MG defined by antibodies against the agrin receptor LRP4 and in MG without all of the above autoantibdies (triple sero-negative MG) since these MG subtypes have been described only recently and thymectomy has not been their standard treatment. This review aims to give an update on intrathymic mechanisms of tolerance breakdown in MG, including abnormal T cell selection and activation, the role of thymic myoid cells, the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) and regulatory T cells.

  12. Acute treatment of myasthenia gravis with intranasal neostigmine: clinical and electromyographic evaluation.

    PubMed Central

    Ricciardi, R; Rossi, B; Nicora, M; Sghirlanzoni, A; Muratorio, A

    1991-01-01

    The effectiveness of intranasal neostigmine (9.3-13.8 mg) was tested in 20 subjects with myasthenia gravis, classified as Osserman grades 2A and 2B. In all cases the drug produced significant clinical and electromyographic improvement. No side effects were reported during the treatment. PMID:1783916

  13. Disability and Functional Profiles of Patients with Myasthenia Gravis Measured with ICF Classification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonardi, Matilde; Raggi, Alberto; Antozzi, Carlo; Confalonieri, Paolo; Maggi, Lorenzo; Cornelio, Ferdinando; Mantegazza, Renato

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study is to describe functional profiles of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), and the relationships among symptoms, activities and environmental factors (EF), by using WHO's International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF). Patients were consecutively enrolled at the Besta Institute of Milan, Italy.…

  14. A sequence of pathologic events in a patient after thymectomy for myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Hrycek, Antoni

    2012-01-01

    The case of a rare coexistence of myasthenia gravis (MG) with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is described. MG was diagnosed prior to SLE which developed after thymectomy. The patient was affected by HCV viremia. Therefore, there were therapeutic problems. Metylase treatment was continued for several years and dopamine receptor agonist was effectively administered as adjunctive therapy in SLE.

  15. Disability and Functional Profiles of Patients with Myasthenia Gravis Measured with ICF Classification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leonardi, Matilde; Raggi, Alberto; Antozzi, Carlo; Confalonieri, Paolo; Maggi, Lorenzo; Cornelio, Ferdinando; Mantegazza, Renato

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study is to describe functional profiles of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), and the relationships among symptoms, activities and environmental factors (EF), by using WHO's International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF). Patients were consecutively enrolled at the Besta Institute of Milan, Italy.…

  16. Population pharmacokinetic analysis of tacrolimus in Chinese myasthenia gravis patients.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Si; Liu, Zi-Qi; Chen, Rong; Wang, Lei; Huang, Ling; Zhu, Xiao; Zhou, Tian-Yan; Lu, Wei; Ma, Ping

    2017-08-01

    The importance of tacrolimus in the treatment of myasthenia gravis (MG) as a substitute for corticosteroid-dependent immunosuppressive therapy is increasing. Thus far, however, no population pharmacokinetic (PopPK) analysis of tacrolimus in treating MG patients has been published. This article aimed to construct a PopPK model of tacrolimus for Chinese MG patients with the goal of improving its performance in MG treatment. A total of 253 trough concentration records were obtained from 83 Chinese MG patients. The effects of demographics, lifestyle and health status, biochemical test data, disease progression and treatment-related information (including co-administered medications) as covariates on the various parameters were investigated. The covariate selection was based on biological plausibility, clinical significance, statistical significance and reduction in inter-individual variability (IIV). Bootstrap and normalized prediction distribution error (NPDE) analysis were performed to validate the final model. A one-compartment PopPK model with first-order elimination and a fixed absorption phase was constructed. The estimated apparent oral clearance (CL/F) and apparent oral volume of distribution (V/F) were 3.6 L/h and 1700 L, respectively, in the MG patients. Hematocrit and blood urea nitrogen were identified as two covariates that significantly influenced the CL/F. Immunoglobulin treatment (PRO) also had the potential to influence V/F, which was consistent with the clinical observations and the high protein-binding property of tacrolimus. Other covariates including age, weight, gender and co-administered medications had no obvious influence on CL/F or V/F. The first PopPK model of tacrolimus in MG patients was established. The identified covariates were of biological plausibility and clinical importance to help individualize the dosing schedule in MG patients.

  17. Myasthenia gravis requiring pyridostigmine treatment in a national population cohort.

    PubMed

    Andersen, J B; Engeland, A; Owe, J F; Gilhus, N E

    2010-12-01

    Pyridostigmine is the first drug of choice for patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). The drug is not prescribed regularly to any other patient groups. We aimed to determine the prevalence, incidence and gender-specific characteristics of patients with MG needing drug treatment in a well-defined population cohort. Data were retrieved from the Norwegian Prescription Database (NorPD) 2004-2007, containing information on all dispensed drugs in Norway. The study population comprised 677 recipients of pyridostigmine who met the following inclusion criteria (one or more): (i) More than one prescription 1 January 2004-31 December 2007, (ii) prescription from a specialist in neurology, (iii) prescription for MG being specified in NorPD. A total of 435 (64%) women and 242 men were included; female:male ratio 1.8:1. Point prevalence (1 January 2008) of symptomatic MG was 131 per million; 92 for men, 170 for women. Seventy-four new users of pyridostigmine were registered in 2007 (42 women, 32 men), i.e. the incidence rate for 2007 being 16 per million; 14 for men, 18 for women. Mean age of incident cases was 59 years; 64 and 55 years, respectively. Prevalence and incidence were significantly higher in the age group ≥ 50 years than < 50 years (P < 0.001), and highest at 70-79 years. Prevalence and incidence did not differ in the five geographical health regions in Norway. Reported prevalence and incidence are amongst the highest found in similar studies. This may be explained by optimal case identification, higher incidence of drug requiring MG amongst the elderly, and recurrences of previous MG. © 2010 The Author(s). European Journal of Neurology © 2010 EFNS.

  18. A randomized controlled trial of methotrexate for patients with generalized myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    He, Jianghua; Herbelin, Laura; Burns, Ted M.; Nations, Sharon; Bril, Vera; Wang, Annabel K.; Elsheikh, Bakri H.; Kissel, John T.; Saperstein, David; Shaibani, J. Aziz; Jackson, Carlayne; Swenson, Andrea; Howard, James F.; Goyal, Namita; David, William; Wicklund, Matthew; Pulley, Michael; Becker, Mara; Mozaffar, Tahseen; Benatar, Michael; Pazcuzzi, Robert; Simpson, Ericka; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey; Dimachkie, Mazen M.; Statland, Jeffrey M.; Barohn, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To determine the steroid-sparing effect of methotrexate (MTX) in patients with symptomatic generalized myasthenia gravis (MG). Methods: We performed a 12-month multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MTX 20 mg orally every week vs placebo in 50 acetylcholine receptor antibody–positive patients with MG between April 2009 and August 2014. The primary outcome measure was the prednisone area under the dose-time curve (AUDTC) from months 4 to 12. Secondary outcome measures included 12-month changes of the Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis Score, the Myasthenia Gravis Composite Score, Manual Muscle Testing, the Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life, and the Myasthenia Gravis Activities of Daily Living. Results: Fifty-eight patients were screened and 50 enrolled. MTX did not reduce the month 4–12 prednisone AUDTC when compared to placebo (difference MTX − placebo: −488.0 mg, 95% confidence interval −2,443.4 to 1,467.3, p = 0.26); however, the average daily prednisone dose decreased in both groups. MTX did not improve secondary measures of MG compared to placebo over 12 months. Eight participants withdrew during the course of the study (1 MTX, 7 placebo). There were no serious MTX-related adverse events. The most common adverse event was nonspecific pain (19%). Conclusions: We found no steroid-sparing benefit of MTX in MG over 12 months of treatment, despite being well-tolerated. This study demonstrates the challenges of conducting clinical trials in MG, including difficulties with recruitment, participants improving on prednisone alone, and the need for a better understanding of outcome measure variability for future clinical trials. Classification of evidence: This study provides Class I evidence that for patients with generalized MG MTX does not significantly reduce the prednisone AUDTC over 12 months of therapy. PMID:27306628

  19. Netrin-1 receptor antibodies in thymoma-associated neuromyotonia with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Torres-Vega, Estefanía; Mancheño, Nuria; Cebrián-Silla, Arantxa; Herranz-Pérez, Vicente; Chumillas, María J; Moris, Germán; Joubert, Bastien; Honnorat, Jérôme; Sevilla, Teresa; Vílchez, Juan J; Dalmau, Josep; Graus, Francesc; García-Verdugo, José Manuel; Bataller, Luis

    2017-03-28

    To identify cell-surface antibodies in patients with neuromyotonia and to describe the main clinical implications. Sera of 3 patients with thymoma-associated neuromyotonia and myasthenia gravis were used to immunoprecipitate and characterize neuronal cell-surface antigens using reported techniques. The clinical significance of antibodies against precipitated proteins was assessed with sera of 98 patients (neuromyotonia 46, myasthenia gravis 52, thymoma 42; 33 of them with overlapping syndromes) and 219 controls (other neurologic diseases, cancer, and healthy volunteers). Immunoprecipitation studies identified 3 targets, including the Netrin-1 receptors DCC (deleted in colorectal carcinoma) and UNC5A (uncoordinated-5A) as well as Caspr2 (contactin-associated protein-like 2). Cell-based assays with these antigens showed that among the indicated patients, 9 had antibodies against Netrin-1 receptors (7 with additional Caspr2 antibodies) and 5 had isolated Caspr2 antibodies. Only one of the 219 controls had isolated Caspr2 antibodies with relapsing myelitis episodes. Among patients with neuromyotonia and/or myasthenia gravis, the presence of Netrin-1 receptor or Caspr2 antibodies predicted thymoma (p < 0.05). Coexisting Caspr2 and Netrin-1 receptor antibodies were associated with concurrent thymoma, myasthenia gravis, and neuromyotonia, often with Morvan syndrome (p = 0.009). Expression of DCC, UNC5A, and Caspr2 proteins was demonstrated in paraffin-embedded thymoma samples (3) and normal thymus. Antibodies against Netrin-1 receptors (DCC and UNC5a) and Caspr2 often coexist and associate with thymoma in patients with neuromyotonia and myasthenia gravis. This study provides Class III evidence that antibodies against Netrin-1 receptors can identify patients with thymoma (sensitivity 21.4%, specificity 100%). © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  20. Clinical and pathological aspects of microscopic thymoma with myasthenia gravis and review of published reports.

    PubMed

    Fukuhara, Mitsuro; Higuchi, Mitsunori; Owada, Yuki; Inoue, Takuya; Watanabe, Yuzuru; Yamaura, Takumi; Muto, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Takeo; Suzuki, Hiroyuki

    2017-06-01

    Microscopic thymomas, defined as epithelial proliferations smaller than 1 mm in diameter, characteristically occur in patients with myasthenia gravis without macroscopic thymic epithelial tumors. However, some clinical and pathological aspects of this entity are still unclear. This retrospective study includes five consecutive patients who had undergone extended thymectomy for myasthenia gravis at our institution from April 2007 to March 2016 and in whom microscopic thymomas were diagnosed by histopathological examination of the resected specimens. During the same period, we performed 32 extended transsternal thymothymectomies/thymectomies in patients with myasthenia gravis, including the above five cases. We here review 18 cases of microscopic thymoma, including our five cases and 13 previously reported cases. The incidence of previously undiagnosed microscopic thymoma in patients undergoing thymectomy for myasthenia gravis in our institution is 15.2%. Serum preoperative anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody (anti-AchR Ab) titers were abnormally high in all of our five cases h (74.4±53.3 nmol/L) and decreased significantly after surgery (11.7±13.5 nmol/L, P=0.037). We divided our cases into the following three groups: microscopic thymoma group (Group M), thymoma group (Group T) and non-thymic tumor group (Group N). The mean preoperative anti-AchR Ab titers of these groups were 74.4, 26.5, and 368 nmol/L, respectively. All these values decreased postoperatively. The mean anti-AchR Ab titer was significantly higher in Group M than in Group T (P=0.034). All five cases in Group M were found by post-operative pathological examination to have multifocal type A thymomas. Microscopic thymomas tend to be multifocal type A thymomas. Anti-AchR Ab titers decreased significantly in all groups. It is very important to both perform complete extended thymectomies in patients with myasthenia gravis and pathological examination of thin slices of thymic tissue to maximize detection

  1. A randomized controlled trial of methotrexate for patients with generalized myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Pasnoor, Mamatha; He, Jianghua; Herbelin, Laura; Burns, Ted M; Nations, Sharon; Bril, Vera; Wang, Annabel K; Elsheikh, Bakri H; Kissel, John T; Saperstein, David; Shaibani, J Aziz; Jackson, Carlayne; Swenson, Andrea; Howard, James F; Goyal, Namita; David, William; Wicklund, Matthew; Pulley, Michael; Becker, Mara; Mozaffar, Tahseen; Benatar, Michael; Pazcuzzi, Robert; Simpson, Ericka; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Statland, Jeffrey M; Barohn, Richard J

    2016-07-05

    To determine the steroid-sparing effect of methotrexate (MTX) in patients with symptomatic generalized myasthenia gravis (MG). We performed a 12-month multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MTX 20 mg orally every week vs placebo in 50 acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive patients with MG between April 2009 and August 2014. The primary outcome measure was the prednisone area under the dose-time curve (AUDTC) from months 4 to 12. Secondary outcome measures included 12-month changes of the Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis Score, the Myasthenia Gravis Composite Score, Manual Muscle Testing, the Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life, and the Myasthenia Gravis Activities of Daily Living. Fifty-eight patients were screened and 50 enrolled. MTX did not reduce the month 4-12 prednisone AUDTC when compared to placebo (difference MTX - placebo: -488.0 mg, 95% confidence interval -2,443.4 to 1,467.3, p = 0.26); however, the average daily prednisone dose decreased in both groups. MTX did not improve secondary measures of MG compared to placebo over 12 months. Eight participants withdrew during the course of the study (1 MTX, 7 placebo). There were no serious MTX-related adverse events. The most common adverse event was nonspecific pain (19%). We found no steroid-sparing benefit of MTX in MG over 12 months of treatment, despite being well-tolerated. This study demonstrates the challenges of conducting clinical trials in MG, including difficulties with recruitment, participants improving on prednisone alone, and the need for a better understanding of outcome measure variability for future clinical trials. This study provides Class I evidence that for patients with generalized MG MTX does not significantly reduce the prednisone AUDTC over 12 months of therapy. © 2016 American Academy of Neurology.

  2. Cathepsin V is involved in the degradation of invariant chain in human thymus and is overexpressed in myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Tolosa, Eva; Li, Weijie; Yasuda, Yoshiyuki; Wienhold, Wolfgang; Denzin, Lisa K.; Lautwein, Alfred; Driessen, Christoph; Schnorrer, Petra; Weber, Ekkehard; Stevanovic, Stefan; Kurek, Raffael; Melms, Arthur; Brömme, Dieter

    2003-01-01

    Stepwise degradation of the invariant chain (Ii) is required for the binding of antigenic peptides to MHC class II molecules. Cathepsin (Cat) L in the murine thymus and Cat S in peripheral APCs have both been implicated in the last step of Ii degradation that gives rise to the class II–associated invariant chain peptides (CLIP). Cat V has been recently described as highly homologous to Cat L and exclusively expressed in human thymus and testis, but with no mouse orthologue. We report that Cat V is the dominant cysteine protease in cortical human thymic epithelial cells, while Cat L and Cat S seem to be restricted to dendritic and macrophage-like cells. Active Cat V in thymic lysosomal preparations was demonstrated by active-site labeling. Recombinant Cat V was capable of converting Ii into CLIP efficiently, suggesting that Cat V is the protease that controls the generation of αβ-CLIP complexes in the human thymus, in analogy to Cat L in mouse. Comparison of Cat V expression between thymi from patients with myasthenia gravis and healthy controls revealed a significantly higher expression level in the pathological samples, suggesting a potential involvement of this protease in the immunopathogenesis of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease almost invariably associated with thymic pathology. PMID:12925692

  3. Cathepsin V is involved in the degradation of invariant chain in human thymus and is overexpressed in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Tolosa, Eva; Li, Weijie; Yasuda, Yoshiyuki; Wienhold, Wolfgang; Denzin, Lisa K; Lautwein, Alfred; Driessen, Christoph; Schnorrer, Petra; Weber, Ekkehard; Stevanovic, Stefan; Kurek, Raffael; Melms, Arthur; Bromme, Dieter

    2003-08-01

    Stepwise degradation of the invariant chain (Ii) is required for the binding of antigenic peptides to MHC class II molecules. Cathepsin (Cat) L in the murine thymus and Cat S in peripheral APCs have both been implicated in the last step of Ii degradation that gives rise to the class II-associated invariant chain peptides (CLIP). Cat V has been recently described as highly homologous to Cat L and exclusively expressed in human thymus and testis, but with no mouse orthologue. We report that Cat V is the dominant cysteine protease in cortical human thymic epithelial cells, while Cat L and Cat S seem to be restricted to dendritic and macrophage-like cells. Active Cat V in thymic lysosomal preparations was demonstrated by active-site labeling. Recombinant Cat V was capable of converting Ii into CLIP efficiently, suggesting that Cat V is the protease that controls the generation of alphabeta-CLIP complexes in the human thymus, in analogy to Cat L in mouse. Comparison of Cat V expression between thymi from patients with myasthenia gravis and healthy controls revealed a significantly higher expression level in the pathological samples, suggesting a potential involvement of this protease in the immunopathogenesis of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease almost invariably associated with thymic pathology.

  4. Associated thyreoiditis, myasthenia gravis, thymectomy, Chron's disease, and erythema nodosum: pathogenetic and clinical correlations, immune system involvement, and systemic infectious complications.

    PubMed

    Manfredi, Roberto; Fasulo, Giovanni; Fulgaro, Ciro; Sabbatani, Sergio

    2008-09-01

    The case of a young woman suffering from multiple autoimmune-dysreactive disorders (including thyreoiditis, myasthenia gravis, thymectomy, Crohn's disease, and erythema nodosum), while undergoing steroideal therapy, was complicated by a severe infectious disorder (severe upper urinary tract infection). While the pathogenetic and clinical relationship between the different autoimmune-dysreactive complications is still unclear, and the supporting role of the frequent immunosuppressive treatment may add significantly to these risk factors, clinicians who are engaged in the management of these patients should be aware that multiple, concurrent or subsequent disorders might occur in these subjects, and also that severe infections might be of relevant concern.

  5. IL-6 and Akt are involved in muscular pathogenesis in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Maurer, Marie; Bougoin, Sylvain; Feferman, Tali; Frenkian, Mélinée; Bismuth, Jacky; Mouly, Vincent; Clairac, Geraldine; Tzartos, Socrates; Fadel, Elie; Eymard, Bruno; Fuchs, Sara; Souroujon, Miriam C; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2015-01-15

    Anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) autoantibodies target muscles in spontaneous human myasthenia gravis (MG) and its induced experimental autoimmune model MG (EAMG). The aim of this study was to identify novel functional mechanisms occurring in the muscle pathology of myasthenia. A transcriptome analysis performed on muscle tissue from MG patients (compared with healthy controls) and from EAMG rats (compared with control rats) revealed a deregulation of genes associated with the Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) pathways in both humans and rats. The expression of IL-6 and its receptor IL-6R transcripts was found to be altered in muscles of EAMG rats and mice compared with control animals. In muscle biopsies from MG patients, IL-6 protein level was higher than in control muscles. Using cultures of human muscle cells, we evaluated the effects of anti-AChR antibodies on IL-6 production and on the phosphorylation of Protein Kinase B (PKB/Akt). Most MG sera and some monoclonal anti-AChR antibodies induced a significant increase in IL-6 production by human muscle cells. Furthermore, Akt phosphorylation in response to insulin was decreased in the presence of monoclonal anti-AChR antibodies. Anti-AChR antibodies alter IL-6 production by muscle cells, suggesting a putative novel functional mechanism of action for the anti-AChR antibodies. IL-6 is a myokine with known effects on signaling pathways such as Akt/mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin). Since Akt plays a key role in multiple cellular processes, the reduced phosphorylation of Akt by the anti-AChR antibodies may have a significant impact on the muscle fatigability observed in MG patients.

  6. Gene-Specific Methylation Analysis in Thymomas of Patients with Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Lopomo, Angela; Ricciardi, Roberta; Maestri, Michelangelo; De Rosa, Anna; Melfi, Franca; Lucchi, Marco; Mussi, Alfredo; Coppedè, Fabio; Migliore, Lucia

    2016-01-01

    Thymomas are uncommon neoplasms that arise from epithelial cells of the thymus and are often associated with myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibodies directed to different targets at the neuromuscular junction. Little is known, however, concerning epigenetic changes occurring in thymomas from MG individuals. To further address this issue, we analyzed DNA methylation levels of genes involved in one-carbon metabolism (MTHFR) and DNA methylation (DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B) in blood, tumor tissue, and healthy thymic epithelial cells from MG patients that underwent a surgical resection of a thymic neoplasm. For the analyses we applied the methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting technique. Both MTHFR and DNMT3A promoters showed significantly higher methylation in tumor tissue with respect to blood, and MTHFR also showed significantly higher methylation levels in tumor tissue respect to healthy adjacent thymic epithelial cells. Both DNMT1 and DNMT3B promoter regions were mostly hypomethylated in all the investigated tissues. The present study suggests that MTHFR methylation is increased in thymomas obtained from MG patients; furthermore, some degrees of methylation of the DNMT3A gene were observed in thymic tissue with respect to blood. PMID:27999265

  7. Titin antibodies in "seronegative" myasthenia gravis--A new role for an old antigen.

    PubMed

    Stergiou, C; Lazaridis, K; Zouvelou, V; Tzartos, J; Mantegazza, R; Antozzi, C; Andreetta, F; Evoli, A; Deymeer, F; Saruhan-Direskeneli, G; Durmus, H; Brenner, T; Vaknin, A; Berrih-Aknin, S; Behin, A; Sharshar, T; De Baets, M; Losen, M; Martinez-Martinez, P; Kleopa, K A; Zamba-Papanicolaou, E; Kyriakides, T; Kostera-Pruszczyk, A; Szczudlik, P; Szyluk, B; Lavrnic, D; Basta, I; Peric, S; Tallaksen, C; Maniaol, A; Gilhus, N E; Casasnovas Pons, C; Pitha, J; Jakubíkova, M; Hanisch, F; Bogomolovas, J; Labeit, D; Labeit, S; Tzartos, S J

    2016-03-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease caused by antibodies targeting the neuromuscular junction of skeletal muscles. Triple-seronegative MG (tSN-MG, without detectable AChR, MuSK and LRP4 antibodies), which accounts for ~10% of MG patients, presents a serious gap in MG diagnosis and complicates differential diagnosis of similar disorders. Several AChR antibody positive patients (AChR-MG) also have antibodies against titin, usually detected by ELISA. We have developed a very sensitive radioimmunoprecipitation assay (RIPA) for titin antibodies, by which many previously negative samples were found positive, including several from tSN-MG patients. The validity of the RIPA results was confirmed by western blots. Using this RIPA we screened 667 MG sera from 13 countries; as expected, AChR-MG patients had the highest frequency of titin antibodies (40.9%), while MuSK-MG and LRP4-MG patients were positive in 14.6% and 16.4% respectively. Most importantly, 13.4% (50/372) of the tSN-MG patients were also titin antibody positive. None of the 121 healthy controls or the 90 myopathy patients, and only 3.6% (7/193) of other neurological disease patients were positive. We thus propose that the present titin antibody RIPA is a useful tool for serological MG diagnosis of tSN patients.

  8. T-cell receptor V alpha and C alpha alleles associated with multiple and myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Oksenberg, J R; Sherritt, M; Begovich, A B; Erlich, H A; Bernard, C C; Cavalli-Sforza, L L; Steinman, L

    1989-01-01

    Polymorphic markers in genes encoding that alpha chain of the human T-cell receptor (TcR) have been detected by Southern blot analysis in Pss I digests. Polymorphic bands were observed at 6.3 and 2.0 kilobases (kb) with frequencies of 0.30 and 0.44, respectively, in the general population. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, we amplified selected sequences derived from the full-length TcR alpha cDNA probe. These PCR products were used as specific probes to demonstrate that the 6.3-kb polymorphic fragment hybridizes to the variable (V)-region probe and the 2.0-kb fragment hybridizes to the constant (C)-region probe. Segregation of the polymorphic bands was analyzed in family studies. To look for associations between these markers and autoimmune diseases, we have studied the restriction fragment length polymorphism distribution of the Pss I markers in patients with multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and Graves disease. Significant differences in the frequency of the polymorphic V alpha and C alpha markers were identified between patients and healthy individuals. Images PMID:2915992

  9. B cells produce less IL-10, IL-6 and TNF-α in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Yilmaz, Vuslat; Oflazer, Piraye; Aysal, Fikret; Parman, Yeşim G; Direskeneli, Haner; Deymeer, Feza; Saruhan-Direskeneli, Güher

    2015-06-01

    B cells from myasthenia gravis (MG) patients with autoantibodies (Aab) against acetylcholine receptor (AChR), muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) or with no detectable Aab were investigated as cytokine producing cells in this study. B cells were evaluated for memory phenotypes and expressions of IL-10, IL-6 and IL-12A. Induced productions of IL-10, IL-6, IL-12p40, TNF-α and LT from isolated B cells in vitro were measured by immunoassays. MG patients receiving immunosuppressive treatment had higher proportions of memory B cells compared with healthy controls and untreated patients. With CD40 stimulation MG patients produced significantly lower levels of IL-10, IL-6. With CD40 and B cell receptor stimulation of B cells, TNF-α production also decreased in addition to these cytokines. The lower levels of these cytokine productions were not related to treatment. Our results confirm a disturbance of B cell subpopulations in MG subgroups on immunosuppressive treatment. B cell derived IL-10, IL-6 and TNF-α are down-regulated in MG, irrespective of different antibody productions. Ineffective cytokine production by B cells may be a susceptibility factor in dysregulation of autoimmune Aab production.

  10. Binding affinities of anti-acetylcholine receptor autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis

    SciTech Connect

    Bray, J.J.; Drachman, D.B.

    1982-01-01

    Antibodies directed against acetylcholine (ACh) receptors are present in the sera of nearly 90% of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), and are involved in the pathogenesis of this autoimmune disease. However, the antibody titers measured by the standard radioimmunoassay correspond poorly with the clinical severity of the disease. To determine whether this disparity could be accounted for by differences in the binding affinities of anti-ACh receptor antibodies in different patients, we have measured the binding affinities of these autoantibodies in 15 sera from MG patients. The affinity constants (K/sub o/), as determined by Scatchard analysis, were all in the range of 10/sup 10/ M/sup -1/, comparable to the highest values reported in immunized animals. The affinity constants were truly representative of the population of autoantibodies detected by the radioimmunoassay, as shown by the remarkable linearity of the Scatchard plots (r/sup 2/>0.90) and the close correlation between the antibody titers determined by extrapolation of the Scatchard plots and by saturation analysis (r = 0.99; p < 0.001). There was only a 6-fold variation in affinity constants measured in this series of patients despite widely differing antibody titers and severity of the disease. Factors other than the titer and affinity of anti-ACh receptor antibodies may correlate better with the clinical manifestations of MG.

  11. Intercommunication between the Neuroendocrine and Immune Systems: Focus on Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Mays, Jacqueline; Butts, Cherié L.

    2011-01-01

    Crosstalk exists between the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, and perturbations in these interactions have been associated with disease. This includes production of neuroendocrine factors that alter immune system activity and increase susceptibility to or severity of immune-related conditions, such as myasthenia gravis (MG) – a T-cell-dependent, B-cell-mediated autoimmune disorder. MG results from impairment of transmission to the neuromuscular junction and involves the thymus – especially in early-onset disease, but the exact mechanism by which the thymus impacts disease is unclear. MG afflicts millions of individuals worldwide each year, and both men and women can develop symptoms. However, prevalence and age of onset differs between men and women. Women exhibit higher incidence and earlier age of onset compared to men, and disease fluctuates during pregnancy. This suggests that sex hormones play a role in influencing disease outcome. In this review, we will consider what is known about the manifestation of MG, theories on how different forms of MG are influenced or alleviated by steroid hormones, current treatment options, and what measures could be important to consider in the future. PMID:21952684

  12. Effective humoral immunity against diphtheria and tetanus in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus or myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Csuka, Dorottya; Czirják, László; Hóbor, Renáta; Illes, Zsolt; Bánáti, Miklós; Rajczy, Katalin; Tordai, Attila; Füst, George

    2013-07-01

    Controversy exists about the effectiveness of vaccine-induced immune response in patients with immunoregulatory disorders. Our aim was to determine the antibody titers to diphtheria and tetanus in patients with either of two autoimmune diseases. 279 patients with SLE (205 females, aged 45.0 ± 13.8 years), 158 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) (101 females, aged 55 ± 18.7 years) and 208 healthy subjects (122 females, aged 48 ± 14.6 years) were enrolled. Serum concentrations of diphtheria-antitoxin-IgG (A-DIPHTH) and tetanus-antitoxoid-IgG (A-TET) were determined with ELISA. Equal proportions of healthy subjects, as well as patients with SLE or MG exhibited proper antibody responses and immune protection against diphtheria and tetanus. In all three test groups, serum concentration of A-DIPHTH decreased significantly (p<0.001) with age throughout the study population, while titers of A-TET dropped only in the elderly (>60-years-old) subjects. There were no significant differences among the groups in the age-related changes of A-TET and A-DIPHTH except that in <40-years-old subjects, A-DIPHTH level was significantly (p=0.029) lower in SLE patients than in controls. Our findings suggest that the level of vaccine-induced immunity against diphtheria and tetanus infections in patients with SLE or MG is comparable to the healthy population. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Genotypes of CCR2 and CCR5 chemokine receptors in human myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaoyan; Gharizadeh, Baback; Hjelmström, Peter; Pirskanen, Ritva; Nyrén, Pål; Lefvert, Ann-Kari; Ghaderi, Mehran

    2003-11-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the association of human autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) with two DNA polymorphisms of the chemokine receptors CCR5-Delta 32 and CCR2-64I. CCR2 and CCR5 interact primarily with the human CC family ligands CCL2 (formerly called monocyte chemoattractant protein; MCP-1), CCL3 and CCL4 (macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha and -1 beta; MIP-1 alpha/beta), and their main function is to recruit leukocytes from circulation into the tissues, thus playing an important role in human inflammatory disorders. A PCR-based genotyping method was used to determine the genetic variation at the CCR5 gene and an automated real-time Pyrosequencing technology was employed for the analysis of G right curved arrow A point mutation at the CCR2 gene. Results obtained from 158 patients and 272 healthy controls demonstrate no evidence of association between genetic variants of CCR2 and CCR5 with MG and its clinical manifestations. CCR2-64I and CCR5-Delta 32 genotypes are thus unlikely to be involved in protection or predisposition to MG.

  14. Specific immunotherapy of experimental myasthenia gravis in vitro: the "guided missile" strategy.

    PubMed

    Wu, J M; Wu, B; Miagkov, A; Adams, R N; Drachman, D B

    2001-03-15

    We describe a strategy for specific immunotherapy of myasthenia gravis (MG) based on genetic engineering of antigen presenting cells (APCs) to present the autoantigen acetylcholine receptor (AChR) and express the "warhead" Fas ligand (FasL). For transduction of APCs we prepared recombinant attenuated vaccinia virus vectors carrying the following three gene constructs: (i) AChR fused to LAMP1 to present AChR and target AChR-specific T cells; (ii) FasL to eliminate the targeted T cells; and (iii) truncated FADD to protect APCs from self-destruction by FasL. The engineered APCs effectively expressed the genes of interest and killed AChR-specific T cells in culture by the Fas/FasL pathway. T cells specific for an unrelated antigen were spared. Our in vitro demonstration that engineered APCs target and kill antigen-specific T cells represents a promising novel strategy for specific immunotherapy of MG and other autoimmune diseases.

  15. Anti-voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.4 antibodies in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Romi, Fredrik; Suzuki, Shigeaki; Suzuki, Norihiro; Petzold, Axel; Plant, Gordon T; Gilhus, Nils Erik

    2012-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease characterized by skeletal muscle weakness mainly caused by acetylcholine receptor antibodies. MG can be divided into generalized and ocular, and into early-onset (<50 years of age) and late-onset (≥50 years of age). Anti-Kv1.4 antibodies targeting α-subunits (Kv1.4) of the voltage-gated potassium K(+) channel occurs frequently among patients with severe MG, accounting for 18% of a Japanese MG population. The aim of this study was to characterize the clinical features and serological associations of anti-Kv1.4 antibodies in a Caucasian MG population with mild and localized MG. Serum samples from 129 Caucasian MG patients with mainly ocular symptoms were tested for the presence of anti-Kv1.4 antibodies and compared to clinical and serological parameters. There were 22 (17%) anti-Kv1.4 antibody-positive patients, most of them women with late-onset MG, and all of them with mild MG. This contrasts to the Japanese anti-Kv1.4 antibody-positive patients who suffered from severe MG with bulbar symptoms, myasthenic crisis, thymoma, myocarditis and prolonged QT time on electrocardiography, despite equal anti-Kv1.4 antibody occurrence in both populations. No other clinical or serological parameters influenced anti-Kv1.4 antibody occurrence.

  16. Autoantibody-producing plasmablasts after B cell depletion identified in muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Stathopoulos, Panos; Kumar, Aditya; Nowak, Richard J; O'Connor, Kevin C

    2017-09-07

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a B cell-mediated autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Pathogenic autoantibodies to muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) can be found in patients with MG who do not have detectable antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). MuSK MG includes immunological and clinical features that are generally distinct from AChR MG, particularly regarding responsiveness to therapy. B cell depletion has been shown to affect a decline in serum autoantibodies and to induce sustained clinical improvement in the majority of MuSK MG patients. However, the duration of this benefit may be limited, as we observed disease relapse in MuSK MG patients who had achieved rituximab-induced remission. We investigated the mechanisms of such relapses by exploring autoantibody production in the reemerging B cell compartment. Autoantibody-expressing CD27+ B cells were observed within the reconstituted repertoire during relapse but not during remission or in controls. Using two complementary approaches, which included production of 108 unique human monoclonal recombinant immunoglobulins, we demonstrated that antibody-secreting CD27hiCD38hi B cells (plasmablasts) contribute to the production of MuSK autoantibodies during relapse. The autoantibodies displayed hallmarks of antigen-driven affinity maturation. These collective findings introduce potential mechanisms for understanding both MuSK autoantibody production and disease relapse following B cell depletion.

  17. T-cell receptor V alpha and C alpha alleles associated with multiple and myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Oksenberg, J R; Sherritt, M; Begovich, A B; Erlich, H A; Bernard, C C; Cavalli-Sforza, L L; Steinman, L

    1989-02-01

    Polymorphic markers in genes encoding that alpha chain of the human T-cell receptor (TcR) have been detected by Southern blot analysis in Pss I digests. Polymorphic bands were observed at 6.3 and 2.0 kilobases (kb) with frequencies of 0.30 and 0.44, respectively, in the general population. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, we amplified selected sequences derived from the full-length TcR alpha cDNA probe. These PCR products were used as specific probes to demonstrate that the 6.3-kb polymorphic fragment hybridizes to the variable (V)-region probe and the 2.0-kb fragment hybridizes to the constant (C)-region probe. Segregation of the polymorphic bands was analyzed in family studies. To look for associations between these markers and autoimmune diseases, we have studied the restriction fragment length polymorphism distribution of the Pss I markers in patients with multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and Graves disease. Significant differences in the frequency of the polymorphic V alpha and C alpha markers were identified between patients and healthy individuals.

  18. Detecting Key Genes Regulated by miRNAs in Dysfunctional Crosstalk Pathway of Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Yuze; Wang, Jianjian; Zhang, Huixue; Tian, Qinghua; Chen, Lixia; Ning, Shangwei; Liu, Peifang; Sun, Xuesong; Lu, Xiaoyu; Song, Chang; Zhang, Shuai; Xiao, Bo; Wang, Lihua

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular autoimmune disorder resulting from autoantibodies attacking components of the neuromuscular junction. Recent studies have implicated the aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of MG; however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. This study aimed to identify key genes regulated by miRNAs in MG. Six dysregulated pathways were identified through differentially expressed miRNAs and mRNAs in MG, and significant crosstalk was detected between five of these. Notably, crosstalk between the “synaptic long-term potentiation” pathway and four others was mediated by five genes involved in the MAPK signaling pathway. Furthermore, 14 key genes regulated by miRNAs were detected, of which six—MAPK1, RAF1, PGF, PDGFRA, EP300, and PPP1CC—mediated interactions between the dysregulated pathways. MAPK1 and RAF1 were responsible for most of this crosstalk (80%), likely reflecting their central roles in MG pathogenesis. In addition, most key genes were enriched in immune-related local areas that were strongly disordered in MG. These results provide new insight into the pathogenesis of MG and offer new potential targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:25705681

  19. MiR-15a contributes abnormal immune response in myasthenia gravis by targeting CXCL10.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiao-Fang; Wang, Run-Qi; Hu, Bo; Luo, Meng-Chuan; Zeng, Qiu-Ming; Zhou, Hao; Huang, Kun; Dong, Xiao-Hua; Luo, Yue-Bei; Luo, Zhao-Hui; Yang, Huan

    2016-03-01

    MiR-15a is likely to be associated with autoimmunity. Here, we aimed to examine the expression of miR-15 cluster in PBMCs from myasthenia gravis (MG) patients and investigate the potential roles of miR-15a in MG. We found that the expression of all miR-15 cluster was decreased in MG, furthermore, miR-15a levels in ocular MG (oMG) were much lower, while CXCL10 production was increased in MG. We display that CXCL10 was a functional target gene of miR-15a in MG. Increasing miR-15a expression could reduce CXCL10 expression and alleviate the abnormal T cells activation in immune response, while decreasing miR-15a expression could activate immune response abnormally. Moreover, miR-15a expression was significantly decreased after stimulation, and prednisone treatment could upregulate miR-15a expression in steroid-responsive MG patients. Take together, our data suggest that decreased miR-15a expression facilitates proinflammatory cytokines production and contributes to immune response at least in part via regulating CXCL10 expression in MG. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Acetylcholine Receptor-α Subunit Expression in Myasthenia Gravis: A Role for the Autoantigen in Pathogenesis?

    PubMed Central

    Sheng, Jian Rong; Li, Liang Cheng; Prabhakar, Bellur S.; Meriggioli, Matthew N.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGOUND Previous studies have shown increased expression of AChR alpha (AChR-α) subunit transcripts in myasthenia gravis (MG) and experimental MG (EAMG) but have not examined the functional properties of this overexpression. METHODS We examined the mRNA and protein expression of AChR-α, as well as the pattern of α-bungarotoxin labeling in muscle tissue from EAMG mice with varying disease severity. RESULTS AChR-α expression was considerably increased in endplates from mice with severe EAMG, but it was distinct and greatly in excess of α-bungarotoxin labeling. This “aberrant expression” occurred in mice with morphologic endplate damage, and the pattern of complement and immunoglobulin deposition in muscle from these mice appeared to mirror the pattern of AChR-α expression. CONCLUSIONS The loss of functional AChR in severe MG increases transcription of AChR-α mRNA, but the expressed protein is “functionally inert,” failing to compensate for loss of AChR. This enhanced expression of AChR may play a role in driving the ongoing autoimmune response. PMID:19609914

  1. The Role of Osteopontin and Its Gene on Glucocorticoid Response in Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yanchen; Li, Hai-Feng; Sun, Liang; Kusner, Linda L.; Wang, Shuhui; Meng, Yunxiao; Zhang, Xu; Hong, Yu; Gao, Xiang; Li, Yao; Kaminski, Henry J.

    2017-01-01

    Biomarkers that assess treatment response for patients with the autoimmune disorder, myasthenia gravis (MG), have not been evaluated to a significant extent. We hypothesized the pro-inflammatory cytokine, osteopontin (OPN), may be associated with variability of response to glucocorticoids (GCs) in patients with MG. A cohort of 250 MG patients treated with standardized protocol of GCs was recruited, and plasma OPN and polymorphisms of its gene, secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1), were evaluated. Mean OPN levels were higher in patients compared to healthy controls. Carriers of rs11728697*T allele (allele definition: one of two or more alternative forms of a gene) were more frequent in the poorly GC responsive group compared to the GC responsive group indicating an association of rs11728697*T allele with GC non-responsiveness. One risk haplotype (AGTACT) was identified associated with GC non-responsiveness compared with GC responsive MG group. Genetic variations of SPP1 were found associated with the response to GC among MG patients. PMID:28620344

  2. Detecting key genes regulated by miRNAs in dysfunctional crosstalk pathway of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yuze; Wang, Jianjian; Zhang, Huixue; Tian, Qinghua; Chen, Lixia; Ning, Shangwei; Liu, Peifang; Sun, Xuesong; Lu, Xiaoyu; Song, Chang; Zhang, Shuai; Xiao, Bo; Wang, Lihua

    2015-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular autoimmune disorder resulting from autoantibodies attacking components of the neuromuscular junction. Recent studies have implicated the aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of MG; however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. This study aimed to identify key genes regulated by miRNAs in MG. Six dysregulated pathways were identified through differentially expressed miRNAs and mRNAs in MG, and significant crosstalk was detected between five of these. Notably, crosstalk between the "synaptic long-term potentiation" pathway and four others was mediated by five genes involved in the MAPK signaling pathway. Furthermore, 14 key genes regulated by miRNAs were detected, of which six-MAPK1, RAF1, PGF, PDGFRA, EP300, and PPP1CC-mediated interactions between the dysregulated pathways. MAPK1 and RAF1 were responsible for most of this crosstalk (80%), likely reflecting their central roles in MG pathogenesis. In addition, most key genes were enriched in immune-related local areas that were strongly disordered in MG. These results provide new insight into the pathogenesis of MG and offer new potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

  3. Gene-Specific Methylation Analysis in Thymomas of Patients with Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Lopomo, Angela; Ricciardi, Roberta; Maestri, Michelangelo; De Rosa, Anna; Melfi, Franca; Lucchi, Marco; Mussi, Alfredo; Coppedè, Fabio; Migliore, Lucia

    2016-12-16

    Thymomas are uncommon neoplasms that arise from epithelial cells of the thymus and are often associated with myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibodies directed to different targets at the neuromuscular junction. Little is known, however, concerning epigenetic changes occurring in thymomas from MG individuals. To further address this issue, we analyzed DNA methylation levels of genes involved in one-carbon metabolism (MTHFR) and DNA methylation (DNMT1, DNMT3A, and DNMT3B) in blood, tumor tissue, and healthy thymic epithelial cells from MG patients that underwent a surgical resection of a thymic neoplasm. For the analyses we applied the methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting technique. Both MTHFR and DNMT3A promoters showed significantly higher methylation in tumor tissue with respect to blood, and MTHFR also showed significantly higher methylation levels in tumor tissue respect to healthy adjacent thymic epithelial cells. Both DNMT1 and DNMT3B promoter regions were mostly hypomethylated in all the investigated tissues. The present study suggests that MTHFR methylation is increased in thymomas obtained from MG patients; furthermore, some degrees of methylation of the DNMT3A gene were observed in thymic tissue with respect to blood.

  4. Imaging of thymus in myasthenia gravis: from thymic hyperplasia to thymic tumor.

    PubMed

    Priola, A M; Priola, S M

    2014-05-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder often associated with thymic abnormalities. At onset, thymic lymphoid hyperplasia (TLH) and thymoma can be found in up to 65% and 15% of patients, respectively. Diagnostic imaging is crucial in this setting in order to detect the presence and type of the thymic abnormality and in the preoperative planning, when indicated. Chest radiography has a minor role due to its low accuracy. Computed tomography is the imaging modality of choice, although the differentiation between a small thymoma and TLH that appears as a focal soft-tissue mass may be not possible. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is not usually employed, but it is useful in equivocal cases, especially in differentiating focal TLH from thymoma by using chemical-shift sequences for defining the proper management. In addition, diffusion-weighted (DW)-MRI can differentiate lipid-poor normal/hyperplastic thymus from thymoma and could be useful in differentiating non-advanced from advanced thymomas. Positron emission tomography (PET)-CT is not helpful in distinguishing early from advanced thymoma but can be used to differentiate thymic carcinoma from thymoma. Hereby, we discuss the imaging features of thymic abnormalities in MG, even focusing on novel aspects of chemical-shift and DW-MRI.

  5. Profile of upregulated inflammatory proteins in sera of Myasthenia Gravis patients

    PubMed Central

    Molin, Carl Johan; Westerberg, Elisabet; Punga, Anna Rostedt

    2017-01-01

    This study describes specific patterns of elevated inflammatory proteins in clinical subtypes of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients. MG is a chronic, autoimmune neuromuscular disease with antibodies most commonly targeting the acetylcholine receptors (AChRab), which causes fluctuating skeletal muscle fatigue. MG pathophysiology includes a strong component of inflammation, and a large proportion of patients with early onset MG additionally present thymus hyperplasia. Due to the fluctuating nature and heterogeneity of the disease, there is a great need for objective biomarkers as well as novel potential inflammatory targets. We examined the sera of 45 MG patients (40 AChRab seropositive and 5 AChRab seronegative), investigating 92 proteins associated with inflammation. Eleven of the analysed proteins were significantly elevated compared to healthy controls, out of which the three most significant were: matrix metalloproteinase 10 (MMP-10; p = 0.0004), transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-α; p = 0.0017) and extracellular newly identified receptor for advanced glycation end-products binding protein (EN-RAGE) (also known as protein S100-A12; p = 0.0054). Further, levels of MMP-10, C-X-C motif ligand 1 (CXCL1) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) differed between early and late onset MG. These novel targets provide valuable additional insight into the systemic inflammatory response in MG. PMID:28045063

  6. Intercommunication between the neuroendocrine and immune systems: focus on myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Mays, Jacqueline; Butts, Cherié L

    2011-01-01

    Crosstalk exists between the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems, and perturbations in these interactions have been associated with disease. This includes production of neuroendocrine factors that alter immune system activity and increase susceptibility to or severity of immune-related conditions, such as myasthenia gravis (MG)--a T-cell-dependent, B-cell-mediated autoimmune disorder. MG results from impairment of transmission to the neuromuscular junction and involves the thymus--especially in early-onset disease, but the exact mechanism by which the thymus impacts disease is unclear. MG afflicts millions of individuals worldwide each year, and both men and women can develop symptoms. However, prevalence and age of onset differs between men and women. Women exhibit higher incidence and earlier age of onset compared to men, and disease fluctuates during pregnancy. This suggests that sex hormones play a role in influencing disease outcome. In this review, we will consider what is known about the manifestation of MG, theories on how different forms of MG are influenced or alleviated by steroid hormones, current treatment options, and what measures could be important to consider in the future.

  7. B10 Cell Frequencies and Suppressive Capacity in Myasthenia Gravis Are Associated with Disease Severity

    PubMed Central

    Yi, John S.; Russo, Melissa A.; Massey, Janice M.; Juel, Vern; Hobson-Webb, Lisa D.; Gable, Karissa; Raja, Shruti M.; Balderson, Kristina; Weinhold, Kent J.; Guptill, Jeffrey T.

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a T cell-dependent, B cell-mediated disease. The mechanisms for loss of self-tolerance in this disease are not well understood, and recently described regulatory B cell (Breg) subsets have not been thoroughly investigated. B10 cells are a subset of Bregs identified by the production of the immunosuppressive cytokine, interleukin-10 (IL-10). B10 cells are known to strongly inhibit B- and T-cell inflammatory responses in animal models and are implicated in human autoimmunity. In this study, we examined quantitative and qualitative aspects of B10 cells in acetylcholine receptor autoantibody positive MG (AChR-MG) patients and healthy controls. We observed reduced B10 cell frequencies in AChR-MG patients, which inversely correlated with disease severity. Disease severity also affected the function of B10 cells, as B10 cells in the moderate/severe group of MG patients were less effective in suppressing CD4 T-cell proliferation. These results suggest that B10 cell frequencies may be a useful biomarker of disease severity, and therapeutics designed to restore B10 cell frequencies could hold promise as a treatment for this disease through restoration of self-tolerance. PMID:28239367

  8. [A 46-year-old woman with myasthenia gravis associated with macromastia, erythroderma and hypogeusia].

    PubMed

    Sera, I; Shibayama, K; Motomura, M; Tsujihata, M; Nagataki, S

    1994-01-01

    A 46-year-old woman developed blepharoptosis, diplopia and hypogeusia in 1984, and was diagnosed as having myasthenia gravis and malignant thymoma. Her symptoms improved by thymectomy and oral prednisolone administration. In 1988 she complained of breast pain and swelling during menstruation. In 1990 her breast was enlarged to the size of an adult head, and she developed erythroderma and hypogeusia. She was admitted to Nagasaki University Hospital in August, 1990. On admission, erythema was seen in the whole body especially in the face, anterior chest, abdomen and the thigh. Her breast was the size of an adult head. Muscle strength was weak, and ocular movement was limited. She had blepharoptosis. Papillae of the tongue were atrophic. Endoclinological investigations revealed an elevation of PRL to 14.6 ng/ml (normal < 10), antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor to 118.0 nM (normal < 0.5). In TRH stimulation test the response of PRL was amplified. Four intrathoracic masses suspected of recurrence of malignant thymoma were seen in CT. Her macromastia depended upon the amount of PRL, and was reduced by bromocriptine. Erythroderma and hypogeusia were relieved by plasmaphersis. Therefore autoimmune mechanism may be related to these symptoms.

  9. Durability of the Rituximab Response in Acetylcholine Receptor Autoantibody-Positive Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Robeson, Kimberly R; Kumar, Aditya; Keung, Benison; DiCapua, Daniel B; Grodinsky, Emily; Patwa, Huned S; Stathopoulos, Panos A; Goldstein, Jonathan M; O'Connor, Kevin C; Nowak, Richard J

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission, is treated by an array of immunotherapeutics, many of which are nonspecific. Even with current therapies, a subset of patients has medically refractory MG. The benefits of B-cell-targeted therapy with rituximab have been observed in MG; however, the duration of these benefits after treatment is unclear. To evaluate the durability of response to rituximab in the treatment of acetylcholine receptor autoantibody-positive (AChR+) generalized MG. This retrospective case series study included 16 patients with AChR+ MG referred to an MG clinic from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2015. The patients were treated with rituximab and followed up for 18 to 84 months after treatment. Assessment of long-term clinical response, durability of response and/or relapse rate, AChR autoantibody levels, adverse effects, and inflammatory markers. In the 16 patients (6 men and 10 women; median age, 42 [range, 18-69] years), clinical improvement was observed in parallel with complete withdrawal or reduction of other immunotherapies, with all patients achieving complete stable remission, pharmacologic remission, or minimal manifestations based on the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America postintervention status criteria. Nine patients (56%) had a relapse during a mean follow-up of 36 (range, 24-47) months. Seven patients (44%) remained relapse free with a mean follow-up of 47 (range, 18-81) months since the last rituximab treatment. All values were normalized to a pretreatment anti-AChR antibody level of 100% and the mean levels after each rituximab cycle were calculated. A 33% decrease was seen after cycle 1 of rituximab treatment (100% vs 67%; P = .004); 20% after cycle 2 (compared with cycle 1) (67% vs 47%; P = .008); and 17% after cycle 3 (compared with cycle 2) (47% vs 30%; P = .02). However, the serum cytokine levels measured were found to be unchanged. Rituximab therapy appears to be an

  10. Immunodominant regions for T helper-cell sensitization on the human nicotinic receptor alpha subunit in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Protti, M P; Manfredi, A A; Straub, C; Howard, J F; Conti-Tronconi, B M

    1990-01-01

    In myasthenia gravis an autoimmune response against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) occurs. The alpha subunit of the AChR contains both the epitope(s) that dominates the antibody response (main immunogenic region) and epitopes involved in T helper cell sensitization. In this study, overlapping synthetic peptides corresponding to the complete AChR alpha-subunit sequence were used to propagate polyclonal AChR-specific T helper cell lines from four myasthenic patients of different HLA types. Response of the T helper lines to the individual peptides was studied. Four immunodominant sequence segments were identified--i.e., residues 48-67, 101-120, 304-322, and 419-437. These regions did not include residues known to form the main immunogenic region or the cholinergic binding site, and they frequently contained sequence motifs that have been proposed to be related to T-epitope formation. Images PMID:2145582

  11. Inflammation and epstein-barr virus infection are common features of myasthenia gravis thymus: possible roles in pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cavalcante, Paola; Maggi, Lorenzo; Colleoni, Lara; Caldara, Rosa; Motta, Teresio; Giardina, Carmelo; Antozzi, Carlo; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Bernasconi, Pia; Mantegazza, Renato

    2011-01-01

    The thymus plays a major role in myasthenia gravis (MG). Our recent finding of a persistent Epstein-Barr (EBV) virus infection in some MG thymuses, combined with data showing that the thymus is in a proinflammatory state in most patients, supports a viral contribution to the pathogenesis of MG. Aim of this study was to gain further evidence for intrathymic chronic inflammation and EBV infection in MG patients. Transcriptional profiling by low density array and real-time PCR showed overexpression of genes involved in inflammatory and immune response in MG thymuses. Real-time PCR for EBV genome, latent (EBER1, EBNA1, LMP1) and lytic (BZLF1) transcripts, and immunohistochemistry for LMP1 and BZLF1 proteins confirmed an active intrathymic EBV infection, further supporting the hypothesis that EBV might contribute to onset or perpetuation of the autoimmune response in MG. Altogether, our results support a role of inflammation and EBV infection as pathogenic features of MG thymus.

  12. Structural and ultrastructural localization of NGF and NGF receptors in the thymus of subjects affected by myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Marinova, Tsvetana T; Velikova, Kamelia K; Petrov, Danail B; Kutev, Nikolai S; Stankulov, Ivan S; Chaldakov, George N; Triaca, Viviana; Manni, Luigi; Aloe, Luigi

    2004-12-01

    We have previously reported that the thymus of patients affected by myasthenia gravis (MG) is characterized by an elevated level of nerve growth factor (NGF), an endogenous polypeptide which plays a marked role in the cell biology of nervous and immune system. A consistent number of studies has shown altered expression of NGF in diseases associated with inflammatory and/or autoimmune responses. To evaluate the biochemical and molecular mechanisms implicated in NGF action in human myasthenic thymus, it is important to identify the cellular and structural organization of NGF receptors. To address this question, we investigated, both at light and electron microscopic levels, the cellular distribution of immunoreactivity for NGF and its low-affinity receptors, (p75) and its high-affinity receptor (TrkA) in the thymus of patients with MG. The present investigation shows that NGF and NGF receptors are overexpressed in the thymic cells of patients with MG compared to control subjects.

  13. Analysis of Serum miRNA Profiles of Myasthenia Gravis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Nogales-Gadea, Gisela; Ramos-Fransi, Alba; Suárez-Calvet, Xavier; Navas, Miquel; Rojas-García, Ricard; Mosquera, Jose Luis; Díaz-Manera, Jordi; Querol, Luis; Gallardo, Eduard; Illa, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of autoantibodies, mainly against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). The mechanisms triggering and maintaining this chronic disease are unknown. MiRNAs are regulatory molecules that play a key role in the immune system and are altered in many autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate miRNA profiles in serum of 61 AChR MG patients. We studied serum from patients with early onset MG (n = 22), late onset MG (n = 27) and thymoma (n = 12), to identify alterations in the specific subgroups. In a discovery cohort, we analysed 381 miRNA arrays from 5 patients from each subgroup, and 5 healthy controls. The 15 patients had not received any treatment. We found 32 miRNAs in different levels in MG and analysed 8 of these in a validation cohort that included 46 of the MG patients. MiR15b, miR122, miR-140-3p, miR185, miR192, miR20b and miR-885-5p were in lower levels in MG patients than in controls. Our study suggests that different clinical phenotypes in MG share common altered mechanisms in circulating miRNAs, with no additional contribution of the thymoma. MG treatment intervention does not modify the profile of these miRNAs. Novel insights into the pathogenesis of MG can be reached by the analysis of circulating miRNAs since some of these miRNAs have also been found low in MG peripheral mononuclear cells, and have targets with important roles in B cell survival and antibody production. PMID:24637658

  14. CTLA4 Variants and Haplotype Contribute Genetic Susceptibility to Myasthenia Gravis in Northern Chinese Population

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yanchen; Zhang, Hua; Zhang, Zheng; Wang, Xiaoxia; Jiang, Bin; Li, Wei; Li, Yao; Yang, Ze

    2014-01-01

    Background Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA4), a critical negative regulator of the T-cell response, has been considered a candidate for many autoimmune diseases. Evidence from Caucasians supported a genetic predisposition of CTLA4 to myasthenia gravis (MG), but the contribution in East Asians has not been established. Objectives To investigate the role of CTLA4 variants in the susceptibility to MG and the contribution to subtypes of MG. Methods Six autoimmune disease-related risk alleles of CTLA4 (rs1863800, rs733618, rs4553808, rs5742909, rs231775, and rs3087243) were investigated for MG in northern Chinese. 168 patients with MG (mean age 37.1±20.5 years, 64 men and 104 women) and 233 healthy controls (mean age 53.3±8.7 years, 96 men and 137 women) were screened, and the contribution of CTLA4 to the general risk of MG and each subgroup was explored. Results rs1863800*C, rs733618*C, and rs231775*G were significantly associated with the whole cohort of patients with MG after permutation correction for multiple-testing adjustment (P = 0.027, 0.001, and 0.032, respectively). A risk haplotype (CCACG) [odds ratio (OR) = 1.535, range = 1.150–2.059, P = 0.004)] was also identified. The stratified subtype analysis indicated that the positive contribution was possibly derived from early onset MG (EOMG), seropositive MG (SPMG), female patients, and MG without thymoma. No association was observed in juvenile MG/LOMG, and MG coupled with thymoma. Conclusion A predisposing effect of rs1863800*C, rs733618*C, and rs231775*G of CTLA4 gene to general risk of MG in Chinese was demonstrated for the first time, which was likely derived from EOMG, SPMG, MG without thymoma and the female patients. PMID:25003519

  15. Analysis of serum miRNA profiles of myasthenia gravis patients.

    PubMed

    Nogales-Gadea, Gisela; Ramos-Fransi, Alba; Suárez-Calvet, Xavier; Navas, Miquel; Rojas-García, Ricard; Mosquera, Jose Luis; Díaz-Manera, Jordi; Querol, Luis; Gallardo, Eduard; Illa, Isabel

    2014-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of autoantibodies, mainly against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). The mechanisms triggering and maintaining this chronic disease are unknown. MiRNAs are regulatory molecules that play a key role in the immune system and are altered in many autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate miRNA profiles in serum of 61 AChR MG patients. We studied serum from patients with early onset MG (n = 22), late onset MG (n = 27) and thymoma (n = 12), to identify alterations in the specific subgroups. In a discovery cohort, we analysed 381 miRNA arrays from 5 patients from each subgroup, and 5 healthy controls. The 15 patients had not received any treatment. We found 32 miRNAs in different levels in MG and analysed 8 of these in a validation cohort that included 46 of the MG patients. MiR15b, miR122, miR-140-3p, miR185, miR192, miR20b and miR-885-5p were in lower levels in MG patients than in controls. Our study suggests that different clinical phenotypes in MG share common altered mechanisms in circulating miRNAs, with no additional contribution of the thymoma. MG treatment intervention does not modify the profile of these miRNAs. Novel insights into the pathogenesis of MG can be reached by the analysis of circulating miRNAs since some of these miRNAs have also been found low in MG peripheral mononuclear cells, and have targets with important roles in B cell survival and antibody production.

  16. Dysregulation of B Cell Repertoire Formation in Myasthenia Gravis Patients Revealed through Deep Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Vander Heiden, Jason A; Stathopoulos, Panos; Zhou, Julian Q; Chen, Luan; Gilbert, Tamara J; Bolen, Christopher R; Barohn, Richard J; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Ciafaloni, Emma; Broering, Teresa J; Vigneault, Francois; Nowak, Richard J; Kleinstein, Steven H; O'Connor, Kevin C

    2017-02-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a prototypical B cell-mediated autoimmune disease affecting 20-50 people per 100,000. The majority of patients fall into two clinically distinguishable types based on whether they produce autoantibodies targeting the acetylcholine receptor (AChR-MG) or muscle specific kinase (MuSK-MG). The autoantibodies are pathogenic, but whether their generation is associated with broader defects in the B cell repertoire is unknown. To address this question, we performed deep sequencing of the BCR repertoire of AChR-MG, MuSK-MG, and healthy subjects to generate ∼518,000 unique VH and VL sequences from sorted naive and memory B cell populations. AChR-MG and MuSK-MG subjects displayed distinct gene segment usage biases in both VH and VL sequences within the naive and memory compartments. The memory compartment of AChR-MG was further characterized by reduced positive selection of somatic mutations in the VH CDR and altered VH CDR3 physicochemical properties. The VL repertoire of MuSK-MG was specifically characterized by reduced V-J segment distance in recombined sequences, suggesting diminished VL receptor editing during B cell development. Our results identify large-scale abnormalities in both the naive and memory B cell repertoires. Particular abnormalities were unique to either AChR-MG or MuSK-MG, indicating that the repertoires reflect the distinct properties of the subtypes. These repertoire abnormalities are consistent with previously observed defects in B cell tolerance checkpoints in MG, thereby offering additional insight regarding the impact of tolerance defects on peripheral autoimmune repertoires. These collective findings point toward a deformed B cell repertoire as a fundamental component of MG. Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  17. Circulating regulatory anti–T cell receptor antibodies in patients with myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Jambou, Florence; Zhang, Wei; Menestrier, Monique; Klingel-Schmitt, Isabelle; Michel, Olivier; Caillat-Zucman, Sophie; Aissaoui, Abderrahim; Landemarre, Ludovic; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Cohen-Kaminsky, Sylvia

    2003-01-01

    Serum anti–T cell receptor (TCR) Ab’s are involved in immune regulation directed against pathogenic T cells in experimental models of autoimmune diseases. Our identification of a dominant T cell population expressing the Vβ5.1 TCR gene (TCRBV5-1), which is responsible for the production of pathogenic anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) autoantibodies in HLA-DR3 patients with early-onset myasthenia gravis (EOMG), prompted us to explore the occurrence, reactivity, and regulatory role of anti-TCR Ab’s in EOMG patients and disease controls with clearly defined other autoantibodies. In the absence of prior vaccination against the TCR, EOMG patients had elevated anti-Vβ5.1 Ab’s of the IgG class. This increase was restricted largely to EOMG cases with HLA-DR3 and with less severe disease, and it predicted clinical improvement in follow-up studies. EOMG patient sera containing anti-TCR Ab’s bound specifically the native TCR on intact Vβ5.1-expressing cells and specifically inhibited the proliferation and IFN-γ production of purified Vβ5.1-expressing cells to alloantigens in mixed lymphocyte reaction and the proliferation of a Vβ5.1-expressing T cell clone to an AChR peptide, indicating a regulatory function for these Ab’s. This evidence of spontaneously active anti-Vβ5.1 Ab’s in EOMG patients suggests dynamic protective immune regulation directed against the excess of pathogenic Vβ5.1-expressing T cells. Though not sufficient to prevent a chronic, exacerbated autoimmune process, it might be boosted using a TCR peptide as vaccine. PMID:12865414

  18. Acetylcholine receptor antibody as a diagnostic test for myasthenia gravis: results in 153 validated cases and 2967 diagnostic assays.

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, A; Newsom-Davis, J

    1985-01-01

    Anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody was undetectable in 26/153 (17%) sera from myasthenia gravis patients assayed by standard RIA using human acetylcholine receptor. Eight of these were found to be positive with a modified protocol using a mixture of normal and denervated AChR, reducing the proportion of "negative" sera to 12%. Many of these were from patients with a short history; two such patients later developed low positive values. Anti-AChR without clinical evidence of myasthenia was found in one of three monozygotic twins of myasthenia gravis patients, and in one of thirty other first degree relatives of a further 17 patients. Anti-AChR is a valuable and highly specific diagnostic test which, with the assay used here, is positive in about 88% of patients with clinical features of myasthenia gravis. PMID:4087000

  19. A case report of subclinical hypercortisolism due to adrenal incidentaloma complicated by myasthenia gravis after adrenalectomy.

    PubMed

    Petramala, Luigi; Marinelli, Cristiano; Giallonardo, Anna Teresa; Concistrè, Antonio; Lucia, Piernatale; Venuta, Federico; Cerbelli, Bruna; Ciardi, Antonio; De Toma, Giorgio; Letizia, Claudio

    2016-11-11

    A 62-year-old woman was admitted for evaluation of an incidentally discovered adrenal mass and hypertension. CT scan revealed a 7 cm mass in the right adrenal gland. After careful examination, the patient was diagnosed with subclinical hypercortisolism (SH). Adrenalectomy was performed. Histopathological examination showed an adrenocortical adenoma. Symptoms and signs of myasthenia gravis appeared 5 months later. CT of the chest showed a solid tissue mass in the mediastinum. The patient underwent a sternotomy with excision of the tumor, which histologically proved to be a type 2B thymoma. We describe a rare case of SH due to an incidentally discovered adrenocortical adenoma in a patient who manifested myasthenia gravis after surgical remission of the cortisol excess.

  20. Myasthenia gravis as a 'stroke mimic'--it's all in the history.

    PubMed

    Shaik, Saiffuddin; Ul-Haq, Mian Ayaz; Emsley, Hedley C A

    2014-12-01

    An 85-year-old man presented to hospital as an emergency having difficulties with swallowing and speech. In the emergency department, he was assessed as having acute onset dysphagia and dysarthria in keeping with an acute stroke. Subsequently, it became apparent that although the symptoms were indeed of relatively acute onset, there was a clear description by the patient of fatigability and diurnal variation, prompting a working clinical diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. The patient followed a turbulent clinical course, and interpretation of investigation results proved not to be straightforward in the acute setting. Myasthenia gravis is an uncommon disorder but it is more common in the elderly. This case provides key learning points, particularly highlighting the value of prompt, accurate clinical assessment and the importance of adhering to the clinical diagnostic formulation.

  1. T-lymphocyte-rich thymoma and myasthenia gravis in a Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica).

    PubMed

    Allan, K; Masters, N; Rivers, S; Berry, K; Routh, A; Lamm, C

    2014-01-01

    A 10-year-old captive male Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) presented with acute onset collapse, vomiting and dyspnoea, preceded by a 6-month period of progressive muscle wasting. Following humane destruction, post-mortem examination revealed a large multilobulated mass in the cranial mediastinum, which was diagnosed as a T-lymphocyte-rich thymoma with the aid of immunohistochemistry. Retrospective serology for acetylcholine receptor antibodies (titre 3.90 nmol/l) confirmed a diagnosis of thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis. Thymomas are reported rarely in wild carnivores, but when detected they appear to be similar in morphology to those seen in domestic carnivores and may also be accompanied by paraneoplastic syndromes. The clinical signs of myasthenia gravis in the tiger were consistent with those reported in cats and dogs and the condition is proposed as an important differential diagnosis for generalized weakness in captive Felidae. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. [The muscular lesion in myasthenia gravis: study of 17 cases with muscular histochemistry].

    PubMed

    Werneck, L C

    1982-03-01

    A study of 17 muscle biopsies from patients with myasthenia gravis was done, using freshfrozen section and histochemistry tecnics. It was found 15 abnormal muscle biopsies. The most common abnormality were small dark angular fibers, excess of lipids droplets outside the muscle membrane, changes in fiber size and type II fiber atrophy. These findings suggested denervation in 11 biopsies, type II fiber atrophy in 7, linfocyte infiltration in 4, fiber necrosis with fagocitosis in 1 and 2 were normal. Was noted a direct correlation between the disease duration and the severity of the histological abnormality. Two patients had tymoma. Congenital myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis, intersticial hypertrophic neuritis, Hashimoto tireoiditis and concomitance of myasthenic syndrome was found once in different patients.

  3. Memory in myasthenia gravis: neuropsychological tests of central cholinergic function before and after effective immunologic treatment.

    PubMed

    Glennerster, A; Palace, J; Warburton, D; Oxbury, S; Newsom-Davis, J

    1996-04-01

    There are reports of central cholinergic deficits in myasthenia gravis (MG) describing impaired performance on a variety of tests of memory with varying benefits from plasmapheresis. We tested 11 patients with symptomatic MG at the start of a trial of immunosuppressive treatment (prednisolone plus azathioprine or placebo) and again when in remission. The tests included the Logical Memory and Design Reproduction parts of the Wechsler Memory Scale, the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Peterson-Peterson task, and an auditory vigilance task. Muscle strength improved significantly over the period of treatment, but overall performance on tests of memory or attention did not. These results fail to substantiate reports of functionally significant and reversible central deficits in myasthenia gravis.

  4. Compromised fidelity of B-cell tolerance checkpoints in AChR and MuSK myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jae-Yun; Stathopoulos, Panos; Gupta, Sasha; Bannock, Jason M; Barohn, Richard J; Cotzomi, Elizabeth; Dimachkie, Mazen M; Jacobson, Leslie; Lee, Casey S; Morbach, Henner; Querol, Luis; Shan, Jing-Li; Vander Heiden, Jason A; Waters, Patrick; Vincent, Angela; Nowak, Richard J; O'Connor, Kevin C

    2016-06-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune condition in which neurotransmission is impaired by binding of autoantibodies to acetylcholine receptors (AChR) or, in a minority of patients, to muscle specific kinase (MuSK). There are differences in the dominant IgG subclass, pathogenic mechanisms, and treatment responses between the two MG subtypes (AChR or MuSK). The antibodies are thought to be T-cell dependent, but the mechanisms underlying their production are not well understood. One aspect not previously described is whether defects in central and peripheral tolerance checkpoints, which allow autoreactive B cells to accumulate in the naive repertoire, are found in both or either form of MG. An established set of assays that measure the frequency of both polyreactive and autoreactive B cell receptors (BCR) in naive populations was applied to specimens collected from patients with either AChR or MuSK MG and healthy controls. Radioimmuno- and cell-based assays were used to measure BCR binding to AChR and MuSK. The frequency of polyreactive and autoreactive BCRs (n = 262) was higher in both AChR and MuSK MG patients than in healthy controls. None of the MG-derived BCRs bound AChR or MuSK. The results indicate that both these MG subtypes harbor defects in central and peripheral B cell tolerance checkpoints. Defective B cell tolerance may represent a fundamental contributor to autoimmunity in MG and is of particular importance when considering the durability of myasthenia gravis treatment strategies, particularly biologics that eliminate B cells.

  5. Myasthenia gravis as a cause of head drop in Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Uludag, Irem Fatma; Korucuk, Meltem; Sener, Ufuk; Zorlu, Yasar

    2011-05-01

    Head drop is characterized by marked anterior flexion of the cervical spine. As a result, the affected patient presents with the head tilted forward and the chin resting on the chest. We report a 75-year-old male patient with parkinsonism and head drop caused by isolated myasthenic weakness of the neck extensor muscles. Our case is the second report of isolated head drop as a presenting symptom of myasthenia gravis in a patient with parkinsonism.

  6. Prolonged constant eye misalignment leads to failure to develop binocular vision in childhood ocular myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Emoto, Yuko; Emoto, Hirofumi; Fujie, Waki; Wakakura, Masato

    2009-01-01

    Variable eye misalignment and blepharoptosis in childhood ocular myasthenia gravis can lead to permanent binocular visual loss. However, a standard ophthalmologic intervention for this condition has yet to be fully established. This study investigated the influence of variable eye misalignment and asymmetric blepharoptosis on the development of binocular vision in childhood ocular myasthenia gravis. The authors retrospectively reviewed clinical records of consecutive patients with childhood ocular myasthenia gravis whose age of onset was younger than 36 months and who had follow-up periods of more than 1 year. Five patients were enrolled and were treated medically with pyridostigmine or corticosteroids. Eye alignment, eye movements, and blepharoptosis were observed during the follow-up period. Stereoacuity was recorded before and at the end of follow-up using Titmus stereoscopic and major amblyoscopic tests. None of the patients had amblyopia or anisometropia, but all had blepharoptosis that improved within 2 weeks after medication was administered. There was only one case in which stereoacutiy failed to develop, and this patient had a long period of constant exotropia lasting 48 months. In the remaining four cases, there was constant exotropia lasting less than 4 months or intermittent exotropia throughout the follow-up period. All of these patients regained or maintained binocular vision. Prolonged constant eye misalignment may be attributable to impaired binocular vision, and prompt eye alignment may be necessary in childhood ocular myasthenia gravis. Therefore, treatment based on precise assessment by a neuro-ophthalmologist or pediatric ophthalmologist that evaluates even slight eye misalignment is essential in ensuring normal development of binocular vision. Copyright 2009, SLACK Incorporated.

  7. A comparison between IVIG and plasma exchange as preparations before thymectomy in myasthenia gravis patients.

    PubMed

    Alipour-Faz, Athena; Shojaei, Maziar; Peyvandi, Hassan; Ramzi, Davood; Oroei, Mahbobeh; Ghadiri, Fereshteh; Peyvandi, Maryam

    2017-03-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is one of the curable neurologic disorders. Various pharmacological therapies are administered for these patients and a thymectomy plays an important role in the therapy of myasthenia gravis, which develops a permanent or relative remission. We investigated the efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and plasma exchange (PLEX) as a preparation before thymectomy in patients with MG. This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 24 patients with MG referred for thymectomy, which were randomized to two groups of IVIG and PLEX. The IVIG group received IVIG 1 g/kg/day for two consecutive days and the PLEX group underwent 1-L plasma exchange five times with 5 % albumin replacement fluid, every other day, 10-30 days before the procedure. The duration of hospitalization (day), length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay after surgery (day), length of intubation period (h), duration of surgery (h) and dose of steroid administered were compared between the two groups. Analysis was performed via SPSS version 20. In the PLEX group, post-operative outcomes (duration of hospitalization, ICU length of stay after surgery, intubation period and duration of surgery) were longer than those in the IVIG group. There was significant difference in intubation period (p value = 0.01) and duration of surgery (p value = 0.05) between the PLEX and IVIG groups. The administration of IVIG in comparison to PLEX can be more effective in the preparation before thymectomy in myasthenia gravis patients.

  8. Total drug treatment and comorbidity in myasthenia gravis: a population-based cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, J B; Owe, J F; Engeland, A; Gilhus, N E

    2014-01-01

    Background and purpose Comorbidity in myasthenia gravis (MG) is important for diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Disease complexity was assessed by examining total drug treatment, immune therapy and comorbidity in a complete national MG cohort. Methods All recipients of the MG-specific drug pyridostigmine 2004–2010 registered in the compulsory Norwegian Prescription Database who met the inclusion criteria were included. The pyridostigmine group was compared with the general Norwegian population. Results Myasthenia gravis patients received co-medication more often than the controls for nearly all groups of medication, including insulins (95% confidence interval 2.0–3.7), thyroid therapy (1.7–2.5), antidepressants (1.3–1.7), anti-infectives (1.2–1.4), lipid-modifying agents (1.1–1.4) and immunomodulating agents (6.8–8.8). Conclusions Myasthenia gravis patients are more often treated with non-MG prescription drugs than controls, reflecting frequent co-medication and comorbidity. PMID:24712740

  9. Is thymectomy in non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis of any benefit?

    PubMed

    Diaz, Andres; Black, Edward; Dunning, Joel

    2014-03-01

    A best evidence topic in thoracic surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was if thymectomy in non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis was of any benefit? Overall, 137 papers were found using the reported search, of which 16 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these papers are tabulated. The outcome variables were similar in all of the papers, including complete stable remission (CSR), pharmacological remission, age at presentation, gender, duration of symptoms, preoperative classification (Oosterhius, Osserman or myasthenia gravis Foundation of America (MGFA)), thymic pathology, preoperative medications (steroids, immunosuppressants), mortality and morbidity. We conclude that evidence-based reviews have shown that relative rates of thymectomy patients compared with non-thymectomy patients attaining outcome indicate that the former group of patients is more likely to achieve medication-free remission, become asymptomatic and clinically improve (54%, P < 0.01), particularly patients with severe and generalized symptoms (P = 0.007). Patients with generalized myasthenia gravis showed 11% stronger association with favourable outcomes after thymectomy. Some studies show early remission rates (RRs), as early as 6 months post-thymectomy, of 44%. Overall, the reported remission rate for non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis is between 38 and 72% up to 10 years of follow-up. Among these patients, those with thymic hyperplasia show the best complete stable remission rates (42%, P < 0.04) in the majority of studies. Age showed variability across the studies and the cut-off was also different among them. Overall age < 45 years showed a higher probability of achieving complete stable remission during follow-up (81% benefit rate (BR), P < 0.02). Pharmacological improvement is reported between 6 and 42

  10. Clinical and pathological aspects of microscopic thymoma with myasthenia gravis and review of published reports

    PubMed Central

    Higuchi, Mitsunori; Owada, Yuki; Inoue, Takuya; Watanabe, Yuzuru; Yamaura, Takumi; Muto, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Takeo; Suzuki, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

    Background Microscopic thymomas, defined as epithelial proliferations smaller than 1 mm in diameter, characteristically occur in patients with myasthenia gravis without macroscopic thymic epithelial tumors. However, some clinical and pathological aspects of this entity are still unclear. Methods This retrospective study includes five consecutive patients who had undergone extended thymectomy for myasthenia gravis at our institution from April 2007 to March 2016 and in whom microscopic thymomas were diagnosed by histopathological examination of the resected specimens. During the same period, we performed 32 extended transsternal thymothymectomies/thymectomies in patients with myasthenia gravis, including the above five cases. We here review 18 cases of microscopic thymoma, including our five cases and 13 previously reported cases. Results The incidence of previously undiagnosed microscopic thymoma in patients undergoing thymectomy for myasthenia gravis in our institution is 15.2%. Serum preoperative anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody (anti-AchR Ab) titers were abnormally high in all of our five cases h (74.4±53.3 nmol/L) and decreased significantly after surgery (11.7±13.5 nmol/L, P=0.037). We divided our cases into the following three groups: microscopic thymoma group (Group M), thymoma group (Group T) and non-thymic tumor group (Group N). The mean preoperative anti-AchR Ab titers of these groups were 74.4, 26.5, and 368 nmol/L, respectively. All these values decreased postoperatively. The mean anti-AchR Ab titer was significantly higher in Group M than in Group T (P=0.034). All five cases in Group M were found by post-operative pathological examination to have multifocal type A thymomas. Conclusions Microscopic thymomas tend to be multifocal type A thymomas. Anti-AchR Ab titers decreased significantly in all groups. It is very important to both perform complete extended thymectomies in patients with myasthenia gravis and pathological examination of thin slices

  11. Proteins with epitopes of the acetylcholine receptor in epithelial cell cultures of thymomas in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Marx, A.; Kirchner, T.; Hoppe, F.; O'Connor, R.; Schalke, B.; Tzartos, S.; Müller-Hermelink, H. K.

    1989-01-01

    Thymomas from 12 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) were investigated for the presence of epitopes of the alpha-subunit of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AchR) using monoclonal antibodies (MAb) reacting against the AchR. In all but two of the tumors epitopes corresponding to antigenic determinants located on the cytoplasmic side of the AchR were identified. From eight thymomas cell lines were established that have been kept in culture for up to 6 months. The cultured cells expressed the same AchR-epitopes as did the primary tumors. During early passages the percentage of epithelial cells positive for the AchR epitopes approximately mirrored the percentage of positive cells in the original tumors. With passaging the relative number of positive cells usually declined but in some cultures an increase was observed. Three cell lines that showed extensive staining with an MAb against the AchR were radiolabeled to characterize the antigen. From protein extracts of these three cell lines proteins of 45 kd and 156 kd molecular weight (MW) were precipitated. These proteins are different from other proteins described in the context of both thymomas and MG. The negative reactivity with MAb against other epitopes of the alpha-subunit, especially against the main immunogenic region (MIR), speaks in favor of membrane-associated proteins of only limited crossreactivity to the AchR. A previous study found an almost exclusive occurrence of these AchR-epitopes in thymomas associated with MG, but not in other thymomas of similar histologic type. The expression of the proteins described here could therefore play a role in the triggering of the autoimmune process against the AchR of the motor, endplate in MG patients. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:2468286

  12. Using Xenopus tissue cultures for the study of myasthenia gravis pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Hwee Li; Lim, Jorain Yu Ni; Fukami, Yuki; Yuki, Nobuhiro; Lee, Chi Wai

    2015-12-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG), the most common autoimmune disease of neuromuscular junction (NMJ), is heterogeneous in terms of pathophysiology, which is determined by the pathogenic antigen of autoantibodies targeting to synaptic proteins at the NMJs. Currently, patients suspected with MG are routinely screened for the presence of autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptor (AChR) or muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) using a cell-based assay (CBA) that involves the expression of target synaptic membrane protein in heterologous cell lines. However, some autoantibodies may only show reactivity for binding to densely clustered AChR in the physiological conformation, while AChR clustering is known to involve signaling events orchestrated by over a dozen of postsynaptic proteins. To improve the existing serological diagnosis of MG, this study explored the possibility of using the well-established Xenopus primary culture system as a novel CBA for MG. Here, by examining the pathogenic effects of four MG human plasma samples, we found that the samples from both seropositive and seronegative MG patients effectively induced the disassembly of aneural AChR clusters in cultured Xenopus muscle cells, as well as the nerve-induced AChR clusters in the nerve-muscle co-cultures. Importantly, the disassembly of AChR clusters was spatio-temporally correlated to the disappearance of actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin, an actin regulator involved in AChR trafficking and clustering. Taken together, this study develops a reliable CBA using Xenopus primary cultures for screening the pathogenicity of human MG plasma samples, and providing a platform for investigating the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the endocytic trafficking and degradation of AChRs at NMJs in MG patients.

  13. Characterization of CD4 and CD8 T Cell Responses in MuSK Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Yi, JS; Guidon, A; Sparks, S; Osborne, R; Juel, VC; Massey, JM; Sanders, DB; Weinhold, KJ; Guptill, JT

    2014-01-01

    Muscle specific tyrosine kinase myasthenia gravis (MuSK MG) is a form of autoimmune MG that predominantly affects women and has unique clinical features, including prominent bulbar weakness, muscle atrophy, and excellent response to therapeutic plasma exchange. Patients with MuSK MG have predominantly IgG4 autoantibodies directed against MuSK on the postsynaptic muscle membrane. Lymphocyte functionality has not been reported in this condition. The goal of this study was to characterize T-cell responses in patients with MuSK MG. Intracellular production of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-2, IL-17, and IL-21 by CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells was measured by polychromatic flow cytometry in peripheral blood samples from 11 Musk MG patients and 10 healthy controls. Only one MuSK MG patient was not receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Regulatory T-cells (Treg) were also included in our analysis to determine if changes in T cell function were due to altered Treg frequencies. CD8+ T-cells from MuSK MG patients had higher frequencies of polyfunctional responses than controls, and CD4+ T-cells had higher IL-2, TNF-alpha, and IL-17. MuSK MG patients had a higher percentage of CD4+ T-cells producing combinations of IFN-gamma/IL-2/TNF-gamma, TNF-alpha/IL-2, and IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha. Interestingly, Treg numbers and CD39 expression were not different from control values. MuSK MG patients had increased frequencies of Th1 and Th17 cytokines and were primed for polyfunctional proinflammatory responses that cannot be explained by a defect in Treg function or number. PMID:24378287

  14. Characterization of CD4 and CD8 T cell responses in MuSK myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Yi, J S; Guidon, A; Sparks, S; Osborne, R; Juel, V C; Massey, J M; Sanders, D B; Weinhold, K J; Guptill, J T

    2014-08-01

    Muscle specific tyrosine kinase myasthenia gravis (MuSK MG) is a form of autoimmune MG that predominantly affects women and has unique clinical features, including prominent bulbar weakness, muscle atrophy, and excellent response to therapeutic plasma exchange. Patients with MuSK MG have predominantly IgG4 autoantibodies directed against MuSK on the postsynaptic muscle membrane. Lymphocyte functionality has not been reported in this condition. The goal of this study was to characterize T cell responses in patients with MuSK MG. Intracellular production of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-2, IL-17, and IL-21 by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was measured by polychromatic flow cytometry in peripheral blood samples from 11 Musk MG patients and 10 healthy controls. Only one MuSK MG patient was not receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Regulatory T cells (Treg) were also included in our analysis to determine if changes in T cell function were due to altered Treg frequencies. CD8+ T cells from MuSK MG patients had higher frequencies of polyfunctional responses than controls, and CD4+ T cells had higher IL-2, TNF-alpha, and IL-17. MuSK MG patients had a higher percentage of CD4+ T cells producing combinations of IFN-gamma/IL-2/TNF-gamma, TNF-alpha/IL-2, and IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha. Interestingly, Treg numbers and CD39 expression were not different from control values. MuSK MG patients had increased frequencies of Th1 and Th17 cytokines and were primed for polyfunctional proinflammatory responses that cannot be explained by a defect in CD39 expression or Treg number.

  15. Characterization of B cells in muscle-specific kinase antibody myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Yi, John S.; Sanders, Donald B.; Guidon, Amanda C.; Juel, Vern C.; Massey, Janice M.; Howard, James F.; Scuderi, Flavia; Bartoccioni, Emanuela; Evoli, Amelia; Weinhold, Kent J.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To characterize B-cell subsets in patients with muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG). Methods: In accordance with Human Immunology Project Consortium guidelines, we performed polychromatic flow cytometry and ELISA assays in peripheral blood samples from 18 patients with MuSK MG and 9 healthy controls. To complement a B-cell phenotype assay that evaluated maturational subsets, we measured B10 cell percentages, plasma B cell–activating factor (BAFF) levels, and MuSK antibody titers. Immunologic variables were compared with healthy controls and clinical outcome measures. Results: As expected, patients treated with rituximab had high percentages of transitional B cells and plasmablasts and thus were excluded from subsequent analysis. The remaining patients with MuSK MG and controls had similar percentages of total B cells and naïve, memory, isotype-switched, plasmablast, and transitional B-cell subsets. However, patients with MuSK MG had higher BAFF levels and lower percentages of B10 cells. In addition, we observed an increase in MuSK antibody levels with more severe disease. Conclusions: We found prominent B-cell pathology in the distinct form of MG with MuSK autoantibodies. Increased BAFF levels have been described in other autoimmune diseases, including acetylcholine receptor antibody–positive MG. This finding suggests a role for BAFF in the survival of B cells in MuSK MG, which has important therapeutic implications. B10 cells, a recently described rare regulatory B-cell subset that potently blocks Th1 and Th17 responses, were reduced, which suggests a potential mechanism for the breakdown in immune tolerance in patients with MuSK MG. PMID:25745635

  16. Serum high mobility group box 1 is upregulated in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Uzawa, Akiyuki; Kawaguchi, Naoki; Kanai, Tetsuya; Himuro, Keiichi; Kuwabara, Satoshi

    2015-06-01

    High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) functions as an inflammatory mediator and is implicated in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases. Our primary aim is to determine whether HMGB1 is involved in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG). Serum HMGB1 levels of 60 patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody-positive MG without immunosuppressive treatment and of 10 patients with anti-muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) antibody-positive MG were compared with those in 40 controls. We also investigated the potential correlation between serum HMGB1 levels and the clinical variables in patients with MG. Serum HMGB1 levels in patients with anti-AChR antibody-positive MG were higher than those in controls (7.80 ± 7.47 vs 4.13 ± 2.55 ng/mL, p=0.004) and were decreased after treatment (p=0.051). Although not significant, patients with anti-MuSK antibody-positive MG showed higher serum HMGB1 levels than the controls (p=0.178). There were correlations between serum HMGB1 levels and phenotypes of anti-AChR antibody-positive MG: patients with generalised MG showed higher HMGB1 levels than those of patients with ocular MG (p=0.059) and controls (p=0.002); patients with thymoma showed higher HMGB1 levels than those without thymoma (p=0.094) and controls (p=0.001). Serum HMGB1 is elevated in patients with MG and may play a key role in the inflammation of the neuromuscular junction. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  17. Possible Therapeutic Vaccines for Canine Myasthenia Gravis: Implications for the Human Disease and Associated Fatigue

    PubMed Central

    Galin, F. Shawn; Chrisman, Cheryl L.; Cook, James R.; Xu, Likang; Jackson, Patricia L.; Noerager, Brett D.; Weathington, Nathaniel M.; Blalock, J. Edwin

    2007-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is caused by T-cell dependent antibodies reactive with acetylcholine receptors. These autoreactive antibodies cause muscle weakness by interfering with neuromuscular transmission via removal of acetylcholine receptors from the neuromuscular junction as well as changing the architecture of the junction itself. Consequently, muscle fatigue is a debilitating aspect of MG often leading to more general feelings of tiredness not directly due to muscle weakness. We have previously described two peptides that are mimetics of antigen receptors on certain autoreactive T and B cells that are involved in MG. When used as vaccines in the rat model of MG, these peptides prevented and ameliorated disease and muscle fatigue by blunting acetylcholine receptor antibody responses. Such disease protection resulted from vaccine-induced anergizing antibodies against acetylcholine receptor-specific T and B-cell antigen receptors. The present study prospectively evaluated the efficacy of these two vaccines in spontaneous acquired MG in pet dogs. When compared to historical controls that were prospectively studied, the vaccines increased the proportion of remitted dogs from 17% to 75%. In comparison to retrospectively studied historical controls that spontaneously remitted from MG, the vaccines accelerated the rate of decline in acetylcholine receptor antibody titers which resulted in a 3-fold decrease in the mean time to remission. These results are suggestive of a new type of targeted therapy that can drive autoimmune responses into long-term remission and possibly afford a means of determining whether correction of a physical cause of muscle weakness also corrects the perception of chronic, generalized fatigue. PMID:17113748

  18. Myasthenia gravis: a comprehensive review of immune dysregulation and etiological mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Le Panse, Rozen

    2014-08-01

    Autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is characterized by muscle weakness caused by antibodies directed against proteins of the neuromuscular junction. The main antigenic target is the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), but the muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP4) are also targets. This review summarizes the clinical and biological data available for different subgroups of patients, who are classified according to antigenic target, age of onset, and observed thymic abnormalities, such as follicular hyperplasia or thymoma. Here, we analyze in detail the role of the thymus in the physiopathology of MG and propose an explanation for the development of the thymic follicular hyperplasia that is commonly observed in young female patients with anti-AChR antibodies. The influence of the pro-inflammatory environment is discussed, particularly the role of TNF-α and Th17-related cytokines, which could explain the escape of thymic T cells from regulation and the chronic inflammation in the MG thymus. Together with this immune dysregulation, active angiogenic processes and the upregulation of chemokines could promote thymic follicular hyperplasia. MG is a multifactorial disease, and we review the etiological mechanisms that could lead to its onset. Recent global genetic analyses have highlighted potential susceptibility genes. In addition, miRNAs, which play a crucial role in immune function, have been implicated in MG by recent studies. We also discuss the role of sex hormones and the influence of environmental factors, such as the viral hypothesis. This hypothesis is supported by reports that type I interferon and molecules mimicking viral infection can induce thymic changes similar to those observed in MG patients with anti-AChR antibodies.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Newsom-Davis, J.; Willcox, N.; Calder, L.

    1981-11-26

    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.

  20. Molecular mimicry and myasthenia gravis. An autoantigenic site of the acetylcholine receptor alpha-subunit that has biologic activity and reacts immunochemically with herpes simplex virus.

    PubMed Central

    Schwimmbeck, P L; Dyrberg, T; Drachman, D B; Oldstone, M B

    1989-01-01

    The large majority of patients with the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis characteristically have detectable antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). We used synthetic peptides to identify antibodies in sera of myasthenia gravis patients reactive with the human acetylcholine receptor (HuAChR) alpha-subunit, residues 160-167. Affinity purification of these antibodies, using the HuAChR alpha-subunit 157-170 peptide immobilized on thiopropyl-Sepharose, yielded IgG antibodies that bound to the native AChR and inhibited the binding of alpha-bungarotoxin to the receptor. The HuAChR alpha-subunit 160-167 peptide demonstrated specific immunological cross-reactivity with a shared homologous domain on herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D, residues 286-293, by both binding and inhibition studies. Thus, HuAChR alpha-subunit, residues 160-167, elicits antibodies in myasthenic patients that binds to the native AChR protein and is capable of eliciting a biologic effect. Immunologic cross-reactivity of this "self" epitope with herpes simplex virus suggest that this virus may be associated with the initiation of some cases of myasthenia. Images PMID:2551924

  1. Prioritizing genes of potential relevance to diseases affected by sex hormones: an example of Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Mandeep; Schmeier, Sebastian; MacPherson, Cameron R; Hofmann, Oliver; Hide, Winston A; Taylor, Stephen; Willcox, Nick; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2008-01-01

    Background About 5% of western populations are afflicted by autoimmune diseases many of which are affected by sex hormones. Autoimmune diseases are complex and involve many genes. Identifying these disease-associated genes contributes to development of more effective therapies. Also, association studies frequently imply genomic regions that contain disease-associated genes but fall short of pinpointing these genes. The identification of disease-associated genes has always been challenging and to date there is no universal and effective method developed. Results We have developed a method to prioritize disease-associated genes for diseases affected strongly by sex hormones. Our method uses various types of information available for the genes, but no information that directly links genes with the disease. It generates a score for each of the considered genes and ranks genes based on that score. We illustrate our method on early-onset myasthenia gravis (MG) using genes potentially controlled by estrogen and localized in a genomic segment (which contains the MHC and surrounding region) strongly associated with MG. Based on the considered genomic segment 283 genes are ranked for their relevance to MG and responsiveness to estrogen. The top three ranked genes, HLA-G, TAP2 and HLA-DRB1, are implicated in autoimmune diseases, while TAP2 is associated with SNPs characteristic for MG. Within the top 35 prioritized genes our method identifies 90% of the 10 already known MG-associated genes from the considered region without using any information that directly links genes to MG. Among the top eight genes we identified HLA-G and TUBB as new candidates. We show that our ab-initio approach outperforms the other methods for prioritizing disease-associated genes. Conclusion We have developed a method to prioritize disease-associated genes under the potential control of sex hormones. We demonstrate the success of this method by prioritizing the genes localized in the MHC and

  2. Oral administration of an immunodominant T-cell epitope downregulates Th1/Th2 cytokines and prevents experimental myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Baggi, Fulvio; Andreetta, Francesca; Caspani, Elisabetta; Milani, Monica; Longhi, Renato; Mantegazza, Renato; Cornelio, Ferdinando; Antozzi, Carlo

    1999-01-01

    The mucosal administration of the native antigen or peptide fragments corresponding to immunodominant regions is effective in preventing or treating several T cell–dependent models of autoimmune disease. No data are yet available on oral tolerance with immunodominant T-cell peptides in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), an animal model of B cell–dependent disease. We report that oral administration of the T-cell epitope α146-162 of the Torpedo californica acetylcholine receptor (TAChR) α-subunit suppressed T-cell responses to AChR and ameliorated the disease in C57Bl/6 (B6) mice. Protection from EAMG was associated with reduced serum Ab’s to mouse AChR and reduced AChR loss in muscle. The effect of Tα146-162 feeding was specific; treatment with a control peptide did not affect EAMG manifestations. The protective effect induced by peptide Tα146-162 was mediated by reduced production of IFN-γ, IL-2, and IL-10 by TAChR-reactive cells, suggesting T-cell anergy. TGF-β–secreting Th3 cells did not seem to be involved in tolerance induction. We therefore demonstrate that feeding a single immunodominant epitope can prevent an Ab-mediated experimental model of autoimmune disease. PMID:10545527

  3. FOXP3 -3279 and IVS9+459 polymorphisms are associated with genetic susceptibility to myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Junmei; Chen, Yuqian; Jia, Ge; Chen, Xiaoli; Lu, Jiayin; Yang, Huan; Zhou, Wenbin; Xiao, Bo; Zhang, Ning; Li, Jing

    2013-02-08

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder in which CD4(+)CD25(+) FOXP3(+)regulatory T cells (Tregs) are thought to play important roles in driving the ongoing autoimmune response. Although it is known that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the fork head/winged-helix transcription factor 3 (FOXP3) gene contribute to some autoimmune diseases, information about the role of this gene in MG is limited. We therefore evaluated the association between FOXP3 gene SNPs and susceptibility to MG in a Han Chinese population. In a hospital-based, case-control study, two SNPs in the FOXP3 gene (-3279 and IVS9+459) were investigated in 118 MG and 124 healthy controls, and their relationship with the four parameters of gender, onset age, thymus pathology, and clinical classification of MG were performed with a stratified analysis. We found that the frequency of the FOXP3 IVS9+459 G allele was significantly lower in MG patients than in healthy controls (P=0.041), while the frequency of the FOXP3 -3279 polymorphisms was not significantly different between the two groups. Our results suggest that FOXP3 IVS9+459 polymorphisms appear to have an effect on the risk of MG in a Han Chinese population, and the G allele may be a genetic protective factor to MG.

  4. Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis Score: a Brazilian multicenter study for translation, cultural adaptation and validation.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Ezequiel Fernandes; Valério, Berenice Cataldo Oliveira; Cavalcante, Valéria; Urbano, Jessica Julioti; Silva, Anderson Soares; Polaro, Melissa Nunes; Nacif, Sergio Roberto; Oliveira, Claudia Santos; Resende, Maria Bernadete Dutra; Oliveira, Acary Souza Bulle; Oliveira, Luis Vicente Franco

    2017-07-01

    To perform the translation, cross-cultural adaptation and validation of the Quantitative Myasthenia Gravis Score (QMGS) to Brazilian Portuguese in accordance with international ethical standards. The following steps were taken: (1) implementation of the translation protocol and transcultural adaptation, (2) validation of the adapted content, and (3) assessment of reliability. To check intra- and inter-observer reproducibility, each patient underwent two interviews with interviewer-A and one with B. The QMGS was compared to the Myasthenia Gravis Composite Scale and Myasthenia-specific Quality of Life Questionnaire. Our study group consisted of 30 patients, with a mean age of 47.6±11.4 years and a mean duration of illness of 11.33±8.49 years. Correlation between the QMGS and MGC was very strong (r = 0.928; p < 0.001) and substantial between the QMGS and MG-QOL 15 (r = 0.737; p < 0.001). The Brazilian Portuguese translation, and validation of the QMGS was successfully performed.

  5. Refractory myasthenia gravis, dysphagia and malnutrition: a case report to suggest disease-specific nutritional issues.

    PubMed

    Cereda, Emanuele; Beltramolli, Dario; Pedrolli, Carlo; Costa, Antonio

    2009-10-01

    We describe a case of refractory myasthenia gravis with bulbar involvement and the nutritional treatment solutions proposed to treat the associated dysphagia and malnutrition. A 39-y-old woman with refractory myasthenia gravis was referred to our clinical nutrition unit for deteriorating dysphagia and progressive malnutrition. The first-line nutritional approach consisted of dietary counseling and thickened meals. Unfortunately, no adequate oral intake was achieved and an enteral nutrition treatment was proposed. A nasogastric tube was removed after a few days due to local pain and poor quality of life. Despite consistent weight loss and overt malnutrition, the patient refused percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement. Neurologic symptoms did not show any improvement but unexpectedly the patient's weight started to increase to previous values. Anamnestic recall revealed that the patient learned by herself how to position the nasogastric tube that is now temporarily used for formula infusion coinciding with neurologic poussés. Current guidelines consider chronic neurologic diseases with associated dysphagia, where refractory myesthania gravis has also been considered, a unique category. Chronic neurogenic dysphagia with high risk of aspiration, long-term inability to obtain adequate oral intakes, and malnutrition are established indications for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy placement. However, patients may need different forms of nutritional intervention during the course of their illness and choices and indications should contemplate ethical reasons, clinical benefits, minimal risks, and acceptable quality of life. Minimally invasive intermittent enteral nutrition might be considered a possible clue for nutritional management of exacerbating dysphagia.

  6. Successful treatment of severe myasthenia gravis developed after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with plasma exchange and rituximab.

    PubMed

    Unal, Sule; Sag, Erdal; Kuskonmaz, Baris; Kesici, Selman; Bayrakci, Benan; Ayvaz, Deniz C; Tezcan, Ilhan; Yalnızoglu, Dilek; Uckan, Duygu

    2014-05-01

    Myasthenia gravis is among the rare complications after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and is usually associated with chronic GVHD. Herein, we report a 2-year and 10 months of age female with Griscelli syndrome, who developed severe myasthenia gravis at post-transplant +22nd month and required respiratory support with mechanical ventilation. She was unresponsive to cyclosporine A, methylprednisolone, intravenous immunoglobulin, and mycophenolate mofetil and the symptoms could only be controlled after plasma exchange and subsequent use of rituximab, in addition to cyclosporine A and mycophenolate mofetil maintenance. She is currently asymptomatic on the 6th month of follow-up.

  7. The contribution of Dr. Mary Walker towards myasthenia gravis and periodic paralysis whilst working in poor law hospitals in London.

    PubMed

    Johnston, J D

    2005-06-01

    Dr. Mary Walker discovered in 1934 that physostigmine and Prostigmin temporarily restored muscle function in patients with myasthenia gravis. In the next five years, Dr. Walker and colleagues provided clinical evidence for the weakness of myasthenia gravis being caused by a "disturbance of transmission of excitation from motor nerve to voluntary muscle presumably caused by a deficiency of acetylcholine. Physostigmine (or Prostigmin) compensated for the lack of acetylcholine by delaying its destruction." Dr. Walker and colleagues also described the association between familial periodic paralysis and hypokalaemia.

  8. Progressive Outer Retinal Necrosis and Immunosuppressive Therapy in Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Coisy, Solène; Ebran, Jean-Marc; Milea, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) is a rare but devastating infectious retinitis associated with varicella zoster virus (VZV) and responsible for severe visual loss. Case Report A 59-year-old man treated for generalized myasthenia with oral azathioprine and prednisone presented with severe unilateral necrotizing retinitis. Polymerase chain reaction of the aqueous and vitreous humors was diagnostic for VZV PORN. Conclusion VZV PORN is a severe potential ocular complication of immunosuppression, prompting urgent diagnosis and appropriate treatment. PMID:24926266

  9. Progressive outer retinal necrosis and immunosuppressive therapy in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Coisy, Solène; Ebran, Jean-Marc; Milea, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) is a rare but devastating infectious retinitis associated with varicella zoster virus (VZV) and responsible for severe visual loss. A 59-year-old man treated for generalized myasthenia with oral azathioprine and prednisone presented with severe unilateral necrotizing retinitis. Polymerase chain reaction of the aqueous and vitreous humors was diagnostic for VZV PORN. VZV PORN is a severe potential ocular complication of immunosuppression, prompting urgent diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

  10. Antigen-specific modulation of experimental myasthenia gravis: nasal tolerization with recombinant fragments of the human acetylcholine receptor alpha-subunit.

    PubMed

    Barchan, D; Souroujon, M C; Im, S H; Antozzi, C; Fuchs, S

    1999-07-06

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) and experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) are antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases in which the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AcChoR) is the major autoantigen. The immune response in these diseases is heterogeneous and is directed to a wide variety of T and B cell epitopes of AcChoR. Candidate molecules for specific immunotherapy of MG should, therefore, have a broad specificity. We used recombinant fragments of the human AcChoR, encompassing the extracellular domain of the alpha-subunit, or shorter fragments derived from it, in experiments to modulate EAMG. We have demonstrated that intranasal administration of these recombinant fragments, which represent a major portion of epitopes involved in MG, prevents the induction of EAMG in rats and immunosuppresses an ongoing disease, as assessed by clinical symptoms, weight loss, and muscle AcChoR content. These effects on EAMG were accompanied by a marked reduction in the proliferative T-cell response and IL-2 production in response to AcChoR, in reduced anti-self AcChoR antibody titers and in an isotype switch of AcChoR-specific antibodies, from IgG2 to IgG1. We conclude that nasal tolerance induced by appropriate recombinant fragments of human AcChoR is effective in suppressing EAMG and might possibly be considered as a therapeutic modality for MG.

  11. Antigen-specific modulation of experimental myasthenia gravis: Nasal tolerization with recombinant fragments of the human acetylcholine receptor α-subunit

    PubMed Central

    Barchan, Dora; Souroujon, Miriam C.; Im, Sin-Hyeog; Antozzi, Carlo; Fuchs, Sara

    1999-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) and experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) are antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases in which the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AcChoR) is the major autoantigen. The immune response in these diseases is heterogeneous and is directed to a wide variety of T and B cell epitopes of AcChoR. Candidate molecules for specific immunotherapy of MG should, therefore, have a broad specificity. We used recombinant fragments of the human AcChoR, encompassing the extracellular domain of the α-subunit, or shorter fragments derived from it, in experiments to modulate EAMG. We have demonstrated that intranasal administration of these recombinant fragments, which represent a major portion of epitopes involved in MG, prevents the induction of EAMG in rats and immunosuppresses an ongoing disease, as assessed by clinical symptoms, weight loss, and muscle AcChoR content. These effects on EAMG were accompanied by a marked reduction in the proliferative T-cell response and IL-2 production in response to AcChoR, in reduced anti-self AcChoR antibody titers and in an isotype switch of AcChoR-specific antibodies, from IgG2 to IgG1. We conclude that nasal tolerance induced by appropriate recombinant fragments of human AcChoR is effective in suppressing EAMG and might possibly be considered as a therapeutic modality for MG. PMID:10393952

  12. TCR-Vbeta usage in the thymus and blood of myasthenia gravis patients.

    PubMed

    Navaneetham, D; Penn, A S; Howard, J F; Conti-Fine, B M

    1998-12-01

    In myasthenia gravis (MG) the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) is the target of an autoimmune response. The anti-AChR response may originate in the thymus, which is abnormal in most MG patients and contains anti-AChR T and B cells. Microbial superantigens (sAg) may trigger autoimmune responses and in this study we sought clues as to whether sAg play a role in the pathogenesis of MG. We investigated the frequency of use of the different TCR Vbeta families by the thymus and blood T cells in MG patients and in control subjects, using a multi-primer PCR assay. Identical TCR-Vbeta usage was found in the thymi of MG patients and controls, except Vbeta2, which showed a small increase in MG patients' thymi. Blood T cells of MG patients used Vbeta4, Vbeta6, Vbeta15, Vbeta16 and Vbeta24 significantly more than those of the controls. Vbeta4 and Vbeta6 are the gene families most frequently used by anti-AChR CD4(+) cells in MG patients. Blood T cells from MG patients used Vbeta12, Vbeta14, Vbeta17 and Vbeta18 significantly less than controls. MG patients used Vbeta4 and Vbeta6 significantly more in the blood than in the thymus, while the opposite occurred for Vbeta7, Vbeta12 and Vbeta14. Controls used Vbeta17 more and Vbeta24 less in the blood than in the thymus. The preferential expansion of Vbeta4 and Vbeta6 in MG patients might reflect the immunodominance of certain AChR epitopes, or the action of a sAg outside the thymus. The minimal differences in the TCR-Vbeta usage in the blood and thymus of control subjects might be due to expansion of T cell clones specific for common antigens. Identical Vbeta usage in the thymi of MG patients and controls does not support an important role of the thymus as the location of anti-AChR sensitization when MG is clinically evident. The differences observed in the Vbeta usage in blood and thymi of MG patients are likely to be due to preferential Vbeta usage by the anti-AChR T cells in the blood.

  13. Bilateral single-port thoracoscopic extended thymectomy for management of thymoma and myasthenia gravis: case report.

    PubMed

    Caronia, Francesco Paolo; Fiorelli, Alfonso; Arrigo, Ettore; Trovato, Sebastiano; Santini, Mario; Monte, Attilio Ignazio Lo

    2016-11-22

    Video-assisted thoracoscopy is become a widely accepted approach for the resection of anterior mediastinal masses, including thymoma. The current trend is to reduce the number of ports and minimize the length of incisions to further decrease postoperative pain, chest wall paresthesia, and length of hospitalization. Herein, we reported an extended resection of thymoma in a patient with myasthenia gravis through an uniportal bilateral thoracoscopic approach. A 74 years old woman with myasthenia gravis was referred to our attention for management of a 3.5 cm, well capsulate, thymoma. All laboratory and cardio-pulmonary tests were within normal; thus, she was scheduled for thymoma resection through an uniportal bilateral thoracoscopic approach. Under general anaesthesia and selective intubation, the patient was placed in a 60° right lateral decubitus. A 3 cm skin incision was performed in the fourth right intercostal space and, through that a 30° video-camera and working instruments were inserted without rib spreading. After complete dissection of the thymus and mediastinal fat, the contralateral pleura was opened, and, through that the specimen was pushed into the left pleural cavity. Then, the patient was placed in the left lateral decubitus. Similarly to the right side procedure, a 3-cm incision was performed in the fourth left intercostal space to complete thymic dissection and retrieve the specimen. No intraoperative and post-operative complications were found. The patient was discharged four days later. Pathological examination revealed a type A thymoma (Masaoka stage I). No recurrence was found at 18 months of follow-up CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral single-port thoracoscopy is an available procedure for management of thymoma associated with myasthenia gravis. The less post-operative pain, the reduction of hospital stay and the better esthetic results are all potential advantages of this approach over traditional technique. Obviously, our impression should be

  14. Rituximab as treatment for anti-MuSK myasthenia gravis: Multicenter blinded prospective review.

    PubMed

    Hehir, Michael K; Hobson-Webb, Lisa D; Benatar, Michael; Barnett, Carolina; Silvestri, Nicholas J; Howard, James F; Howard, Diantha; Visser, Amy; Crum, Brian A; Nowak, Richard; Beekman, Rachel; Kumar, Aditya; Ruzhansky, Katherine; Chen, I-Hweii Amy; Pulley, Michael T; LaBoy, Shannon M; Fellman, Melissa A; Greene, Shane M; Pasnoor, Mamatha; Burns, Ted M

    2017-09-05

    To evaluate the efficacy of rituximab in treatment of anti-muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG). This was a multicenter, blinded, prospective review, comparing anti-MuSK-positive patients with MG treated with rituximab to those not treated with rituximab. The primary clinical endpoint was the Myasthenia Gravis Status and Treatment Intensity (MGSTI), a novel outcome that combines the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) postintervention status (PIS) and the number and dosages of other immunosuppressant therapies used. A priori, an MGSTI of level ≤2 was used to define a favorable outcome. Secondary outcomes included modified MGFA PIS of minimal manifestations or better, mean/median prednisone dose, and mean/median doses of other immunosuppressant drugs. Seventy-seven of 119 patients with anti-MuSK MG evaluated between January 1, 2005, and January 1, 2015, at 10 neuromuscular centers were selected for analysis after review of limited clinical data by a blinded expert panel. An additional 22 patients were excluded due to insufficient follow-up. Baseline characteristics were similar between the rituximab-treated patients (n = 24) and the controls (n = 31). Median follow-up duration was >3.5 years. At last visit, 58% (14/24) of rituximab-treated patients reached the primary outcome compared to 16% (5/31) of controls (p = 0.002). Number needed to treat for the primary outcome is 2.4. At last visit, 29% of rituximab-treated patients were taking prednisone (mean dose 4.5 mg/day) compared to 74% of controls (mean dose 13 mg/day) (p = 0.001 and p = 0.005). This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with anti-MuSK MG, rituximab increased the probability of a favorable outcome. © 2017 American Academy of Neurology.

  15. Absence of cellular hypersensitivity to muscle and thymic antigens in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Behan, W M; Behan, P O; Simpson, J A

    1975-01-01

    Humoral antibodies to skeletal muscle and its components and to thymus have been demonstrated in the sera of patients with myasthenia gravis. A role for cellular hypersensitivity to similar antigens in the pathogenesis of the disease has been suggested by some reports of the presence of cellular immunity. A detailed immunological study using muscle and thymic antigens, including those prepared from the patients' own tissues, failed to confirm these findings. It is suggested that previous reports of cellular hypersensitivity represent the demonstration of an epiphenomenon. PMID:1206412

  16. The relationship of plasma levels of pyridostigmine to clinical effect in patients with myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Davison, SC; Hyman, NM; Dehghan, A; Chan, K

    1981-01-01

    The relationship between plasma levels of pyridostigmine to clinical evaluation of muscle power was examined in nine patients with myasthenia gravis during treatment with pyridostigmine in doses of 60 to 1040 mg daily. Five of the nine subjects demonstrated a trend towards a positive correlation, but in only two of them was this statistically significant at p < 0.05. In addition, the presence or absence of a possible correlation between muscle power and plasma concentration was not related to the duration of the disease, additional prednisolone therapy or thymectomy. PMID:7334410

  17. Primary Ectopic Mediastinal Goiter in a Patient With Crohn's Disease Presenting as Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Sultania, Mahesh; Vatsal, Shivam; Sharma, M C

    2015-12-01

    Mediastinum is an uncommon location for ectopic goiter. Primary ectopic mediastinal goiter has been reported to present mostly with compressive symptoms. We report a case of a 62-year-old man with history of Crohn's disease, who presented with symptoms of myasthenia gravis and was found to have an anterior mediastinal mass. The mass was resected completely with successful outcome. On histopathologic examination this mass turned out to be colloid goiter. This is an extremely rare presentation of a primary ectopic mediastinal goiter.

  18. Thymus and Myasthenia Gravis: what can we learn from DNA microarrays?

    PubMed

    Cizeron-Clairac, Géraldine; Le Panse, Rozen; Frenkian-Cuvelier, Mélinée; Meraouna, Amel; Truffault, Frédérique; Bismuth, Jacky; Mussot, Sacha; Kerlero de Rosbo, Nicole; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia

    2008-09-15

    This review is dedicated to John Newsom-Davis, who was an exceptional colleague and friend, always exchanging ideas with respect and consideration. We shall not forget his involvement and passion in search for the truth on the role of thymectomy in the management of Myasthenia Gravis (MG). In this short review, we shall summarize what we learnt from DNA microarrays applied to MG thymus. We shall focus on three main comparisons of the thymic transcriptomes: 1) highly hyperplastic MG patients versus non-MG adults; 2) corticosteroid-treated versus untreated seropositive MG patients; and 3) seronegative versus seropositive MG patients.

  19. Focal myasthenia gravis as a paraneoplastic syndrome of canine thymoma: improvement following thymectomy.

    PubMed

    Lainesse, M F; Taylor, S M; Myers, S L; Haines, D; Fowler, J D

    1996-01-01

    A 10-year-old, neutered male cocker spaniel-cross experienced regurgitation, dry retching, and weight loss. A large, mediastinal mass and dilatation of the esophagus were seen on thoracic radiographs. Cytological, histopathological, immunohistochemical, and serological findings were consistent with a lymphoepithelial thymoma and focal, esophageal myasthenia gravis. Surgical removal of the mass resulted in rapid resolution of the megaesophagus and a decrease in serum acetylcholine-receptor antibody concentration. The dog was clinically normal until the thymoma recurred six months postoperatively. Clinical signs, diagnostic evaluation, management, and treatment of a dog with thymoma and megaesophagus are described.

  20. Effect of intravenous low-osmolality iodinated contrast media on patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Somashekar, Deepak K; Davenport, Matthew S; Cohan, Richard H; Dillman, Jonathan R; Ellis, James H

    2013-06-01

    To determine whether the intravenous administration of low-osmolality contrast material is associated with exacerbation of disease-related symptoms in patients with myasthenia gravis. This HIPAA-compliant, retrospective cohort study was approved by the institutional review board. The requirement to obtain patient consent was waived. Computed tomography (CT) was performed in 267 patients with clinically confirmed myasthenia gravis between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2011. CT was performed without intravenous administration of contrast material in 155 patients and with intravenous administration of low-osmolality contrast material in 112. Electronic medical records were searched to identify myasthenia gravis-related symptoms before (≤ 14 days) and after (≤ 45 days) each CT examination. The Mantel-Cox log-rank test was used to compare the time to symptom progression between the two groups. The Fisher exact test was used to compare rates of disease-related symptoms during three time periods: (a) 0-1 day after CT, (b) 2-7 days after CT, and (c) 8-45 days after CT. The unenhanced and contrast-enhanced CT groups had similar thymectomy rates (P = .97) and disease-related symptom trends before CT (P = .58). The contrast-enhanced CT group was associated with a significant reduction in time to disease-related symptom progression following CT (median time to onset of symptom progression, 2.5 days with contrast-enhanced CT vs 14.0 days with unenhanced CT; P = .05). There were significantly more disease-related symptom exacerbations within 1 day of CT in the contrast-enhanced CT group compared with the unenhanced CT group (6.3% [seven of 112 patients] vs 0.6% [one of 155 patients], respectively; P = .01). Acute exacerbations were primarily respiratory (five patients with new-onset dyspnea [four in contrast-enhanced CT group and one in unenhanced CT group], two patients with progressive dyspnea [both in the contrast-enhanced CT group], and one patient with progressive

  1. Specific immunotherapy of experimental myasthenia gravis in vitro and in vivo: the Guided Missile strategy.

    PubMed

    Sun, W; Adams, R N; Miagkov, A; Lu, Y; Juon, H-S; Drachman, D B

    2012-10-15

    Current immunotherapy of myasthenia gravis (MG) is often effective, but entails risks of infection and neoplasia. The "Guided Missile" strategy described here is designed to target and eliminate the individual's unique AChR-specific T cell repertoire, without otherwise interfering with the immune system. We genetically engineered dendritic cells to present AChR epitopes and simultaneously express Fas ligand in an ongoing EAMG model. In both in vitro and in vivo experiments, these engineered cells specifically killed AChR-responsive T cells without otherwise damaging the immune system. AChR antibodies were markedly reduced in the treated mice. Translation of this method to treat human MG is possible.

  2. True epithelial hyperplasia in the thymus of early-onset myasthenia gravis patients: implications for immunopathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Roxanis, I; Micklem, K; Willcox, N

    2001-01-01

    The early-onset myasthenia gravis (EOMG) thymus shows characteristic medullary epithelial bands (MEB), greatly expanded perivascular infiltrates and fenestrations of the intervening basement membranes. We now compare epithelial expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and many integrins in EOMG and control samples. The main differences are striking/consistent thickening (in MEB) of what is normally a monolayer of perivascular epithelium, with focal protrusion into the infiltrates. This evidently hyperplastic epithelial subpopulation also strongly expresses EGFR and certain integrins. We suggest that its enhanced interactions with the locally increased extracellular matrix protein deposits may play an important role in autosensitization.

  3. Altered levels of nerve growth factor in the thymus of subjects with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Stampachiacchiere, Barbara; Marinova, Tsvetana; Velikova, Kamelia; Philipov, Stanislav; Stankulov, Ivan S; Chaldakov, George N; Fiore, Marco; Aloe, Luigi

    2004-01-01

    We have previously reported that nerve growth factor (NGF), a polypeptide known for its neurotrophic activities, is also involved in the differentiation and survival of immune cells, and that NGF and its high-affinity receptor are present in the thymus. We here demonstrate that the thymus of humans affected by myasthenia gravis (MG) contains significant concentrations of NGF. These observations support our hypothesis of a role for NGF in the thymus and suggest that the changes observed in the thymus of subject with MG may have functional significance.

  4. Collagen Q is a key player for developing rational therapy for congenital myasthenia and for dissecting the mechanisms of anti-MuSK myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Kinji; Ito, Mikako; Kawakami, Yu; Ohtsuka, Kenji

    2014-07-01

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is anchored to the synaptic basal lamina via a triple helical collagen Q (ColQ) in the form of asymmetric AChE (AChE/ColQ). We exploited the proprietary NMJ-targeting signals of ColQ to treat congenital myasthenia and to explore the mechanisms of autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG). Mutations in COLQ cause congenital endplate AChE deficiency (CEAD). First, a single intravenous administration of adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8)-COLQ to Colq−/− mice normalized motor functions, synaptic transmission, and partly the NMJ ultrastructure. Additionally, injection of purified recombinant AChE/ColQ protein complex into gluteus maximus accumulated AChE in non-injected forelimbs. Second, MuSK antibody-positive MG accounts for 5-15 % of MG. In vitro overlay of AChE/ColQ to muscle sections of Colq−/− mice, as well as in vitro plate-binding of MuSK to ColQ, revealed thatMuSK-IgG blocks binding of ColQ to MuSK in a dose-dependent manner. Passive transfer of MuSK-IgG to wild-type mice markedly reduced the size and intensity of ColQ signals at NMJs. MuSK-IgG thus interferes with binding of ColQ to MuSK. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms of specific binding of ColQ to NMJ enabled us to ameliorate devastating myasthenic symptoms of Colq−/− mice and also to reveal underlying mechanisms of anti-MuSK-MG.

  5. Stable Expression of Human Muscle-Specific Kinase in HEp-2 M4 Cells for Automatic Immunofluorescence Diagnostics of Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    George, Sandra; Paulick, Silvia; Knütter, Ilka; Röber, Nadja; Hiemann, Rico; Roggenbuck, Dirk; Conrad, Karsten; Küpper, Jan-Heiner

    2014-01-01

    Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) belongs to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor complex which is targeted by pathogenic autoantibodies causing Myasthenia gravis. While up to 95% of patients with generalized Myasthenia gravis were shown to be positive for acetylcholine receptor-specific autoantibodies, up to 70% of the remaining patients develop autoantibodies against MuSK. Discrimination of the autoantibody specificity is important for therapy of Myasthenia gravis. Recently, the new automatic fluorescence assessment platform AKLIDES has been developed for immunofluorescence-based diagnostics of autoimmune diseases. In order to establish an AKLIDES procedure for the detection of MuSK-specific autoantibodies (anti-MuSK), we developed a recombinant HEp-2 cell clone expressing the human MuSK cDNA. Here we show at the mRNA and protein level that the cell clone HEp-2 M4 stably expresses human MuSK. We provide evidence for a localization of MuSK at the cell membrane. Using cell clone HEp-2 M4 on the AKLIDES system, we investigated 34 patient sera that were previously tested anti-MuSK positive by radioimmunoassay as positive controls. As negative controls, we tested 29 acetylcholine receptor-positive but MuSK-negative patient sera, 30 amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient sera and 45 blood donors. HEp-2 M4 cells revealed a high specificity for the detection of MuSK autoantibodies from 25 patient sera assessed by a specific pattern on HEp-2 M4 cells. By using appropriate cell culture additives, the fraction of cells stained positive with anti-MuSK containing sera can be increased from 2–16% to 10–48%, depending on the serum. In conclusion, we provide data showing that the novel recombinant cell line HEp-2 M4 can be used to screen for anti-MuSK with the automatic AKLIDES system. PMID:24416182

  6. Stable expression of human muscle-specific kinase in HEp-2 M4 cells for automatic immunofluorescence diagnostics of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    George, Sandra; Paulick, Silvia; Knütter, Ilka; Röber, Nadja; Hiemann, Rico; Roggenbuck, Dirk; Conrad, Karsten; Küpper, Jan-Heiner

    2014-01-01

    Muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) belongs to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor complex which is targeted by pathogenic autoantibodies causing Myasthenia gravis. While up to 95% of patients with generalized Myasthenia gravis were shown to be positive for acetylcholine receptor-specific autoantibodies, up to 70% of the remaining patients develop autoantibodies against MuSK. Discrimination of the autoantibody specificity is important for therapy of Myasthenia gravis. Recently, the new automatic fluorescence assessment platform AKLIDES has been developed for immunofluorescence-based diagnostics of autoimmune diseases. In order to establish an AKLIDES procedure for the detection of MuSK-specific autoantibodies (anti-MuSK), we developed a recombinant HEp-2 cell clone expressing the human MuSK cDNA. Here we show at the mRNA and protein level that the cell clone HEp-2 M4 stably expresses human MuSK. We provide evidence for a localization of MuSK at the cell membrane. Using cell clone HEp-2 M4 on the AKLIDES system, we investigated 34 patient sera that were previously tested anti-MuSK positive by radioimmunoassay as positive controls. As negative controls, we tested 29 acetylcholine receptor-positive but MuSK-negative patient sera, 30 amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient sera and 45 blood donors. HEp-2 M4 cells revealed a high specificity for the detection of MuSK autoantibodies from 25 patient sera assessed by a specific pattern on HEp-2 M4 cells. By using appropriate cell culture additives, the fraction of cells stained positive with anti-MuSK containing sera can be increased from 2-16% to 10-48%, depending on the serum. In conclusion, we provide data showing that the novel recombinant cell line HEp-2 M4 can be used to screen for anti-MuSK with the automatic AKLIDES system.

  7. Major motor-functional determinants associated with poor self-reported health-related quality of life in myasthenia gravis patients.

    PubMed

    Cioncoloni, David; Casali, Stefania; Ginanneschi, Federica; Carone, Marisa; Veronica, Boni; Rossi, Alessandro; Giannini, Fabio

    2016-05-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder in which disabling muscle weakness may affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim of this study was to investigate which common motor-functional deficits and corresponding severity are most determinant of poor HRQoL in these patients. In 41 patients, the dichotomized first item of the Italian Myasthenia Gravis Questionnaire (IMGQ), categorizing patients who report "good" and "poor" HRQoL, was chosen as dependent-outcome variable. All items composing the myasthenia gravis-specific scale (MG-ADL), i.e. talking, chewing, swallowing, breathing, impairment of ability to brush teeth or comb hair, impairment of ability to rise from chair, double vision, and eyelid droop were acquired as independent variables and dichotomized. Stepwise backward LR multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed. In addition, the main characteristics of patients were compared. MG-ADL items "chewing" ≥1, i.e. "fatigue chewing solid food", and "breathing" ≥2, i.e. "shortness of breath at rest" proved to be significant determinants. Higher dose of corticosteroid therapy was significantly (p = 0.027; r s  = -0.35), correlated with poor HRQoL. At diagnosis, a decremental response to repetitive nerve stimulation (RNS) from the abductor pollicis brevis was significantly more frequent in patients with poor HRQoL. In conclusion, impaired "chewing" and "breathing" functions indicate the need for careful planning of rehabilitation, re-education and patient management. Moreover, decremental response to RNS at diagnosis may identify patients at risk for poor HRQoL.

  8. Genome-Wide Association Study of Late-Onset Myasthenia Gravis: Confirmation of TNFRSF11A and Identification of ZBTB10 and Three Distinct HLA Associations

    PubMed Central

    Seldin, Michael F; Alkhairy, Omar K; Lee, Annette T; Lamb, Janine A; Sussman, Jon; Pirskanen-Matell, Ritva; Piehl, Fredrik; Verschuuren, Jan J G M; Kostera-Pruszczyk, Anna; Szczudlik, Piotr; McKee, David; Maniaol, Angelina H; Harbo, Hanne F; Lie, Benedicte A; Melms, Arthur; Garchon, Henri-Jean; Willcox, Nicholas; Gregersen, Peter K; Hammarstrom, Lennart

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the genetics of late-onset myasthenia gravis (LOMG), we conducted a genome-wide association study imputation of >6 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 532 LOMG cases (anti–acetylcholine receptor [AChR] antibody positive; onset age ≥50 years) and 2,128 controls matched for sex and population substructure. The data confirm reported TNFRSF11A associations (rs4574025, P = 3.9 × 10−7, odds ratio [OR] 1.42) and identify a novel candidate gene, ZBTB10, achieving genome-wide significance (rs6998967, P = 8.9 × 10−10, OR 0.53). Several other SNPs showed suggestive significance including rs2476601 (P = 6.5 × 10−6, OR 1.62) encoding the PTPN22 R620W variant noted in early-onset myasthenia gravis (EOMG) and other autoimmune diseases. In contrast, EOMG-associated SNPs in TNIP1 showed no association in LOMG, nor did other loci suggested for EOMG. Many SNPs within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region showed strong associations in LOMG, but with smaller effect sizes than in EOMG (highest OR ~2 versus ~6 in EOMG). Moreover, the strongest associations were in opposite directions from EOMG, including an OR of 0.54 for DQA1*05:01 in LOMG (P = 5.9 × 10−12) versus 2.82 in EOMG (P = 3.86 × 10−45). Association and conditioning studies for the MHC region showed three distinct and largely independent association peaks for LOMG corresponding to (a) MHC class II (highest attenuation when conditioning on DQA1), (b) HLA-A and (c) MHC class III SNPs. Conditioning studies of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) amino acid residues also suggest potential functional correlates. Together, these findings emphasize the value of subgrouping myasthenia gravis patients for clinical and basic investigations and imply distinct predisposing mechanisms in LOMG. PMID:26562150

  9. Transcervical excision of thymoma and video-assisted thoracoscopic extended thymectomy (VATET) for ectopic cervical thymoma with myasthenia gravis: report of a case.

    PubMed

    Kumazawa, Sachiko; Ishibashi, Hironori; Takahashi, Ken; Okubo, Kenichi

    2016-12-01

    Myasthenia gravis is the most common disease associated with thymoma, but it is rarely accompanied by ectopic thymoma. We describe a 47-year-old woman who presented with an ectopic cervical thymoma with myasthenia gravis. She was admitted to our neurology department with ptosis, diplopia, and mandibular muscle fatigue, and was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. The mass was located posterior to the right lobe of thyroid gland on computed tomography and was diagnosed as ectopic thymoma on fine-needle aspiration biopsy examination. Transcervical excision of thymoma and VATET were performed. The patient has been free of neurological symptoms and has displayed no evidence of recurrent thymoma for 2 years.

  10. Association study between IL-17A and IL-17F gene polymorphism and myasthenia gravis in Chinese patients.

    PubMed

    Yue, Yao-Xian; Hong, Yu; Xie, Yanchen; Hao, Hong-Jun; Sui, Yi; Gu, Chuan-Kai; Zhang, Xu; Gao, Xiang; Tang, Tian-Ping; Zhang, Xian-Jun; Wang, Qi; Li, Hai-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Alleles of IL-17A and IL-17F genes were reported to be associated with many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders in Asian patients. Serum level and mRNA of IL-17A in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were reported to be significantly higher in MG patients than in healthy controls. In experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) animals, IL-17 may have effects on the severity of MG. This study investigated the association between four SNPs of IL-17A and IL-17F gene (rs8193036, rs2275913 and rs3748067 in IL-17A; rs763780 in IL-17F) and MG in Chinese patients. The allele frequencies were compared between 480 MG patients and 487 healthy controls, between each MG subgroup and the control group, and between each pairs of MG subgroups. Subgroups were specified by clinical features (onset age, gender, thymoma, AChRAb and muscle involvement at onset) and maximal severity during the follow-up. No associations were found between the four SNPs of IL-17A and IL-17F gene and MG in Chinese patients.

  11. Analysis of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand and receptors and implications in thymus biology and myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Kanatli, Irem; Akkaya, Bahar; Uysal, Hilmi; Kahraman, Sevim; Sanlioglu, Ahter Dilsad

    2017-02-01

    Myasthenia Gravis is an autoantibody-mediated, neuromuscular junction disease, and is usually associated with thymic abnormalities presented as thymic tumors (~10%) or hyperplastic thymus (~65%). The exact role of thymus in Myasthenia Gravis development is not clear, yet many patients benefit from thymectomy. The apoptotic ligand TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand is thought to be involved in the regulation of thymocyte counts, although conflicting results are reported. We investigated differential expression profiles of TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand and its transmembrane receptors, Nuclear Factor-kB activation status, and apoptotic cell counts in healthy thymic tissue and pathological thymus from Myasthenia Gravis patients. All tissues expressed TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand and its receptors, with hyperplastic tissue having the highest expression levels of death receptors DR4 and DR5. No detectable Nuclear Factor-kB activation, at least via the canonical Protein Kinase A-mediated p65 Ser276 phosphorylation, was evident in any of the tissues studied. Apoptotic cell counts were higher in MG-associated tissue compared to the normal thymus. Possible use of the TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand within the concept of an apoptotic ligand-mediated medical thymectomy in thymoma- or thymic hyperplasia-associated Myasthenia Gravis is also discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Ocular myasthenia gravis induced by human acetylcholine receptor ϵ subunit immunization in HLA DR3 transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiaorong; Tuzun, Erdem; Saini, Shamsher S; Wang, Jun; Li, Jing; Aguilera-Aguirre, Leopoldo; Huda, Ruksana; Christadoss, Premkumar

    2015-12-01

    Extraocular muscles (EOM) are preferentially involved in myasthenia gravis (MG) and acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody positive MG patients may occasionally present with isolated ocular symptoms. Although experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) induced by whole AChR immunization closely mimics clinical and immunopathological aspects of MG, EOM are usually not affected. We have previously developed an EAMG model, which imitates EOM symptoms of MG by immunization of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) transgenic mice with α or γ-subunits of human AChR (H-AChR). To investigate the significance of the ϵ-subunit in ocular MG, we immunized HLA-DR3 and HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice with recombinant H-AChR ϵ-subunit expressed in Escherichia coli. HLA-DR3 transgenic mice showed significantly higher clinical ocular and generalized MG severity scores and lower grip strength values than HLA-DQ8 mice. H-AChR ϵ-subunit-immunized HLA-DR3 transgenic mice had higher serum anti-AChR antibody (IgG, IgG1, IgG2b, IgG2c and IgM) levels, neuromuscular junction IgG and complement deposit percentages than ϵ-subunit-immunized HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice. Control mice immunized with E. coli extract or complete Freund adjuvant (CFA) did not show clinical and immunopathological features of ocular and generalized EAMG. Lymph node cells of ϵ-subunit-immunized HLA-DR3 mice showed significantly higher proliferative responses than those of ϵ-subunit-immunized HLA-DQ8 mice, crude E. coli extract-immunized and CFA-immunized transgenic mice. Our results indicate that the human AChR ϵ-subunit is capable of inducing myasthenic muscle weakness. Diversity of the autoimmune responses displayed by mice expressing different HLA class II molecules suggests that the interplay between HLA class II alleles and AChR subunits might have a profound impact on the clinical course of MG.

  13. Leflunomide treatment in corticosteroid-dependent myasthenia gravis: an open-label pilot study.

    PubMed

    Chen, Pei; Feng, Huiyu; Deng, Juan; Luo, Yufei; Qiu, Li; Ou, Changyi; Liu, Weibin

    2016-01-01

    Leflunomide is an effective drug used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Here we report the findings of an open-label pilot study, which found that leflunomide is also an effective treatment for myasthenia gravis (MG). This study recruited 15 corticosteroid-dependent MG patients. For 6 months, leflunomide 20 mg was given to these patients daily along with prednisone. The quantitative myasthenia gravis (QMG) scores and MG activities of daily living (MG-ADL) profiles were measured in these MG patients. After 6 months of treatment, 9 of the 15 patients enrolled in this study showed improvements in both QMG and MG-ADL. The mean QMG scores (13.4 to 8.5) and MG-ADL profiles (5.8 to 2.8) were significantly decreased (P = 0.01, 0.006 respectively). Furthermore, we found that the mean corticosteroid doses were reduced after treatment with leflunomide (24.3 to 12.3 mg per day). Leflunomide is a well-tolerated and efficacious treatment for corticosteroid-dependent MG, which may also enable lower doses of corticosteroids to be administered.

  14. Repeated Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody-Concentrations and Association to Clinical Myasthenia Gravis Development

    PubMed Central

    Heldal, Anne Taraldsen; Eide, Geir Egil; Romi, Fredrik; Owe, Jone Furlund; Gilhus, Nils Erik

    2014-01-01

    Introduction We aimed to examine the longitudinal association between Myasthenia Gravis (MG) clinical severity and concentration of acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-antibodies to evaluate if AChR-antibody variations correlate to disease severity. A positive AChR-antibody test is specific for MG. Material and Methods All patients from western Norway who had two or more AChR- antibody tests in the period 1983–2013 were identified. The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) Clinical Classification was used to grade disease development. Multiple ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to estimate a possible predictive effect for AChR-antibody concentration on MGFA classification result. Results In 67 patients two or more AChR-antibody tests with a corresponding MGFA-score were performed, with a total of 309 tests. 56 patients were treated with immunosuppressive drugs and 11 by pyridostigmine only. There was a positive association between concentration of AChR-antibodies and longitudinal MGFA-score for the subgroup with immunosuppressive treatment, but not for those treated with pyridostigmine only. This association between AChR-antibody concentration and MGFA score declined with increasing time since onset (p = 0.005 for the interaction of group×time×concentration). Conclusions For MG patients with immunosuppressive treatment, repeated AChR-antibody measurements give information about clinical development, and can therefore be of support in therapeutic decisions. PMID:25464006

  15. Serum uric acid levels in patients with myasthenia gravis are inversely correlated with disability

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Dehao; Weng, Yiyun; Lin, Haihua; Xie, Feiyan; Yin, Fang; Lou, Kangliang; Zhou, Xuan; Han, Yixiang; Li, Xiang

    2016-01-01

    Uric acid (UA), the final product of purine metabolism, has been reported to be reduced in patients with various neurological disorders and is considered to be a possible indicator for monitoring the disability and progression of multiple sclerosis. However, it remains unclear whether there is a close relationship between UA and myasthenia gravis (MG), or whether UA is primarily deficient or secondarily reduced because of its peroxynitrite scavenging activity. We investigated the correlation between serum UA levels and the clinical characteristics of MG. We assessed 338 serum UA levels obtained in 135 patients with MG, 47 patients with multiple sclerosis, and 156 healthy controls. In addition, we compared serum UA levels when MG patients were stratified according to disease activity and classifications performed by the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, age of onset, duration, and thymus histology (by means of MRI or computed tomography). MG patients had significantly lower serum UA levels than the controls (P<0.001). Moreover, UA levels in patients with MG were inversely correlated with disease activity and disease progression (P=0.013). However, UA levels did not correlate significantly with disease duration, age of onset, and thymus histology. Our findings suggest that serum level of UA was reduced in patients with MG and serum UA might be considered a surrogate biomarker of MG disability and progression. PMID:26836463

  16. Prognostic factors and health-related quality of life in ocular Myasthenia Gravis (OMG).

    PubMed

    Ariatti, Alessandra; Stefani, Marina; Miceli, Pietro; Benuzzi, Francesca; Galassi, Giuliana

    2014-06-01

    We evaluate the factors predictive of prognosis in 91 Caucasian patients affected by ocular myasthenia gravis (OMG), followed at our Institution during an observational time, ranging from 12 to 240 months. The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) clinical classification was used to grade the disease severity. We considered as outcome measures the variation in two subscores, ocular (O-QMG) and nonocular (NO-QMG); the last one reflected bulbar, neck, extremity functions. None of the independent variables evaluated for association with the outcome, as age of onset, type of therapy, length of interval between first and last examinations, and presence of antibodies to acetylcholine receptors (AChR-Abs) significantly affected the evolution of O-QMG and of NO-QMG. Health-related quality of life (HRQol) was assessed in 63 patients. Variations of diplopia or ptosis did not affect significantly physical (PCS) or mental composite subscores (MCS) of the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotyping was studied to explore whether HLA class I and II allelic distribution differed among MG patients and controls. None of the studied HLA alleles significantly differed between OMG patients and controls. Similarly, none of the alleles with frequencies higher than 15% either in OMG patients or in controls was significantly associated, after Bonferroni correction, with the presence or absence of anti-AChR-Abs in serum.

  17. Translation and validation of the 15-item Myasthenia Gravis Quality of life scale in Dutch.

    PubMed

    Strijbos, Ellen; Gärtner, Fania R; Verschuuren, Jan J

    2017-03-08

    The 15-item Myasthenia Gravis Quality of Life (MG-QOL15) scale has been developed to assess the health-related quality of life of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). The aim of this study was to translate the original English version into Dutch and to test the test-retest reliability and construct validity. Fifty patients with MG were included. Test-retest reliability and internal consistency were assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the Cronbach α. Construct validity was assessed by testing 5 predefined hypotheses. A good test-retest reliability was confirmed with an ICC of 0.866. The Cronbach α was 0.93. The predefined hypotheses were confirmed in 80% of cases, which points to good construct validity. The Dutch MG-QOL15 has good test-retest reliability and good construct validity. It can be used for research in a Dutch-speaking population. It is also suitable for monitoring individual patients in clinical practice. Muscle Nerve, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis concurrent with acquired myasthenia gravis in a West Highland white terrier dog.

