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Clin Immunol. 2008 Feb;126(2):180-8. Epub 2007 Nov 28.

Decrease of CD4(+)CD25(high)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells and elevation of CD19(+)BAFF-R(+) B cells and soluble ICAM-1 in myasthenia gravis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Hua Shan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is caused by T-cell-dependent autoantibodies against muscle acetylcholine receptors (AChR) at the neuromuscular junction. Here, we adopted ELISA and flow cytometry techniques to measure the levels of Th1, Th2, Th3 cytokines, inflammatory cytokine and chemokine sICAM-1 and to analyze the phenotypes of CD4(+) and CD8(+) regulatory cells as well as the expression of BAFF-R on CD19(+) B cells in peripheral blood from 75 MG patients and 50 healthy controls. There were no differences in the levels of IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, TGF-beta and sCTLA-4 in both sera and culture supernatants between MG patients and healthy controls. The level of IL-12 was decreased in culture supernatants from MG patients, and the level of sICAM-1 was increased in both sera and culture supernatants from MG patients. Although the populations of CD8(+)CD28(-) and CD8(+)CD122(+) regulatory T cells were not different between MG patients and healthy controls, MG patients exhibited the decrease of CD4(+)CD25(high)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells and the increase of CD19(+)BAFF-R(+) B cells, revealing that MG patients should display the dysfunction of T cell balance and the activation of B cell maturation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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