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J Neuroimmunol. 2014 Apr 15;269(1-2):56-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2014.01.011. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

Increased number of Hassall's corpuscles in myasthenia gravis patients with thymic hyperplasia.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Institute of Health Bioscience, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan; Division of Experimental Immunology, Institute for Genome Research, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan. Electronic address: nao-mm@clin.med.tokushima-u.ac.jp.
2
Division of Experimental Immunology, Institute for Genome Research, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.
3
Department of Neurology, Institute of Health Bioscience, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.
4
Division of Experimental Immunology, Institute for Genome Research, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan; Department of Oncological Regenerative Surgery, Institute of Health Bioscience, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.
5
Department of Oncological Regenerative Surgery, Institute of Health Bioscience, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.
6
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Institute of Health Bioscience, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan.
7
Division of Child Neurology, Kanagawa Children's Medical Center, Kanagawa, Japan.
8
Segawa Neurological Clinic for Children, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

The thymus is implicated as an organ that contributes to autoimmunity in myasthenia gravis (MG) patients. Hassall's corpuscles (HCs) are assumed to represent the terminally differentiated stage of medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs). By using multicolor immunohistofluorescence analysis, we examined HCs in thymuses that were therapeutically excised from MG (+) and MG (-) patients. We found that the number of HCs per unit area of the thymic medulla was significantly elevated in the thymuses of MG (+) patients with thymic hyperplasia. CCL21 expression increased in the hyperplastic MG thymuses. We speculate that the altered differentiation of mTECs is associated with the thymic hyperplasia and the onset of MG.

KEYWORDS:

Hassall's corpuscle; Medullary thymic epithelial cell; Myasthenia gravis; Thymic hyperplasia; Thymus

PMID:
24556356
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneuroim.2014.01.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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