    PubMed

    Stanciu, Gabriela Dumitrita; Solcan, Gheorghe

    2016-06-14

    Acute Idiopathic Polyradiculoneuritis, an animal model for the axonal form of the Guillain - Barre Syndrome in humans and the acquired myasthenia gravis are different autoimmune disorders affecting the peripheral nerves and the neuromuscular junction, respectively. Both lead to muscle weakness and possible respiratory failure. The coexistence of these two entities combined in the same patient is rare in humans and, to our knowledge, the present case is the first reported in dogs. An 11-year-old West Highland WhiteTerrier female dog was referred to our clinic with a history of symmetrical weakness beginning with the pelvic limbs and evolving cranially, progressing to non-ambulatory flaccid tetraparesis over the preceding week. The history did not reveal signs of a recent other illness, trauma or exposure to a neurotoxin or raccoon bite. The last vaccination was carried out 5 months before presentation. Upon clinical examination, spinal reflexes and postural reactions were decreased in all four limbs and became absent within the following 24 h; perineal reflex was normal, and loss of voice was observed. The patient maintained its ability to urinate and defecate and it had no difficulty to eat or to drink. There were no cerebellar or sensory deficits. The electrophysiological findings revealed positive sharp waves and complex repetitive discharges on the electromyogram, temporal dispersion of compound muscle action potentials associated with polyphasia and a slow motor nerve conduction velocity as signs of demyelination, and an increased latency of F-waves. The cerebrospinal fluid had a normal cellularity with increased protein content. A reduction by 18 % in the amplitudes of the third compound muscle action potential as compared to the first one was observed during a repetitive nerve stimulation, indicating a postsynaptic disturbance. Only the motor electrophysiology was considered in this study. The diagnosis was based on clinical and electrophysiological

  19. Thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis: On the search for a pathogen signature.

    PubMed

    Cufi, Perrine; Soussan, Patrick; Truffault, Frédérique; Fetouchi, Rachid; Robinet, Marieke; Fadel, Elie; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Le Panse, Rozen

    2014-08-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mainly mediated by anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies. In the late onset, a thymoma, tumor of the thymus, is quite frequent. However, the events leading to thymoma and MG are not understood. As thymoma-associated MG (MG-T) patients also display anti-interferon type I (IFN-I) neutralizing antibodies, we investigated if MG-T could be associated with an anti-viral signature. RT-PCR analyses demonstrated huge increases of IFN-I subtypes, IFN-α2, -α8, -ω and -β, in thymoma-associated MG but not in thymomas without MG or in control thymuses. Next, we investigated if dsRNA signaling pathway involvement could be observed in MG-T, as recently observed in early-onset MG. We observed an abnormal regulation of dsRNA-sensing molecules with an increase of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), and a decrease of protein kinase R (PKR) and dsRNA helicases (RIG-I and MDA5) in thymoma from MG patients. We also detected a decreased expression of p53, the tumor suppressor that is known to be down-regulated by dsRNA. Altogether, these results strongly suggest that MG-T could be linked to a viral infection. As p16 (CDKN2A), a marker of HPV infections, was up-regulated in MG-T, we thus screened DNA from thymomas for human papillomavirus (HPV) by real-time PCR using HPV consensus SPF10 primers. RT-PCR results were negative for all samples tested. We confirmed the absence of HPV DNA detection by end point PCR using FAP primers to amplify a larger panel of HPV genotypes. Our data clearly demonstrate INF-I overexpression together with the activation of innate immunity pathways in thymoma-associated MG suggesting that MG might develop after a pathogen infection. We were not able to relate thymoma to HPV infections and the implication of other pathogens is discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Roles of collagen Q in MuSK antibody-positive myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Kinji; Otsuka, Kenji; Ito, Mikako

    2016-11-25

    The low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4) and the muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (MuSK) form a tetrameric protein complex on the postsynaptic membrane at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Binding of agrin to LRP4 triggers phosphorylation of MuSK. Activated MuSK drives clustering of acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Wnt ligands also directly bind to MuSK to induce AChR clustering. MuSK anchors the acetylcholinesterase (AChE)/collagen Q (ColQ) complex to the synaptic basal lamina. In addition, an extracellular proteoglycan, biglycan, binds to MuSK. Anti-MuSK autoantibodies (MuSK-IgG) are observed in 5-15% of autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) patients. MuSK-IgG blocks both ColQ-MuSK and LRP4-MuSK interactions. MuSK-IgG, LRP4, ColQ, and biglycan bind to the immunoglobulin-like domains 1 and 4 of MuSK. Lack of the effects of cholinesterase inhibitors in MuSK-MG patients is likely due to hindrance of ColQ-MuSK interaction by MuSK-IgG and subsequent deficiency of AChE observed in model mice, which, however, has not been proven in MuSK-MG patients. As ColQ enhances expression of membrane-bound MuSK, inhibition of ColQ-MuSK interaction by MuSK-IgG may account for lack of AChR clusters in MuSK-MG. We thus made passive transfer models using Colq+/+ and Colq-/- mice to dissect the effect of ColQ on AChR clustering in MuSK-MG. We found that MuSK-IgG-mediated suppression of LRP4-MuSK interaction, not of ColQ-MuSK interaction, caused defective AChR clustering. We also unexpectedly observed that both MuSK-IgG and ColQ suppressed agrin/LRP4/MuSK signaling in dose-dependent manners. Quantitative comparison revealed that MuSK-IgG blocked agrin-LRP4-MuSK signaling more than ColQ. We propose that attenuation of AChR clustering in MuSK-MG is due to hindrance of LRP4-MuSK interaction in the presence of agrin by MuSK-IgG. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis IgG4 autoantibodies cause severe neuromuscular junction dysfunction in mice.

    PubMed

    Klooster, Rinse; Plomp, Jaap J; Huijbers, Maartje G; Niks, Erik H; Straasheijm, Kirsten R; Detmers, Frank J; Hermans, Pim W; Sleijpen, Kevin; Verrips, Aad; Losen, Mario; Martinez-Martinez, Pilar; De Baets, Marc H; van der Maarel, Silvère M; Verschuuren, Jan J

    2012-04-01

    Myasthenia gravis is a paralytic disorder with autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. A proportion of patients instead has antibodies against muscle-specific kinase, a protein essential for acetylcholine receptor clustering. These are generally of the immunoglobulin-G4 subclass and correlate with disease severity, suggesting specific myasthenogenic activity. However, immunoglobulin-G4 subclass antibodies are generally considered to be 'benign' and direct proof for their pathogenicity in muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis (or other immunoglobulin-G4-associated disorders) is lacking. Furthermore, the exact electrophysiological synaptic defects caused at neuromuscular junctions by human anti-muscle-specific kinase autoantibodies are hitherto unknown. We show that purified immunoglobulin-G4, but not immunoglobulin-G1-3, from patients with muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis binds to mouse neuromuscular junctions in vitro, and that injection into immunodeficient mice causes paralysis. Injected immunoglobulin-G4 caused reduced density and fragmented area of neuromuscular junction acetylcholine receptors. Detailed electrophysiological synaptic analyses revealed severe reduction of postsynaptic acetylcholine sensitivity, and exaggerated depression of presynaptic acetylcholine release during high-rate activity, together causing the (fatigable) muscle weakness. Intriguingly, compensatory transmitter release upregulation, which is the normal homeostatic response in acetylcholine receptor myasthenia gravis, was absent. This conveys extra vulnerability to neurotransmission at muscle-specific kinase myasthenia gravis neuromuscular junctions. Thus, we demonstrate that patient anti-muscle-specific kinase immunoglobulin-G4 is myasthenogenic, independent of additional immune system components, and have elucidated the underlying electrophysiological neuromuscular junction abnormalities.

  2. Altered expression of miR-125a-5p in thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis and its down-regulation of foxp3 expression in Jurkat cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Jinpin; Qiu, Di; Chen, Zezhi; Du, Weiwei; Liu, Jingli; Mo, Xuean

    2016-04-01

    Myasthenia gravis is an autoantibody-mediated and T cell-dependent autoimmune disease of neuromuscular junctions. Thymomas may play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis (TAMG), but the thymic pathogenesis of TAMG is unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNA molecules 21-24 nt in length that regulate the expression of their target genes in a post-transcriptional manner. In this study, we used a miRNA microarray chip to identify, for the first time, 137 miRNAs in normal tissue adjacent to the thymoma from TAMG patients that were significantly dysregulated compared with normal thymus controls. We confirmed the differential expression of miR-125a-5p in larger samples using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Using bioinformatics analysis, we identified the foxp3 3' untranslated region (UTR) as a target of miR-125a-5p. Importantly, miR-125a-5p expression exhibited a negative correlation with foxp3 expression in normal tissue adjacent to the thymoma from TAMG patients. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the expression of the foxp3 gene was modulated by miR-125a-5p in Jurkat cells. Taken together, our results suggest that the abnormal expression of miR-125a-5p and its effect on foxp3 expression are likely involved in the pathogenesis of TAMG.

  3. Concomitant presentation of Anderson-Tawil syndrome and myasthenia gravis in an adult patient: A case report.

    PubMed

    Fan, Rui; Ji, Ruirui; Zou, Wenxin; Wang, Guoliang; Wang, Hu; Penney, Daniel James; Luo, Jin Jun; Fan, Yuxin

    2016-10-01

    Andersen-Tawil syndrome (ATS) is an autosomal dominant, multisystem channelopathy characterized by periodic paralysis, ventricular arrhythmias and distinctive dysmorphic facial or skeletal features. The disorder displays marked intrafamilial variability and incomplete penetrance. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder that demonstrates progressive fatigability, in which the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) at neuromuscular junctions is the primary autoantigen. The present study reports a rare case of a 31-year-old woman with a history of morbid obesity and periodic weakness, who presented with hemodynamic instability, cardiogenic shock and facial anomalies. Laboratory results revealed hypokalemia and an elevated anti-AChR antibody expression levels. Electrocardiography demonstrated prolonged QT-interval, ST-elevation, and subsequent third-degree atrioventricular block. Neurological examination revealed bilateral ptosis, horizontal diplopia, dysarthria and generalized weakness. No mutations in the potassium channel inwardly rectifying subfamily J member 2 gene were detected in the present case. The patient was treated with oral potassium supplementation and an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (pyridostigmine), after which the symptoms were improved. To the best of our knowledge, the present case report was the first to describe concomitant presentation of both ATS and MG, which represents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.

  4. Inflammation and Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Are Common Features of Myasthenia Gravis Thymus: Possible Roles in Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cavalcante, Paola; Maggi, Lorenzo; Colleoni, Lara; Caldara, Rosa; Motta, Teresio; Giardina, Carmelo; Antozzi, Carlo; Berrih-Aknin, Sonia; Bernasconi, Pia; Mantegazza, Renato

    2011-01-01

    The thymus plays a major role in myasthenia gravis (MG). Our recent finding of a persistent Epstein-Barr (EBV) virus infection in some MG thymuses, combined with data showing that the thymus is in a proinflammatory state in most patients, supports a viral contribution to the pathogenesis of MG. Aim of this study was to gain further evidence for intrathymic chronic inflammation and EBV infection in MG patients. Transcriptional profiling by low density array and real-time PCR showed overexpression of genes involved in inflammatory and immune response in MG thymuses. Real-time PCR for EBV genome, latent (EBER1, EBNA1, LMP1) and lytic (BZLF1) transcripts, and immunohistochemistry for LMP1 and BZLF1 proteins confirmed an active intrathymic EBV infection, further supporting the hypothesis that EBV might contribute to onset or perpetuation of the autoimmune response in MG. Altogether, our results support a role of inflammation and EBV infection as pathogenic features of MG thymus. PMID:21961056

  5. Radioligand-binding assay reveals distinct autoantibody preferences for type I interferons in APS I and myasthenia gravis subgroups.

    PubMed

    Hapnes, Liv; Willcox, Nick; Oftedal, Bergithe E V; Owe, Jone F; Gilhus, Nils Erik; Meager, Anthony; Husebye, Eystein S; Wolff, Anette S Bøe

    2012-04-01

    Patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I (APS I) or acquired thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis (MG) surprisingly share several common features, including defective expression of the transcription factor AIRE and autoantibodies against type I interferons. Here, we have adapted and validated the radioligand-binding assay we recently developed against (35)S-Met-interferon-ω, for rapid and specific screening for autoantibodies against interferons-α2 and -α8. We then investigated their potential for diagnosis and for predicting clinical manifestations in patients with APS I and different subgroups of MG. Autoantibodies against interferons-ω, -α2, and -α8 occurred more often in patients with APS I (100%) and MG with thymoma (73%) than in late-onset MG (39%) and early-onset MG (5%). These autoantibodies showed preferences for interferon-ω in APS I and for the interferon-αs in MG, hinting at thymic aberrations in both groups. The exact profile of type I interferon antibodies may indicate MG subtype and may hint at thymoma recurrence.

  6. Construction of an miRNA-regulated drug-pathway network reveals drug repurposing candidates for myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yuze; Lu, Xiaoyan; Wang, Jianjian; Zhang, Huixue; Liu, Zhaojun; Xu, Si; Wang, Tianfeng; Ning, Shangwei; Xiao, Bo; Wang, Lihua

    2017-02-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare debilitating autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. Many studies have focused on the mechanism and treatment strategies of MG. However, the exact pathogenesis of MG and effective treatment strategies remain unclear. Recent studies have indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) can regulate the pathological pathways of MG, suggesting their potential role in novel treatments. In the present study, we created a comprehensive catalog of experimentally confirmed MG risk genes and miRNAs by manually mining published literature and public databases. Based on these genes and miRNAs, we identified 41 MG risk pathways and 105 approved drugs that can affect these pathways. Some important MG-related pathways, such as hsa04060 (cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction) and hsa05200 (pathway in cancer), were found to be regulated by MG risk miRNAs and drugs. Furthermore, we constructed an miRNA-regulated drug-pathway network and identified miRNAs and drugs that synergistically regulate key MG pathways and biological processes. We developed a drug repurposing strategy to identify 25 drug repurposing candidates for MG; several of these drugs, such as rituximab, adalimumab, sunitinib, and muromonab, have the potential to be novel MG treatment drugs. This study provides novel insight into the pathogenesis of MG and potential drug candidates for MG were identified.

  7. Concomitant presentation of Anderson-Tawil syndrome and myasthenia gravis in an adult patient: A case report

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Rui; Ji, Ruirui; Zou, Wenxin; Wang, Guoliang; Wang, Hu; Penney, Daniel James; Luo, Jin Jun; Fan, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    Andersen-Tawil syndrome (ATS) is an autosomal dominant, multisystem channelopathy characterized by periodic paralysis, ventricular arrhythmias and distinctive dysmorphic facial or skeletal features. The disorder displays marked intrafamilial variability and incomplete penetrance. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder that demonstrates progressive fatigability, in which the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) at neuromuscular junctions is the primary autoantigen. The present study reports a rare case of a 31-year-old woman with a history of morbid obesity and periodic weakness, who presented with hemodynamic instability, cardiogenic shock and facial anomalies. Laboratory results revealed hypokalemia and an elevated anti-AChR antibody expression levels. Electrocardiography demonstrated prolonged QT-interval, ST-elevation, and subsequent third-degree atrioventricular block. Neurological examination revealed bilateral ptosis, horizontal diplopia, dysarthria and generalized weakness. No mutations in the potassium channel inwardly rectifying subfamily J member 2 gene were detected in the present case. The patient was treated with oral potassium supplementation and an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (pyridostigmine), after which the symptoms were improved. To the best of our knowledge, the present case report was the first to describe concomitant presentation of both ATS and MG, which represents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. PMID:27698745

  8. T-cell receptor V sub. alpha. and C sub. alpha. alleles associated with multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis

    SciTech Connect

    Oksenberg, J.R.; Cavalli-Sforza, L.L.; Steinman, L. ); Sherritt, M.; Bernard, C.C. ); Begovich, A.B.; Erlich, H.A. )

    1989-02-01

    Polymorphic markers in genes encoding the {alpha} chain of the human T-cell receptor (TcR) have been detected by Southern blot analysis in Pss I digests. Polymorphic bands were observed at 6.3 and 2.0 kilobases (kb) with frequencies of 0.30 and 0.44, respectively, in the general population. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, the authors amplified selected sequences derived from the full-length TcR {alpha} cDNA probe. These PcR products were used as specific probes to demonstrate that the 6.3-kb polymorphic fragment hybridizes to the variable (V)-region probe and the 2.0-kb fragment hybridizes to the constant (C)-region probe. Segregation of the polymorphic bands was analyzed in family studies. To look for associations between these markers and autoimmune diseases, the authors have studied the restriction fragment length polymorphism distribution of the Pss I markers in patients with multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, and Graves disease. Significant differences in the frequency of the polymorphic V{sub {alpha}} and C{sub {alpha}} markers were identified between patients and healthy individuals.

  9. Construction of an miRNA-regulated drug-pathway network reveals drug repurposing candidates for myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Yuze; Lu, Xiaoyan; Wang, Jianjian; Zhang, Huixue; Liu, Zhaojun; Xu, Si; Wang, Tianfeng; Ning, Shangwei; Xiao, Bo; Wang, Lihua

    2017-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare debilitating autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. Many studies have focused on the mechanism and treatment strategies of MG. However, the exact pathogenesis of MG and effective treatment strategies remain unclear. Recent studies have indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) can regulate the pathological pathways of MG, suggesting their potential role in novel treatments. In the present study, we created a comprehensive catalog of experimentally confirmed MG risk genes and miRNAs by manually mining published literature and public databases. Based on these genes and miRNAs, we identified 41 MG risk pathways and 105 approved drugs that can affect these pathways. Some important MG-related pathways, such as hsa04060 (cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction) and hsa05200 (pathway in cancer), were found to be regulated by MG risk miRNAs and drugs. Furthermore, we constructed an miRNA-regulated drug-pathway network and identified miRNAs and drugs that synergistically regulate key MG pathways and biological processes. We developed a drug repurposing strategy to identify 25 drug repurposing candidates for MG; several of these drugs, such as rituximab, adalimumab, sunitinib, and muromonab, have the potential to be novel MG treatment drugs. This study provides novel insight into the pathogenesis of MG and potential drug candidates for MG were identified. PMID:28075449

  10. A comparison of stapedial reflex fatigue with repetitive stimulation and single-fiber EMG in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Kramer, L D; Ruth, R A; Johns, M E; Sanders, D B

    1981-06-01

    The pattern of stapedial reflex fatigue in response to pulsed acoustic stimulation was measured and compared to results of repetitive nerve stimulation and single-fiber electromyography (EMG) in 89 patients with myasthenia gravis. Studies were also made on 22 patients with other neuromuscular disorders and 40 control subjects with no evidence of neuromuscular impairment. Stapedial reflex fatigue exceeded normal control values in 84% of the patients with myasthenia gravis. Repetitive stimulation and single-fiber EMG measurements were abnormal in 56% and 91% of this same population, respectively. Stapedial reflex abnormalities were most prevalent in patients with mild forms of myasthenia (predominantly ocular or oropharyngeal weakness). Of 22 nonmyasthenic patients with neuromuscular disease tested, 6 had abnormal stapedial reflex fatigue according to our normal values, indicating that this form of testing also detects other diseases of the motor unit. The measurement of stapedial reflex fatigue is painless, is easy to perform, and requires minimal patient cooperation. Due to the relatively high occurrence of abnormal stapedial reflex fatigue in patients with myasthenia gravis, this procedure appears to have considerable potential value in screening and monitoring patients for the presence of defects in neuromuscular transmission.

  11. Postoperative Respiratory Failure in a Patient with Undiagnosed Myastenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Özel, Funda; Altunkan, Ali Aydın; Azizoğlu, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease caused by the development of antibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. There is hypersensitivity against non-depolarizing muscle relaxants in these patients. Sugammadex eliminates the effects of steroid non-depolarizing muscle relaxants, such as rocuronium and vecuronium, by selectively encapsulating their molecules. In this case report, we present a case of recurarization and respiratory failure after the use of sugammadex and rocuronium in a patient with preoperatively undiagnosed myasthenia gravis. PMID:27366570

  12. Postoperative Respiratory Failure in a Patient with Undiagnosed Myastenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Özel, Funda; Altunkan, Ali Aydın; Azizoğlu, Mustafa

    2016-04-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease caused by the development of antibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. There is hypersensitivity against non-depolarizing muscle relaxants in these patients. Sugammadex eliminates the effects of steroid non-depolarizing muscle relaxants, such as rocuronium and vecuronium, by selectively encapsulating their molecules. In this case report, we present a case of recurarization and respiratory failure after the use of sugammadex and rocuronium in a patient with preoperatively undiagnosed myasthenia gravis.

  13. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery or transsternal thymectomy in the treatment of myasthenia gravis?

    PubMed

    Zahid, Imran; Sharif, Sumera; Routledge, Tom; Scarci, Marco

    2011-01-01

    A best evidence topic in thoracic surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was how video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) compares to median sternotomy in the surgical management of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG)? Overall 74 papers were found using the reported search, of which 15 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results are tabulated. We conclude that VATS produces equivalent postoperative mortality and complete stable remission (CSR) rates, with superior results in terms of hospital stay, operative blood loss and patient satisfaction at the expense of a doubling of operative time. Six studies comparing VATS and transsternal sternotomy in non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis (NTMG) patients found VATS to have lower operative blood loss (73.8±70.7 vs. 155.3±91.7 ml; P<0.05), reduced total hospital stay (5.6±2.2 vs. 8.1±3.0 days; P=0.008), whilst maintaining equivalent remission rates (33 vs. 44.7%; P=0.16) and mass of thymic tissue resection (37 vs. 34 g; P>0.05). One study comparing video-assisted thoracoscopic extended thymectomy to transsternal thymectomy in only thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis (T-MG) patients found equivalent CSR (11.3 vs. 8.7%, P=0.1090) at six-year follow-up. Thymoma recurrence rate (9.64%) was not significantly different (P=0.1523) between the two groups. Eight studies comparing VATS and transsternal approach in mixed T-MG and NTMG patients found a lower hospital stay (1.9±2.6 vs. 4.6±4.2 days, P<0.001), reduced need for postoperative medication (76.5 vs. 35.7%, P=0.022), lower intensive care unit stay (1.5 vs. 3.2 days, P=0.018), greater symptom improvement (100 vs. 77.9%, P=0.019) and better cosmetic satisfaction (100 vs. 83, P=0.042) with VATS. In concordance with NTMG and T-MG alone patient groups, VATS and transsternal methods had equivalent

  14. A randomised clinical trial comparing prednisone and azathioprine in myasthenia gravis. Results of the second interim analysis. Myasthenia Gravis Clinical Study Group.

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    From January 1983 to October 1990, 41 patients with generalised myasthenia gravis were randomly given either prednisone or azathioprine. The main goal was to record the time to the occurrence of the first episode of deterioration. During a mean follow-up of 30 months, 21 patients showed deterioration, 12 in the prednisone group and nine in the azathioprine group (p = 0.40). No difference was observed between the two groups in muscular score and functional grade, assessed at the end of each treatment year, or in tolerance. Treatment failure occurred in 17 patients, 12 in the prednisone group and five in the azathioprine group (p = 0.02); even after adjustment for imbalances in prognostic features, the failure rate remained 2.8 times higher in the prednisone group than in the azathioprine group (p = 0.5). In the patients in whom treatment failed, symptoms were initially more severe than in the others, but the combination of prednisone and azathioprine resulted in clinical improvement, consisting of remission or only minor deficits in half of the patients after two years of treatment. These findings indicate that azathioprine increases treatment response compared with prednisone, although no difference in the duration of improvement was demonstrated. Nevertheless, it appears that the most severe forms of the disease, often resistant to prednisone or azathioprine alone, could benefit from the combination of both drugs. PMID:8229026

  15. [Myasthenia gravis with the electrographic response of a myasthenic syndrome. Report of a case].

    PubMed

    Werneck, L C; Bittencourt, P C; Nóvak, E M

    1985-06-01

    It is reported a case of a 61 years-old man with progressive asthenia, disfagia, disphonia and diplopia, of variable intensity during the day, who had a very good response to anticolinesterasic drugs and corticosteroids. The repetitive stimulation tests at low frequency, resulted in large increment (maximum 275%) of the basal voltage after exercise. At high frequency he also had a large increment. Radiological and laboratory investigation three times in a seven-year period was normal, without evidence of any neoplasia. Muscle biopsy showed a type II muscle fiber atrophy. The repetitive stimulation tests repeated three times, was typical of myasthenia gravis in one occasion and in the other two, typical of myasthenic syndrome (increment of 418%). A discussion about other cases with similar findings is made after a review of the literature.

  16. Comparison of Conservative Treatment and Thymectomy on Myasthenia Gravis Outcome.

    PubMed

    Taioli, Emanuela; Paschal, Philip Kent; Liu, Bian; Kaufman, Andrew J; Flores, Raja M

    2016-12-01

    A systematic review of the literature was performed to compare long-term outcomes of thymectomy and medical treatment for generalized myasthenia gravis (MG). A Medline search through June 2015 resulted in 71 studies, 27 of which were selected (10,140 patients: 5,275 thymectomies, 4,865 medication). The pooled proportion of remission with thymectomy was 0.31 (95% CI, 0.25-0.37), with conservative treatment it was 0.15 (95% CI, 0.12-0.18). The odds ratio (OR) of remission with thymectomy in comparison with medication alone was 2.44 (95% CI, 1.91-3.12) overall and according to medication type and remission definitions. Thymectomy is superior to conservative treatment with solely medication on remission in MG. Copyright © 2016 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Longitudinal epitope mapping in MuSK myasthenia gravis: implications for disease severity.

    PubMed

    Huijbers, Maartje G; Vink, Anna-Fleur D; Niks, Erik H; Westhuis, Ruben H; van Zwet, Erik W; de Meel, Robert H; Rojas-García, Ricardo; Díaz-Manera, Jordi; Kuks, Jan B; Klooster, Rinse; Straasheijm, Kirsten; Evoli, Amelia; Illa, Isabel; van der Maarel, Silvère M; Verschuuren, Jan J

    2016-02-15

    Muscle weakness in MuSK myasthenia gravis (MG) is caused predominantly by IgG4 antibodies which block MuSK signalling and destabilize neuromuscular junctions. We determined whether the binding pattern of MuSK IgG4 antibodies change throughout the disease course ("epitope spreading"), and affect disease severity or treatment responsiveness. We mapped the MuSK epitopes of 255 longitudinal serum samples of 53 unique MuSK MG patients from three independent cohorts with ELISA. Antibodies against the MuSK Iglike-1 domain determine disease severity. Epitope spreading outside this domain did not contribute to disease severity nor to pyridostigmine responsiveness. This provides a rationale for epitope specific treatment strategies.

  18. [Evaluation of the vocal tract during Japanese vowel production in myasthenia gravis using magnetic resonance imaging].

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Yoshimasa; Yasukouchi, Hideoki; Tsuru, Eichi; Tanaka, Ryuji; Matsushima, Yasuyuki

    2004-10-01

    We report a 65-year-old Japanese female whose primary symptom of myasthenia gravis was related to rhinolalia aperta. The vocal tract during vowel production was evaluated using two-dimensional fast advanced spin echo (2D-FASE) MR images on supine and prone position. Before treatment, MRI on prone position demonstrated anterior shift of the palatine uvula and the tongue during Japanese "a", "u" and "o" production following the gravity, the former suggested the paresis of the sphenosalpingostaphylinus and elevator veli palatini muscle and the latter the paresis of the styloglossal and hypoglossal muscles. After treatment of steroid pulse and immune absorption, 2D-FASE images on prone position revealed the normalized configuration of the tongue and the soft palate during the Japanese five-vowel production. Kinetic MRI may be useful for evaluation of dynamics of the tongue and the soft palate.

  19. Specific adsorbents for myasthenia gravis autoantibodies using mutants of the muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptor extracellular domains.

    PubMed

    Lazaridis, K; Evaggelakou, P; Bentenidi, E; Sideri, A; Grapsa, E; Tzartos, S J

    2015-01-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is usually caused by antibodies against the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Plasmapheresis and immunoadsorption are often used to treat non-responsive patients. Antigen-specific immunoadsorption would remove only the pathogenic autoantibodies reducing side-effects. We expressed AChR extracellular domain mutants for use as specific adsorbents, and characterized them. Antigenicity and capacity for autoantibody binding were improved compared to the wild-type proteins. Adsorption appeared to be fast, as high plasma flow-rates could be applied. The bound autoantibodies were eluted repeatedly, allowing column reuse, without compromise in efficiency. Overall, the adsorbents were specific, efficient and suitable for use in therapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Caveolin-3 is aberrantly expressed in skeletal muscle cells in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Iwasa, Kazuo; Furukawa, Yutaka; Yoshikawa, Hiroaki; Yamada, Masahito

    2016-12-15

    Caveolin-3 is a muscle-specific membrane protein that localizes to the sarcolemma and T-tubule system. Caveolin-3 is needed for muscle repair and skeletal muscle development. The objective of this study was to compare caveolin-3 expression in myasthenia gravis (MG) and control muscles. Caveolin-3 was abnormally expressed in the MG muscle membrane, with partial loss of expression and overexpression in 5/15 and 10/15 patients, respectively. Caveolin-3 mRNA and protein levels were higher in MG than in control muscles, suggesting that partial deficiency of caveolin-3 is occasionally detected in MG muscle and that caveolin-3 overexpression may be required after MG muscle damage. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. MuSK autoantibodies in myasthenia gravis detected by cell based assay--A multinational study.

