We examined the time course of lymphocyte responsiveness to acetylcholine receptor (AChR) in rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Rats were immunized with purified torpedo AChR. At intervals of one to eight weeks later, lymphocytes from the lymph nodes and spleen were cultured with purified torpedo AChR and rat muscle extract containing AChR. Lymphocyte responsiveness (stimulation index) was determined from uptake of 3H‐labeled thymidine by the cultured cells. The response of lymphocytes to torpedo antigen began earlier and rose more rapidly than that to the homologous (rat) antigen. Lymph node cells responded more promptly than spleen lymphocytes. The stimulation indexes peaked at four to six weeks while antibodies to both antigens continued to rise. Delineation of this pattern of lymphocyte responsiveness sheds further light on the pathogenesis of the autoimmune response in EAMG and will be useful in the future design of immunotherapeutic strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology