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J Neurol Sci. 1995 Feb;128(2):167-74.

B cell responses to acetylcholine receptor in rats orally tolerized against experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Oral administration of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) to Lewis rats prior to myasthenogenic immunization with AChR and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) results in the prevention of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), and decreased serum levels of anti-AChR antibodies. Using an ELISPOT assay, we have now determined numbers of cells in the popliteal, inguinal and mesenteric lymph nodes, spleen and thymus secreting anti-AChR IgG antibodies. Except for mesenteric lymph nodes, a marked diminution of such cells was detected in these lymphoid organs in rats orally tolerized with AChR compared to buffer-fed or vehicle-fed control rats with EAMG. Of note is that, after AChR feeding, the B cell response to AChR in thymus was diminished to the same low level as in CFA-injected, buffer-fed control rats. The relative affinity of serum anti-AChR IgG antibodies measured by KSCN-ELISA was lower in the orally tolerized rats compared to buffer-fed or vehicle-fed rats. The observations showed that oral administration of AChR, besides preventing clinical EAMG, also counteracts the development of AChR-specific B cells, especially those with high affinity antibody production, in most lymphoid organs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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