    PubMed

    Tsonis, A I; Zisimopoulou, P; Lazaridis, K; Tzartos, J; Matsigkou, E; Zouvelou, V; Mantegazza, R; Antozzi, C; Andreetta, F; Evoli, A; Deymeer, F; Saruhan-Direskeneli, G; Durmus, H; Brenner, T; Vaknin, A; Berrih-Aknin, S; Behin, A; Sharshar, T; De Baets, M; Losen, M; Martinez-Martinez, P; Kleopa, K A; Zamba-Papanicolaou, E; Kyriakides, T; Kostera-Pruszczyk, A; Szczudlik, P; Szyluk, B; Lavrnic, D; Basta, I; Peric, S; Tallaksen, C; Maniaol, A; Casasnovas Pons, C; Pitha, J; Jakubíkova, M; Hanisch, F; Tzartos, S J

    2015-07-15

    Seronegative myasthenia gravis (MG) presents a serious gap in MG diagnosis and understanding. We applied a cell based assay (CBA) for the detection of muscle specific kinase (MuSK) antibodies undetectable by radioimmunoassay. We tested 633 triple-seronegative MG patients' sera from 13 countries, detecting 13% as positive. MuSK antibodies were found, at significantly lower frequencies, in 1.9% of healthy controls and 5.1% of other neuroimmune disease patients, including multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica. The clinical data of the newly diagnosed MuSK-MG patients are presented. 27% of ocular seronegative patients were MuSK antibody positive. Moreover, 23% had thymic hyperplasia suggesting that thymic abnormalities are more common than believed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Increased skeletal muscle expression of the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone GRP78 in patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Iwasa, Kazuo; Nambu, Yoshinori; Motozaki, Yuko; Furukawa, Yutaka; Yoshikawa, Hiroaki; Yamada, Masahito

    2014-08-15

    In myasthenia gravis (MG), damage to neuromuscular junctions may induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in skeletal muscles. In the current study, skeletal muscles obtained from patients with MG exhibited upregulation of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) mRNA that was activated by ER stress. Furthermore, GRP78 mRNA expression was higher in patients with MG and myositis than in patients with non-myopathy. We also observed a significant positive correlation between GRP78 mRNA expression and GRP78 protein levels and between GRP78 mRNA expression and age of MG onset. Our findings suggest that muscle weakness in MG might be caused by both neuromuscular junction disruption and ER stress. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Nivolumab for the treatment of malignant melanoma in a patient with pre-existing myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Osamu; Yokota, Kenji; Atsuta, Naoki; Katsuno, Masahisa; Akiyama, Masashi; Ando, Yuichi

    2016-02-01

    A 79-year-old man with lymph node recurrence of malignant melanoma received nivolumab, an anti-programmed death 1 (PD-1) monoclonal antibody. He had pre-existing ocular myasthenia gravis (MG) and a continued small amount of corticosteroid. Grade 3 creatine phosphokinase elevation appeared after two doses of nivolumab, and the treatment was postponed until it improved to grade 1. After three doses of nivolumab, he experienced diplopia and facial muscle weakness which were consistent with an acute exacerbation of MG, and the symptoms relieved without additional treatment for MG. He achieved shrinkage of metastasis after ten doses of nivolumab. Although a case who died due to MG after administration of nivolumab was reported recently, pre-existing MG is considered not to be always a contraindication of nivolumab.

  4. Iodinated contrast agents in patients with myasthenia gravis: a retrospective cohort study.

    PubMed

    Rath, Jakob; Mauritz, Matthias; Zulehner, Gudrun; Hilger, Eva; Cetin, Hakan; Kasprian, Gregor; Auff, Eduard; Zimprich, Fritz

    2017-06-01

    Currently, it has not been satisfactorily established, whether modern low-osmolality iodinated contrast agents (ICAs) used in computed tomography (CT) studies are a risk factor for exacerbation of myasthenic symptoms. The rate of acute adverse events as well as delayed clinical worsening up to 30 days were analyzed in 73 patients with confirmed myasthenia gravis (MG) who underwent contrast-enhanced CT studies and compared to 52 patients who underwent unenhanced CT studies. One acute adverse event was documented. 12.3% of MG patients experienced a delayed exacerbation of symptoms after ICA administration. The rate of delayed severe exacerbation was higher in the contrast-enhanced group. Alternative causes for the exacerbation of MG-related symptoms were more likely than ICA administration in all cases. ICA administration for CT studies in MG patients should not be withheld if indicated, but patients particularly those with concomitant acute diseases should be carefully monitored for exacerbation of symptoms.

  5. Thymic expression of the main immunogenic region of titin in thymomatous myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    He, Z F; Lv, W; Qiao, J; Chen, Z M; Pang, L W; Chen, X J

    2010-01-01

    Antititin antibody occurs in the serum of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients with thymoma (MGT), and is a diagnostic marker for the disease. The mechanism that triggers MGT development is, however, unclear. This study evaluated the role of the main immunogenic region (MIR) of titin in MGT pathogenesis. Titin MIR antiserum (antibody titre 1:16) was obtained and an in situ immunohistochemical study of thymomatous tissue samples was performed. Strong immunostaining for titin MIR was observed on epithelial cell membranes in MGT patients, and the degree of immunostaining was directly proportional to the number of epithelial cells in thymomatous tissue. Serum antititin antibody levels were closely related to titin MIR levels in thymoma cells; however, titin MIR levels did not appear to be related to MG severity. Antititin antibody may be a good surrogate marker for thymoma but is probably not involved in the pathogenesis of MGT.

  6. Elevated plasma interleukin-17A in a subgroup of Myasthenia Gravis patients.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yanchen; Li, Hai-feng; Jiang, Bin; Li, Yao; Kaminski, Henry J; Kusner, Linda L

    2016-02-01

    To better define the role of IL-17A in myasthenia gravis (MG), we assessed plasma concentrations in 69 adult patients with MG prior to initiation of immunosuppression and monitored their clinical course for the subsequent 2years with quantitative MG scores (QMGS) and Osserman classification. IL-17A was higher among patients than healthy control subjects. Early-onset women without thymoma had greater elevations of IL-17A. Logistic regression analysis indicated that the absence of thymoma rather than women gender or early-onset was the significant determinant associated with IL-17A elevation. Elevated IL-17A levels were associated with more severe MG. In summary, IL-17A has role in the pathogenesis of a subgroup of patients with early-onset women with MG with greater disease severity who are most likely to have thymic hyperplasia. This subgroup may be a target for IL-17 treatments, which are under development.

  7. Validation of the Besta Neurological Institute rating scale for myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Antozzi, Carlo; Brenna, Greta; Baggi, Fulvio; Camera, Giorgia; Maggi, Lorenzo; Rezzani, Cristiana; Montomoli, Cristina; Mantegazza, Renato

    2016-01-01

    We validated the scale for myasthenia gravis (MG) developed at the Neurological Institute Foundation of Milan (INCB-MG scale). A total of 174 patients were evaluated with the INCB-MG and compared with the MG Composite (MGC) as the gold standard. Dimensionality, reliability, and validity of the INCB-MG scale were studied by principal component factor analysis, Cronbach alpha, and Pearson correlation coefficients; interobserver reliability was calculated by the weighted Cohen K coefficient. Generalized and bulbar INCB-MG subscales were unidimensional with excellent consistency; the INCB-MG and MGC scales were strongly correlated. Fatigability assessment was correlated with the INCB-MG generalized, bulbar, and respiratory subscales. The INCB-MG scale is a reliable tool to assess MG and is strongly correlated with the MGC. The INCB-MG scale is a valid tool for every day practice and should be further investigated for its application in clinical trials. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. The psychosocial impact of ptosis as a symptom of Myasthenia Gravis: a qualitative study.

    PubMed

    Richards, Hollie Sarah; Jenkinson, Elizabeth; Rumsey, Nichola; Harrad, Richard A

    2014-08-01

    The aim of this qualitative study was to investigate the psychosocial impact of ptosis as a symptom of Myasthenia Gravis (MG). Participants were recruited from a MG patient group on Facebook. 166 participants answered a series of open ended questions examining the impact of ptosis, and responses were analysed using Inductive Thematic Analysis, which revealed four main themes. The first highlighted the extent to which ptosis impacted negatively on psychosocial functioning. The second related to ways in which ptosis can be framed in a positive way, eg, as a believable symptom. The final two themes revealed the complex inter-relationships between functional and appearance-related impacts, and a desire from many participants for health care professionals to provide more support directly related to their ptosis. This study suggests that ptosis impacts in ways not currently recognized in literature and practice.

  9. Myasthenia gravis and myasthenic syndrome: simulation of twitch strength with or without therapy.

    PubMed

    Nigrovic, Vladimir; Amann, Anton; Bhatt, Shashi

    2005-12-01

    To examine the quantitative relationship between indirectly evoked twitch and decreases in the number of either postsynaptic receptors or acetylcholine molecules released by a single stimulus, we studied these variables in a computer-simulated model of neuromuscular transmission. Twitch strength decreased if the number of receptors decreased to below 30% of normal or the number of acetylcholine molecules released by a stimulus decreased to below 80%. Inhibition of acetylcholine hydrolysis to 50% restored twitch strength in the presence of a decreased number of receptors. However, twitch strength was more easily restored to normalcy by augmenting the release of acetylcholine, if the release was diminished by disease. The simulations mimic the clinically known therapeutic outcomes in certain disorders of neuromuscular transmission. These results provide useful quantitative insights into the relationship between acetylcholine receptors or the stimulus-induced release of acetylcholine and muscle function in myasthenia gravis or Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.

  10. Manubriotomy versus median sternotomy in thymectomy for myasthenia gravis. Evaluation of the pulmonary status.

    PubMed

    Granetzny, Andreas; Hatem, Ashraf; Shalaby, Alaa; Boseila, Ahmad

    2005-03-01

    In a prospective study, the effect of thymectomy on the pulmonary status of 50 consecutive patients with myasthenia gravis was evaluated over a time range of 4 years in the Chest and Chest surgery departments in the Cairo University Clinics and Thoracic Surgery Department of the Evangelisches Krankenhaus Duisburg-Nord. The patients were divided into two groups: Group I included 26 patients who underwent thymectomy through median sternotomy. The mean age of the patients in this group was 24.8+/-10.5 (5-41) years. They were 19 females and seven males. Thirteen of the patients were in Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) class IIa, and 12 were in class IIb, and one was in class IIIa. Group II included 24 patients who underwent thymectomy through manubriotomy. The mean age of the patients in this group was 25.2+/-9.2 (12-41) years. They were 13 females and 11 males. Eight of the patients were in MGFA class 2a, 14 were in class IIb, and two were in class IIIa. When compared to group I in which postoperative ventilation was required in 15.4% of patients, postoperative ventilation was not necessary in patients of group II with a statistically significant difference (P=0.04). The mean duration of stay in the intensive care unit was 111.4h in group II, and 169.7h in group I (P=0.03). The peak inspiratory flow rate and the forced vital capacity were also statistically significantly better in group II. There was no mortality in both groups, and the morbidity was higher in the median sternotomy group. Thymectomy through a manubriotomy, which allows extensive removal of ectopic thymic tissue in addition to the thymus through a less invasive approach than a full median sternotomy, is associated with a significantly smoother postoperative course and less pulmonary complications, when compared with thymectomy through a full median sternotomy.

  11. Muscle histopathology in myasthenia gravis with antibodies against MuSK and AChR.

    PubMed

    Martignago, S; Fanin, M; Albertini, E; Pegoraro, E; Angelini, C

    2009-02-01

    We compared myopathological features in myasthenia gravis (MG) patients with antibodies against AChR (seropositive) and muscle-specific tyrosin-kinase (MuSK). While the immunopathogenesis of seropositive MG is well known, there is a lack of pathological studies in anti-MuSK antibody-positive (MuSK+) MG. We analysed skeletal muscle biopsy features of 13 MG patients: 6 MuSK+ (all women) and 7 anti-AchR antibody-positive (AChR+) (2 women and 5 men). In our histopathological examination, we quantified the atrophy factor of both fibre types, and the extent of minicores, myofibrillar disarray, cytochrome c oxidase (COX)-negative fibres, mitochondrial aggregates and fibre type grouping. Mean muscle fibre atrophy factor was higher in AChR+ MG than MuSK+ MG, both in type I fibres (494 vs. 210) and particularly in type II fibres (1023 vs. 300). Fibre type grouping was observed in AChR+ MG whereas COX-negative fibres were common in MuSK+ MG. Bulbar muscles were more severely affected in MuSK+ MG and the disease was more severe: the onset was usually earlier (39 years) with Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America score III in MuSK+ MG, and score II was found in AChR+ MG (62 years). Muscle biopsies of MuSK+ MG show myopathic signs with prominent mitochondrial abnormalities, whereas neurogenic features and atrophy are more frequently found in AChR+ MG. The mitochondrial impairment could explain the oculo-bulbar involvement in MuSK+ MG.

  12. The Effect of Immunonutrition on the Postoperative Complications in Thymoma with Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Yanzhong; Cai, Hongfei; Wu, Lihui

    2016-01-01

    Object. To test whether preoperative immunonutrition is efficacious in reducing postoperative complications in patients of thymoma with myasthenia gravis (MG). Material and Methods. A total of 244 patients operated on for thymoma with myasthenia gravis were prospectively assigned to two groups, each receiving seven-day preoperative and seven-day postoperative nutrition. The patients in immunonutrition group were given oral immunonutrition (IN). The patients in control group received oral standard nutrition. Immunonutritional and inflammatory biomarkers (IgA, IgG, IgM, CD3t, CD4t, CD8t, CD4t/CD8t ratio, NK-cell, prealbumin, albumin, white blood cells counts, and C-reactive protein) and clinical variables (age, gender, BMI, performance status, type of thymoma, type of MG, operative time, pathology, operative approach, postoperative complications, quantity of drainage, hospital stays) were examined. Results. A significant reduction in the length of hospital stay, quantity of drainage, and postoperative complications was observed in the IN group (p < 0.05). An increase in the level of IgA, IgG, IgM, CD3+T, CD4+T, CD4+T/CD8+T, WBC, CRP, and NK-cell in the IN group was observed after thymectomy, while a decrease was seen with regard to prealbumin and albumin (p < 0.05). Conclusion. Preoperative immunonutrition support is effective in reducing postoperative complications in patients of thymoma with MG. It helps to lower the risk of postoperative infectious complications and hospital stays. PMID:27956763

  13. Aberrant decrease of microRNA19b regulates TSLP expression and contributes to Th17 cells development in myasthenia gravis related thymomas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhongkui; Chen, Yuping; Xu, Shengjie; Yang, Yanhua; Wei, Dongning; Wang, Wei; Huang, Xusheng

    2015-11-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an organ-specific autoimmune disease. The imbalance of T helper type 17 cells (Th17) plays a key role in the pathogenesis of thymomatous MG. But the regulatory mechanism for Th17 cell development in MG-related thymoma remains undefined. Here we demonstrated that thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is significantly decreased in thymomas. We also proved that TSLP was post-trancriptionally regulated by microRNA-19b. The expression of microRNA-19b was negatively correlated with the expression of TSLP mRNA and protein in thymomas. This study indicated that the elevation of microRNA-19b suppressed TSLP expression and then influenced T cell development in thymomatous MG. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Anesthetic Management of a Patient With Antimuscle-Specific Kinase Antibody-Positive Myasthenia Gravis Undergoing an Open Cholecystectomy: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Akatsu, Masahiko; Ikegami, Yukihiro; Tase, Choichiro; Nishikawa, Koichi

    2017-03-15

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the production of antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor, muscle-specific kinase (MuSK), or other proteins at the neuromuscular junction. MG with antibodies against MuSK (MuSK-MG) has been described recently. Here, we report the first case of anesthetic management of a patient with MuSK-MG undergoing an open cholecystectomy. In our case, propofol and remifentanil-based anesthesia were used for successful management without using muscle relaxants. Patients with MuSK-MG have predominantly ocular, bulbar, and respiratory symptoms that may increase the risk of aspiration. Anesthesiologists need to pay attention to perioperative respiratory failure and respiratory crisis.

  15. Association of the DNMT3B -579G>T Polymorphism with Risk of Thymomas in Patients with Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Coppedè, Fabio; Ricciardi, Roberta; Denaro, Maria; De Rosa, Anna; Provenzano, Carlo; Bartoccioni, Emanuela; Baggiani, Angelo; Lucchi, Marco; Mussi, Alfredo; Migliore, Lucia

    2013-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests a contribution of epigenetic processes in promoting cancer and autoimmunity. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated, in approximately 80% of the patients, by antibodies against the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR+). Moreover, epithelial tumours (thymomas) are present in about 10-20% of the patients, and there is indication that changes in DNA methylation might contribute to the risk and progression of thymomas. However, the role of epigenetics in MG is still not completely clarified. In the present study we investigated if a common polymorphism (-579G>T: rs1569686) in the promoter of the DNMT3B gene coding for the DNA methyltransferase 3B, an enzyme that mediates DNA methylation, increases the risk to develop MG or MG-associated thymomas. The study polymorphism was selected based on recent reports and a literature meta-analysis suggesting association with increased risk of various types of cancer. We screened 324 AChR+ MG patients (140 males and 184 females, mean age 56.0 ± 16.5 years) and 735 healthy matched controls (294 males and 441 females, mean age 57.3 ± 15.6 years). 94 of the total MG patients had a thymoma. While there was no association with the whole cohort of MG patients, we found a statistically significant association of the DNMT3B -579T allele (OR = 1.51; 95% CI=1.1-2.1, P = 0.01) and the TT homozygous genotype (OR = 2.59; 95% CI=1.4-4.9, P = 0.006) with the risk of thymoma. No association was observed in MG patients without thymoma, even after stratification into clinical subtypes. Present results suggest that the DNMT3B -579T allele might contribute to the risk of developing thymoma in MG patients, particularly in homozygous TT subjects. PMID:24260492

  16. Altered active zones, vesicle pools, nerve terminal conductivity, and morphology during experimental MuSK myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Patel, Vishwendra; Oh, Anne; Voit, Antanina; Sultatos, Lester G; Babu, Gopal J; Wilson, Brenda A; Ho, Mengfei; McArdle, Joseph J

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate reduced motor-nerve function during autoimmune muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG). To further understand the basis of motor-nerve dysfunction during MuSK-MG, we immunized female C57/B6 mice with purified rat MuSK ectodomain. Nerve-muscle preparations were dissected and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) studied electrophysiologically, morphologically, and biochemically. While all mice produced antibodies to MuSK, only 40% developed respiratory muscle weakness. In vitro study of respiratory nerve-muscle preparations isolated from these affected mice revealed that 78% of NMJs produced endplate currents (EPCs) with significantly reduced quantal content, although potentiation and depression at 50 Hz remained qualitatively normal. EPC and mEPC amplitude variability indicated significantly reduced number of vesicle-release sites (active zones) and reduced probability of vesicle release. The readily releasable vesicle pool size and the frequency of large amplitude mEPCs also declined. The remaining NMJs had intermittent (4%) or complete (18%) failure of neurotransmitter release in response to 50 Hz nerve stimulation, presumably due to blocked action potential entry into the nerve terminal, which may arise from nerve terminal swelling and thinning. Since MuSK-MG-affected muscles do not express the AChR γ subunit, the observed prolongation of EPC decay time was not due to inactivity-induced expression of embryonic acetylcholine receptor, but rather to reduced catalytic activity of acetylcholinesterase. Muscle protein levels of MuSK did not change. These findings provide novel insight into the pathophysiology of autoimmune MuSK-MG.

  17. Altered Active Zones, Vesicle Pools, Nerve Terminal Conductivity, and Morphology during Experimental MuSK Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Vishwendra; Oh, Anne; Voit, Antanina; Sultatos, Lester G.; Babu, Gopal J.; Wilson, Brenda A.; Ho, Mengfei; McArdle, Joseph J.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate reduced motor-nerve function during autoimmune muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) myasthenia gravis (MG). To further understand the basis of motor-nerve dysfunction during MuSK-MG, we immunized female C57/B6 mice with purified rat MuSK ectodomain. Nerve-muscle preparations were dissected and neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) studied electrophysiologically, morphologically, and biochemically. While all mice produced antibodies to MuSK, only 40% developed respiratory muscle weakness. In vitro study of respiratory nerve-muscle preparations isolated from these affected mice revealed that 78% of NMJs produced endplate currents (EPCs) with significantly reduced quantal content, although potentiation and depression at 50 Hz remained qualitatively normal. EPC and mEPC amplitude variability indicated significantly reduced number of vesicle-release sites (active zones) and reduced probability of vesicle release. The readily releasable vesicle pool size and the frequency of large amplitude mEPCs also declined. The remaining NMJs had intermittent (4%) or complete (18%) failure of neurotransmitter release in response to 50 Hz nerve stimulation, presumably due to blocked action potential entry into the nerve terminal, which may arise from nerve terminal swelling and thinning. Since MuSK-MG-affected muscles do not express the AChR γ subunit, the observed prolongation of EPC decay time was not due to inactivity-induced expression of embryonic acetylcholine receptor, but rather to reduced catalytic activity of acetylcholinesterase. Muscle protein levels of MuSK did not change. These findings provide novel insight into the pathophysiology of autoimmune MuSK-MG. PMID:25438154

  18. Acute Respiratory Failure Induced by Magnesium Replacement in a 62-Year-Old Woman with Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Singh, Paramveer; Idowu, Olakunle; Malik, Imrana; Nates, Joseph L

    2015-10-01

    Magnesium is known to act at the neuromuscular junction by inhibiting the presynaptic release of acetylcholine and desensitizing the postsynaptic membrane. Because of these effects, magnesium has been postulated to potentiate neuromuscular weakness. We describe the case of a 62-year-old woman with myasthenia gravis and a metastatic thymoma who was admitted to our intensive care unit for management of a myasthenic crisis. The patient's neuromuscular weakness worsened in association with standard intravenous magnesium replacement, and the exacerbated respiratory failure necessitated intubation, mechanical ventilation, and an extended stay in the intensive care unit. The effect of magnesium replacement on myasthenia gravis patients has not been well documented, and we present this case to increase awareness and stimulate research. In addition, we discuss the relevant medical literature.

  19. T-lymphocyte-rich Thymoma and Myasthenia Gravis in a Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)☆

    PubMed Central

    Allan, K.; Masters, N.; Rivers, S.; Berry, K.; Routh, A.; Lamm, C.

    2014-01-01

    Summary A 10-year-old captive male Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) presented with acute onset collapse, vomiting and dyspnoea, preceded by a 6-month period of progressive muscle wasting. Following humane destruction, post-mortem examination revealed a large multilobulated mass in the cranial mediastinum, which was diagnosed as a T-lymphocyte-rich thymoma with the aid of immunohistochemistry. Retrospective serology for acetylcholine receptor antibodies (titre 3.90 nmol/l) confirmed a diagnosis of thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis. Thymomas are reported rarely in wild carnivores, but when detected they appear to be similar in morphology to those seen in domestic carnivores and may also be accompanied by paraneoplastic syndromes. The clinical signs of myasthenia gravis in the tiger were consistent with those reported in cats and dogs and the condition is proposed as an important differential diagnosis for generalized weakness in captive Felidae. PMID:24444818

  20. Benefits from sustained-release pyridostigmine bromide in myasthenia gravis: results of a prospective multicenter open-label trial.

    PubMed

    Sieb, Jörn Peter; Köhler, Wolfgang

    2010-11-01

    For more than 50 years the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor pyridostigmine bromide has been the drug of choice in the symptomatic therapy for myasthenia gravis. The sustained-release dosage form of pyridostigmine (SR-Pyr) is only available in a limited number of countries (e.g. in the United States and Germany). Astonishingly, the therapeutic usefulness of SR-Pyr has not yet been evaluated. In this non-interventional prospective open-label trial, 72 patients with stable myasthenia gravis were switched from instant-release dosage forms of pyridostigmine bromide to SR-Pyr. The results from the 37 patients younger than 60 years were separately analyzed. The initial daily dose of SR-Pyr was 288.1 ± 171.0mg. The drug switch was unproblematic in all patients. The number of daily doses was significantly reduced from 4.3 to 3.6 (p=0.011). The switch to SR-Pyr ameliorated the total quantified myasthenia gravis (QMG) score from 0.9 ± 0.5 to 0.6 ± 0.4 (p<0.001) in all patients and in the younger subgroup. This was accompanied by a significant improvement in the quality of life parameters. The health status valued by EuroQoL questionnaire improved from 0.626 ± 0.286 to 0.782 ± 0.186 (p<0.001). After switching to SR-Pyr, 28 adverse reactions disappeared and 24 adverse reactions occurred less frequent or weaker, however, 17 new adverse reactions were documented. Our results support the usefulness of SR-Pyr in an individualized therapeutic regimen to improve quality of life regardless of the patient's age in myasthenia gravis. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Concurrent massive breast enlargement, myasthenia gravis and dermopathy as manifestations of penicillamine toxicity in a Wilson's disease patient.

    PubMed

    Tan, S S; Latif, S Abdul; Poh, W Y

    2012-06-01

    Penicillamine toxicity in Wilson's disease has been well reported but rarely seen now as newer agents are being used. We present a case who developed multiple rare complications of Penicillamine concurrently. Our patient is one of three siblings on Penicillamine, she was the only one who developed massive breast enlargement four months after commencing Penicillamine therapy, as well as dermatological adverse reactions and myasthenia gravis three more months later. All the adverse effects improved soon after substitution of the offending agent with Trientine.

  2. Comparative effects of plasma exchange and pyridostigmine on respiratory muscle strength and breathing pattern in patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed Central

    Goti, P.; Spinelli, A.; Marconi, G.; Duranti, R.; Gigliotti, F.; Pizzi, A.; Scano, G.

    1995-01-01

    BACKGROUND--Pyridostigmine, an acetylcholinesterase antagonist, is useful in improving respiratory function in patients with myasthenia gravis. More recently, plasma exchange has been employed in myasthenia gravis because it acts presumably by removal of circulating antibodies against acetylcholine receptors. Surprisingly, comparative data on the effects of pyridostigmine and plasma exchange on lung volumes, respiratory muscle strength, and ventilatory control system in patients with myasthenia gravis are lacking. METHODS--Nine consecutive patients with grade IIb myasthenia gravis were studied under control conditions and after a therapeutic dose of pyridostigmine. In a second study the patients were re-evaluated a few days after a cycle of plasma exchange, before taking pyridostigmine. In each subject pulmonary volumes, inspiratory (MIP) and expiratory (MEP) muscle force, and respiratory muscle strength, calculated as average MIP and MEP as percentages of their predicted values, were measured. The ventilatory control system was evaluated in terms of volume (tidal volume, VT) and time (inspiratory time, TI, and total time, TTOT) components of the respiratory cycle. Mean inspiratory flow (VT/TI)--that is, the "driving"--and TI/TTOT--that is, the "timing"--components of ventilation were also measured. RESULTS--In each patient treatment relieved weakness and tiredness, and dyspnoea grade was reduced with plasma exchange. Following treatment, vital capacity (VC) increased on average by 9.7% with pyridostigmine and by 14% with plasma exchange, and MIP increased by 18% and 26%, respectively. In addition, with plasma exchange but not with pyridostigmine forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) increased by 16% and MEP increased by 24.5%, while functional residual capacity (FRC) decreased a little (6.8%). The change in respiratory muscle strength was related to change in VC (r2 = 0.48). With plasma exchange, VT increased by 18.6% and VT/TI increased by 13.5%, while

  3. Myasthenia gravis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Medicines that may be prescribed include: Neostigmine or pyridostigmine to improve communication between the nerves and muscles ... improve vision. Surgery may also be recommended to treat your eye muscles. Physical therapy can help maintain ...

