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Clin Exp Immunol. 1997 Jan;107(1):189-97.

Age- and sex-related resistance to chronic experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) in Brown Norway rats.

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Department of Immunology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


The influence of age and sex on the induction of chronic EAMG was analysed. Aged male rats, immunized with Torpedo acetylcholine receptor (tAChR), showed no clinical signs of disease or AChR loss. Immunization of young male Brown Norway (BN) rats resulted in both clinical signs of disease and 65% AChR loss. In contrast, both young and aged female BN rats showed comparable AChR loss (58% and 50%, respectively), although aged female rats did not develop clinical signs of disease. Differences in antibody titres, isotype distribution, fine specificity or complement activation could not account for the observed resistance. These results suggest that resistance against EAMG in aged rats is due to resistance of the AChR against antibody-mediated degradation, or to mechanisms able to compensate for AChR loss.

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