  4. Myasthenia Gravis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Strategy Current Research Research Funded by NINDS Basic Neuroscience Clinical Research Translational Research Research at NINDS Focus ... Resources Current Research Research Funded by NINDS Basic Neuroscience Clinical Research Translational Research Research at NINDS Focus ...

  5. Myasthenia Gravis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Association National Office - 222 S. Riverside Plaza Suite 1500 Chicago IL Chicago, IL 60606 mda@mdausa.org http://www.mda. ... Association National Office - 222 S. Riverside Plaza Suite 1500 Chicago IL Chicago, IL 60606 mda@mdausa.org http:// ...

  6. Direct Proof of the In Vivo Pathogenic Role of the AChR Autoantibodies from Myasthenia Gravis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kordas, Gregory; Lagoumintzis, George; Sideris, Sotirios; Poulas, Konstantinos; Tzartos, Socrates J.

    2014-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that the autoantibodies (autoAbs) against muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients are the main pathogenic factor in MG; however, this belief has not yet been confirmed with direct observations. Although animals immunized with AChR or injected with anti-AChR monoclonal Abs, or with crude human MG Ig fractions exhibit MG symptoms, the pathogenic role of isolated anti-AChR autoAbs, and, more importantly, the absence of pathogenic factor(s) in the autoAb-depleted MG sera has not yet been shown by in vivo studies. Using recombinant extracellular domains of the human AChR α and β subunits, we have isolated autoAbs from the sera of four MG patients. The ability of these isolated anti-subunit Abs and of the Ab-depleted sera to passively transfer experimental autoimmune MG in Lewis rats was investigated. We found that the isolated anti-subunit Abs were at least as efficient as the corresponding whole sera or whole Ig in causing experimental MG. Abs to both α- and β-subunit were pathogenic although the anti-α-subunit were much more efficient than the anti-β-subunit ones. Interestingly, the autoAb-depleted sera were free of pathogenic activity. The later suggests that the myasthenogenic potency of the studied anti-AChR MG sera is totally due to their anti-AChR autoAbs, and therefore selective elimination of the anti-AChR autoAbs from MG patients may be an efficient therapy for MG. PMID:25259739

  7. Late Onset Myasthenia Gravis Is Associated with HLA DRB1*15:01 in the Norwegian Population

    PubMed Central

    Maniaol, Angelina H.; Elsais, Ahmed; Lorentzen, Åslaug R.; Owe, Jone F.; Viken, Marte K.; Sæther, Hanne; Flåm, Siri T.; Bråthen, Geir; Kampman, Margitta T.; Midgard, Rune; Christensen, Marte; Rognerud, Anna; Kerty, Emilia; Gilhus, Nils Erik; Tallaksen, Chantal M. E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Acquired myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare antibody-mediated autoimmune disease caused by impaired neuromuscular transmission, leading to abnormal muscle fatigability. The aetiology is complex, including genetic risk factors of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex and unknown environmental factors. Although associations between the HLA complex and MG are well established, not all involved components of the HLA predisposition to this heterogeneous disease have been revealed. Well-powered and comprehensive HLA analyses of subgroups in MG are warranted, especially in late onset MG. Methodology/Principal Findings This case-control association study is of a large population-based Norwegian cohort of 369 MG patients and 651 healthy controls. We performed comprehensive genotyping of four classical HLA loci (HLA-A, -B, -C and -DRB1) and showed that the DRB1*15:01 allele conferred the strongest risk in late onset MG (LOMG; onset ≥60years) (OR 2.38, pc7.4×10−5). DRB1*13:01 was found to be a protective allele for both early onset MG (EOMG) and LOMG (OR 0.31, pc 4.71×10−4), a finding not previously described. No significant association was found to the DRB1*07:01 allele (pnc = 0.18) in a subset of nonthymomatous anti-titin antibody positive LOMG as reported by others. HLA-B*08 was mapped to give the strongest contribution to EOMG, supporting previous studies. Conclusion The results from this study provide important new information concerning the susceptibility of HLA alleles in Caucasian MG, with highlights on DRB1*15:01 as being a major risk allele in LOMG. PMID:22590574

  8. Regulation of acetylcholine receptor alpha subunit variants in human myasthenia gravis. Quantification of steady-state levels of messenger RNA in muscle biopsy using the polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed Central

    Guyon, T; Levasseur, P; Truffault, F; Cottin, C; Gaud, C; Berrih-Aknin, S

    1994-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease mediated by auto-antibodies that attack the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR). To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the decrease in AChR levels at the neuromuscular junction, we investigated the regulation of AChR expression by analyzing mRNA of the two AChR alpha subunit isoforms (P3A+ and P3A-) in muscle samples from myasthenic patients relative to controls. We applied a quantitative method based on reverse transcription of total RNA followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using an internal standard we constructed by site-directed mutagenesis. An increased expression of mRNA coding for the alpha subunit of the AChR isoforms was observed in severely affected patients (P < 0.003 versus controls) but not in moderately affected patients, independently of the anti-AChR antibody titer. Study of mRNA precursor levels indicates a higher expression in severely affected patients compared to controls, suggesting an enhanced rate of transcription of the message coding for the alpha subunit isoforms in these patients. We have also reported that mRNA encoding both isoforms are expressed at an approximate 1:1 ratio in controls and in patients. We have thus identified a new biological parameter correlated with disease severity, and provide evidence of a compensatory mechanism to balance the loss of AChR in human myasthenia gravis, which is probably triggered only above a certain degree of AChR loss. Images PMID:8040257

  9. Resolution of Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea after Treatment of Anti-Muscle Kinase Receptor-Positive Myasthenia Gravis Despite 60-Pound Weight Gain

    PubMed Central

    Morgenstern, Michael; Singas, Effie; Zleik, Bashar; Greenberg, Harly

    2014-01-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) may be caused by reduced pharyngeal dilator muscle activity. We report a patient with anti-muscle kinase receptor MG with severe OSA and hypoventilation that resolved upon successful treatment of MG despite a 60-lb weight gain. Citation: Morgenstern M, Singas E, Zleik B, Greenberg H. Resolution of severe obstructive sleep apnea after treatment of anti-muscle kinase receptor-positive myasthenia gravis despite 60-pound weight gain. J Clin Sleep Med 2014;10(7):813-814. PMID:25024662

  10. [Intractable Myasthenia Gravis Accompanied with Thymoma;Report of a Case].

    PubMed

    Naomi, Akira; Oyamatsu, Yoshinori; Narita, Kunio; Nakayama, Masato; Maeda, Shoki

    2016-09-01

    A 46-year-old female visited a hospital due to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and then her chest computed tomography revealed an abnormal shadow in the upper mediastinum. Four months later,she complained muscle weakness with her limbs, dysphagia, and ptosis of her eyelids. Total thymectomy was performed through a median sternotomy for mass lesion, which was pathologically proven to be type B1 thymoma. Postoperative myasthenia gravis (MG) crisis, which led to respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation, developed and laboratory tests showed elevated serum anti-AChR Ab(130 nmol/l), antinuclear antibody( ×640 serum dilution, speckled pattern) and anti-RNP Ab(129.2 U/ml). For MG crisis, steroid pulse therapy, immunosuppressive therapy and immuno absorption were performed, and she successfully weaned from mechanical ventilaton on 41 post operative day (POD). Some factors such as inapparent mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) and Anti RNP antibody were thought to be a cause for having any difficulty in MG treatment in the present case.

  11. Effect of Gender, Disease Duration and Treatment on Muscle Strength in Myasthenia Gravis

    PubMed Central

    Citirak, Gülsenay; Cejvanovic, Sanja; Andersen, Henning; Vissing, John

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The aim of this observational, cross-sectional study was to quantify the potential presence of muscle weakness among patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG). The influence of gender, treatment intensity and disease duration on muscle strength and disease progression was also assessed. Methods Muscle strength was tested in 8 muscle groups by manual muscle testing and by hand-held dynamometry in 107 patients with gMG and 89 healthy age- and gender-matched controls. Disease duration, severity and treatment history were reviewed and compared with muscle strength. Results Patients had reduced strength in all tested muscle group compared to control subjects (p<0.05). Women with gMG were stronger than men (decrease in strength 22.6% vs. 32.7% in men, P<0.05). Regional differences in muscle weakness were also evident, with proximal muscles being more affected. Interestingly, muscle strength did not correlate with disease duration and treatment intensity. Conclusions The results of this study show that in patients with gMG; 1) there is significant muscle weakness, 2) muscle weakness is more pronounced in men than women, 3) shoulder abductors, hip flexors, and neck muscles are the most affected muscle groups and 4) disease duration or treatment intensity alone are not predictors of loss of muscle strength in gMG. PMID:27741232

  12. Prevalence and clinical aspects of immigrants with myasthenia gravis in northern Europe.

    PubMed

    Boldingh, Marion Ingeborg; Maniaol, Angelina; Brunborg, Cathrine; Dekker, Luuk; Lipka, Alexander; Harmen Niks, Erik; Verschuuren, Jan; Tallaksen, Chantal

    2017-06-01

    Multiethnic studies can provide etiological clues toward the genetic and environmental influence of a disease. The aim of this study was to determine prevalence and clinical features of myasthenia gravis (MG) in immigrants compared with native patients in 2 population-based cohorts. This cross-sectional study included 843 MG patients (375 from Norway and 468 from the Netherlands). Ethnic background was defined by questionnaires. Among the participating MG patients, 163 of 843 (19.3%) were first or second generation immigrants, mainly from Europe, Asia, and South America. No marked prevalence differences were found between immigrants and native ethnic groups. MG with muscle specific kinase antibodies and MG with thymoma were more frequent in Asian MG immigrants compared with other ethnic groups (8% vs. 0-4%; P < 0.001 and 21% vs. 6-10%; P < 0.001), respectively. Our findings indicate that Asian immigrant MG patients carry genetic factors or environmental/lifestyle factors which contribute to their specific phenotype, even after migration. Muscle Nerve 55: 819-827, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Serological diagnostics in myasthenia gravis based on novel assays and recently identified antigens.

    PubMed

    Zisimopoulou, Paraskevi; Brenner, Talma; Trakas, Nikolaos; Tzartos, Socrates J

    2013-07-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most common immune-mediated disorder of the neuromuscular junction with a prevalence of 200-300/million population and its study has established paradigms for exploring other antibody-mediated diseases. Most MG patients (~85%) have autoantibodies against the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR-MG), whereas about 6% of MG patients have autoantibodies against the muscle specific kinase (MuSK-MG). Until recently no autoantibodies could be detected in the remaining patients (seronegative MG). Probably, the most sensitive assays for the detection of the autoantibodies in MG sera have been the radioimmunoprecipitation assays (RIPA) for both types of MG. However, with recent novel methods, not yet used routinely, it has been shown that the "seronegative" MG group includes patients with low levels of autoantibodies or of low affinity, against the known autoantigens, or even with antibodies to recently identified autoantigens. Since MG is heterogeneous in terms of pathophysiology, depending on the autoantigen targeted and on other factors (e.g. presence of thymoma), the serological tests are crucial in verifying the initial clinical diagnosis, whereas frequent measurement of autoantibody levels is important in monitoring the course of the disease and the efficacy of treatment. In addition, in AChR-MG, autoantibodies against the muscle proteins titin and ryanodin receptor have been identified; these antibodies are useful for the classification of MG, indicating the concomitant presence of thymoma, and as prognostic markers. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Thymectomy for Myasthenia Gravis: A 10-year Review of Cases at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Muhammed, Julieana; Chen, Chui Yin; Wan Hitam, Wan Hazabbah; Ghazali, Mohamad Ziyadi

    2016-07-01

    A thymectomy is considered effective for patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). Although a few studies have described the role of a thymectomy in the treatment of MG in Asians countries, there are no published data on the application of this surgical approach for MG in Malaysia. We aimed to describe the clinical outcomes of MG patients who underwent a thymectomy and the factors affecting these outcomes. This was a retrospective study involving 16 patients with MG who underwent a thymectomy at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) from January 2002 until December 2012, with a follow-up period ranging from 3-120 months. The study consisted of 16 patients aged 22-78 years, 10 of whom were males. The overall remission/improvement rate was 87.5%, and the rate of clinical outcomes classified as unchanged/worsened was 12.5%. Thymomamatous or non-thymomamatous MG, histology features, Osserman stage and the duration of follow-up were not significant prognostic factors. Post-operative mortality was 6.2% (1 of 16 patients died of septic shock). A thymectomy seems to be an effective treatment for MG, with low surgical morbidity. Patients with a lower Osserman stage and those with/without thymomas had favourable outcomes.

  15. Electrocardiography as the First Step for the Further Examination of Cardiac Involvement in Myasthenia Gravis.

    PubMed

    Kato, Takao; Hirose, Sayako; Kumagai, Shogo; Ozaki, Akihiko; Matsumoto, Sadayuki; Inoko, Moriaki

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac involvement of myasthenia gravis (MG) accompanies a poor prognosis. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between ECG abnormality and cardiac involvement. Of 178 patients diagnosed with MG between 2001 and 2013 at our hospital, we retrospectively analyzed consecutive 58 patients who underwent both ECG and echocardiography and without underlying cardiovascular disease. ECG abnormalities were defined by computer-assigned Minnesota-codes. Cardiac damage was defined as either (1) ejection fraction (EF) <55% on echocardiography or (2) elevated E/e', the ratio of mitral velocity to early diastolic velocity of the mitral annulus >8 on echocardiography. Thirty-three patients (56.8%) had ECG abnormality. An elevated E/e' was observed in patients with ECG abnormality compared to those without ECG abnormality (11.2 ± 3.2, 8.7 ± 2.2, resp., p = 0.03). Among patients with ECG abnormality, 14 of 15 patients showed cardiac damage. Among patients without ECG abnormality, 6 of 33 patients showed cardiac damage (p = 0.003). Reduced EF was observed in five patients (8.6%) with ECG abnormality and none in patients without ECG abnormality. ECG may aid as the first step for the further examination of cardiac damage in patients with MG.

  16. Prescription profile of pyridostigmine use in a population of patients with myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Machado-Alba, Jorge Enrique; Calvo-Torres, Luis Felipe; Gaviria-Mendoza, Andrés; Augusto MejíA-Vélez, César

    2017-02-18

    We determined the pyridostigmine prescription pattern in a population of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted by using a prescription database of 3.5 million individuals from which patients who had been diagnosed with MG and for whom pyridostigmine had been prescribed were selected. A total of 306 outpatients with MG were found, and 258 were receiving pyridostigmine (mean age 53.0 ± 18.0 years). The calculated prevalence of MG was 86.7 cases per million persons. Monotherapy was used by 53.1% of the patients, prednisolone was used by 21.7%, and 30.2% used other immunomodulators. Medications for other comorbidities were taken by 74.8% of the patients, and 43.4% had prescriptions that could potentially trigger worsening symptoms. Pyridostigmine is being prescribed at doses close to the defined daily doses predominantly as monotherapy. A high proportion of patients were also prescribed a medication that could aggravate their condition, including some that can trigger a myasthenic crisis. Muscle Nerve, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Determination of neostigmine and pyridostigmine in the urine of patients with myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Nowell, P. T.; Scott, Carol A.; Wilson, A.

    1962-01-01

    A method has been described for the estimation of neostigmine and pyridostigmine in urine by ion exchange treatment and colorimetric estimation of the blue complex produced when either of the drugs is made to react with bromophenol blue. Urine containing 2 μg/ml. or more of neostigmine or 3 μg/ml. or more of pyridostigmine can be quantitatively estimated. After intramuscular injection of neostigmine to patients with myasthenia gravis, up to 67% of the drug is excreted, whilst after oral administration less than 5% is excreted. When pyridostigmine is given by mouth, the amount of drug excreted in the urine varies between approximately 2 and 16%. It has been established by chromatographic analysis that the blue complexes formed under these conditions are due only to neostigmine and pyridostigmine respectively and that the quantitative estimation described is a true measure of the amount of these drugs excreted in the urine. The significance of these results is discussed in relation to the absorption and metabolism of the two drugs. PMID:14480648

  18. Preoperative Anxiety in Patients With Myasthenia Gravis and Risk for Myasthenic Crisis After Extended Transsternal Thymectomy

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Jianyong; Su, Chunhua; Lun, Xueping; Liu, Weibing; Yang, Weiling; Zhong, Beilong; Zhu, Haoshuai; Lei, Yiyan; Luo, Honghe; Chen, Zhenguang

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A thymectomy can ameliorate the symptoms of myasthenia gravis (MG) and prevent the progression of ocular MG (OMG) to generalized MG (GMG). However, postoperative myasthenic crisis (POMC) is a serious post-thymectomy complication. Preoperative anxiety (POA) is common but typically neglected in MG patients. The association of POA with POMC has not yet been examined. From June 2007 to December 2013, 541 cases of MG were admitted to the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China). All cases underwent extended transsternal thymectomy (ETT). The clinical and pathological characteristics of these patients, including POA and POMC, were analyzed. A total of 179 patients experienced POA and 67 patients experienced POMC. Patients with POA were more likely to have POMC, a thymoma, and an ectopic thymus. Univariate analysis showed that POMC correlated with POA, presence of an ectopic thymus, dose of pyridostigmine bromide (PYR), presence of a thymoma, MGFA stage, preoperative myasthenic crisis, and postoperative pneumonia. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the independent risk factors for POMC were POA, preoperative myasthenic crisis, higher dose of PYR, and postoperative pneumonia. Our results suggest that clinicians should consider the risk factors for POMC—especially preoperative anxiety—before performing a thymectomy in patients with MG. PMID:26962777

  19. Double filtration plasmapheresis benefits myasthenia gravis patients through an immunomodulatory action.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Liu, Junfeng; Wang, Hongna; Zhao, Chongbo; Lu, Jiahong; Xue, Jun; Gu, Yong; Hao, Chuanming; Lin, Shanyan; Lv, Chuanzheng

    2014-09-01

    Double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP) is used to treat myasthenia gravis (MG). However, the definite mechanism is unclear. This study investigated whether DFPP improves MG through an immunomodulatory action. Thirty-five MG patients were randomly divided into two treatment groups: Group A (DFPP combined with oral methylprednisolone) and Group B (oral methylprednisolone alone). Their antibody levels, clinical scores, cytokine levels, and CD4(+)CD25(high)Foxp3(+) (regulatory T cell [Treg]) levels were then determined. Anti-titin antibody levels were significantly lower in Group A compared with Group B after treatment. The clinical remission rate in Group A was significantly higher than in Group B. The changes in cytokine levels (interleukin [IL]-2, IL-4, IL-10, and interferon-γ) in sera and the peripheral blood mononuclear cell culture supernatants did not significantly differ before and after the treatments in both groups (p<0.05). The soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) levels were lower in Group A than in Group B (p<0.05). MG patients exhibited a lower percentage of Treg cells than normal patients. DFPP combined with methylprednisolone treatment increased the Treg cell percentage more than treatment with methylprednisolone alone (p<0.05). DFPP treatment more effectively lowers sICAM-1 and increases Treg cell expression, consequently benefiting MG patients.

  20. Diagnostic value of repeated ice tests in the evaluation of ptosis in myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Park, Jun Young; Yang, Hee Kyung; Hwang, Jeong-Min

    2017-01-01

    Twenty-six patients with ptosis related to Myasthenia gravis (MG) and 38 controls with ptosis other than MG were included. All patients were tested with the ice test 2 times on separate days in the afternoon. The margin reflex distance (MRD) was measured before and immediately after 2-minute application of ice on the eyelids. The ice test was judged positive if there was an improvement of at least 2.0 mm of MRD after the ice test. Among the patients with negative test results, 'equivocal' was defined by improvement of MRD from at least 1.0 mm to less than 2.0 mm after the ice test. Repeated ice test results showed an agreement of 61.5% in MG, and 97.4% in nonmyasthenic ptosis. Repeated ice tests increased the sensitivity by 34.6% compared to a single test. Among the patients with repeatedly negative test results, 63.6% of those who showed equivocal results at least once turned out to be MG. Of those with repeated non-equivocal negative results, nobody turned out to be MG. There was no significant difference of the ice test results between ocular MG and generalized MG (p = 0.562).

  1. Antibodies against low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 4 induce myasthenia gravis

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Chengyong; Lu, Yisheng; Zhang, Bin; Figueiredo, Dwight; Bean, Jonathan; Jung, Jiung; Wu, Haitao; Barik, Arnab; Yin, Dong-Min; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2013-01-01

    Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most common disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). MG is frequently caused by autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptor (AChR) and a kinase critical for NMJ formation, MuSK; however, a proportion of MG patients are double-negative for anti-AChR and anti-MuSK antibodies. Recent studies in these subjects have identified autoantibodies against low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 4 (LRP4), an agrin receptor also critical for NMJ formation. LRP4 autoantibodies have not previously been implicated in MG pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that mice immunized with the extracellular domain of LRP4 generated anti-LRP4 antibodies and exhibited MG-associated symptoms, including muscle weakness, reduced compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs), and compromised neuromuscular transmission. Additionally, fragmented and distorted NMJs were evident at both the light microscopic and electron microscopic levels. We found that anti-LRP4 sera decreased cell surface LRP4 levels, inhibited agrin-induced MuSK activation and AChR clustering, and activated complements, revealing potential pathophysiological mechanisms. To further confirm the pathogenicity of LRP4 antibodies, we transferred IgGs purified from LRP4-immunized rabbits into naive mice and found that they exhibited MG-like symptoms, including reduced CMAP and impaired neuromuscular transmission. Together, these data demonstrate that LRP4 autoantibodies induce MG and that LRP4 contributes to NMJ maintenance in adulthood. PMID:24200689

  2. Genetic heterogeneity within the HLA region in three distinct clinical subgroups of myasthenia gravis.

    PubMed

    Saruhan-Direskeneli, Güher; Hughes, Travis; Yilmaz, Vuslat; Durmus, Hacer; Adler, Adam; Alahgholi-Hajibehzad, Mahdi; Aysal, Fikret; Yentür, Sibel P; Akalin, Mehmet Ali; Dogan, Oner; Marx, Alexander; Gülsen-Parman, Yesim; Oflazer, Piraye; Deymeer, Feza; Sawalha, Amr H

    2016-05-01

    This study aims to investigate genetic susceptibility to early-onset and late-onset anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody positive myasthenia gravis (EOMG and LOMG) and anti-muscle specific kinase antibody positive MG (MuSK-MG) at genome-wide level in a single population. Using a custom-designed array and imputing additional variants and the classical HLA alleles in 398 patients, we detected distinct associations. In EOMG, rs113519545 in the HLA class I region (OR=5.71 [3.77-8.66], P=2.24×10(-16)), HLA-B*08:01 (OR=7.04 [3.95-12.52], P=3.34×10(-11)) and HLA-C*07:01 (OR=2.74 [1.97-3.81], P=2.07(-9)), in LOMG, rs111256513 in the HLA class II region (OR=2.22 [1.59-3.09], P=2.48×10(-6)) and in MuSK-MG, an intronic variant within HLA-DQB1 (rs68081734, OR=5.86, P=2.25×10(-14)) and HLA-DQB1*05:02 (OR=8.56, P=6.88×10(-13)) revealed the most significant associations for genome-wide significance. Differential genetic susceptibility within the HLA to EOMG, LOMG and MuSK-MG has been established in a population from Turkey. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Mortality in myasthenia gravis: A nationwide population-based follow-up study in Denmark.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Julie S; Danielsen, Ditte H; Somnier, Finn E; Frøslev, Trine; Jakobsen, Johannes; Johnsen, Søren P; Andersen, Henning

    2016-01-01

    In previous studies of myasthenia gravis (MG), increased mortality has been reported. The aim of this study was to estimate mortality in patients with acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive (AChR-Ab-seropositive) MG in a nationwide population-based, long-term follow-up study. All AChR-Ab-seropositive MG patients, diagnosed between 1985 and 2005, were identified. Defined by age at diagnosis (≤ 50 or >50 years), patients were classified as having early- or late-onset MG. For comparison, 10 non-MG individuals from the general population were matched with each patient. All patients and controls were followed until January 1, 2009. Mortality rates and estimated mortality rate ratios (MRRs) were calculated. Of 702 AChR-Ab-seropositive MG patients, 302 died during follow-up. Overall mortality was higher for patients with MG (MRR = 1.41, range 1.24-1.60). In late-onset women and men, the MRRs were 1.64 (1.36-1.99) and 1.22 (1.02-1.46), respectively. Total MRR was highest during the first 5 years after diagnosis. MG diagnosis is still associated with increased mortality. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. [The role of TNIP1 in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis among patients with thymoma].

    PubMed

    Geng, Yingcai; Song, Yu; Zhang, Zhenming; Zhang, Hanlu; Huang, Yi; Wang, Yun

    2016-10-01

    To explore the role of TNFα induced protein 3 interacting protein 1 (TNIP1) in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG) among patients with thymoma. From December 2014 to March 2015, 11 patients with MG associated thymoma (MGT) and 11 non-MG thymoma (NMGT) patients receiving thymectomy were selected. Thymus specimens were obtained during surgery, and peripheral venous blood samples were obtained before the surgery. For the MGT cohorts, peripheral venous blood samples were also collected at 3-6 months after the surgery. TNIP1 mRNA was determined with quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), and its protein expression was evaluated by Western blotting. For both thymus specimen and peripheral blood samples, the levels of TNIP1 mRNA and protein in the MGT group were both significantly lower than those of the NMGT patients (P<0.05). For the MGT group, the levels of TNIP1 mRNA and protein of the peripheral blood samples have increased following thymus resection compared with before the surgery. Reduced TNIP1 expression may have a role in the pathogenesis of MG for patients with thymoma. Thymectomy may help to recover the expression of TNIP1 among such patients.

  5. CXCR4 overexpression correlates with poor prognosis in myasthenia gravis-associated thymoma.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Liu, Dazhong; Yang, Lei; Li, Yi; Xu, Hao; Wang, Fei; Zhao, Jiaying; Zhang, Linyou

    2016-03-01

    Thymoma is 1 rare type of tumor developed on the thymic epithelium; patients with thymoma also might have myasthenia gravis (MG). Because of the scarcity and complexity of MG-associated thymoma, its pathogenesis and etiology still remain unclear nowadays. The expression of C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) is absent or low in most healthy tissues but highly expressed in various types of tumors. Here, to determine the prognostic significance of CXCR4 in MG-associated thymoma, a total of 84 tissue samples were retrospectively examined. Our data demonstrated that CXCR4 was strongly associated with worse overall survival (hazard ratio, 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-4.11) and disease-free survival (hazard ratio, 1.84; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-3.29). Furthermore, both univariate and multivariate analyses confirmed that CXCR4 was an independent factor in predicting unfavorable overall survival. In conclusion, our findings suggest that CXCR4 might contribute to the clinical cancer progression, and CXCR4 could be a valuable prognostic biomarker in the therapy of MG-associated thymoma. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Morvan's syndrome and myasthenia gravis related to familial Mediterranean fever gene mutations.

    PubMed

    Koge, Junpei; Hayashi, Shintaro; Murai, Hiroyuki; Yokoyama, Jun; Mizuno, Yuri; Uehara, Taira; Ueda, Naoyasu; Watanabe, Osamu; Takashima, Hiroshi; Kira, Jun-ichi

    2016-03-29

    We present the first case of Morvan's syndrome (MoS) and myasthenia gravis (MG) related to familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) gene mutations. A 40-year-old woman with a 1-year history of bilateral ptosis and limb muscle weakness presented to our hospital. She also had memory impairment, insomnia, hyperhidrosis, and muscle twitches. Electromyography confirmed widespread myokymia, and there was evidence of temporal region dysfunction on electroencephalography. Anti-voltage-gated potassium channel complex antibodies and anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies were both positive. Edrophonium administration was effective for bilateral ptosis and muscle weakness. She and her family experienced self-limiting febrile attacks with arthralgia, which led us to suspect FMF. Genetic analyses revealed compound heterozygous mutations in exon 2 of the MEFV gene (L110P/E148Q). From these findings, a diagnosis of MoS and MG complicated with MEFV gene mutations was made. Intravenous high-dose corticosteroids, plasma exchange, and intravenous immunoglobulin resulted in only transient, limited improvement, and frequent relapses, especially in the myasthenic symptoms. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α were markedly elevated in the serum, which was considered to b