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Transplantation of thymic autoimmune microenvironment to severe combined immunodeficiency mice. A new model of myasthenia gravis

Item Type:Article
Title:Transplantation of thymic autoimmune microenvironment to severe combined immunodeficiency mice. A new model of myasthenia gravis
Creators Name:Schoenbeck, S. and Padberg, F. and Hohlfeld, R. and Wekerle, H.
Abstract:To study the role of the thymus in the cellular pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG) we transplanted thymus tissue fragments from MG thymuses beneath the kidney capsule of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Immunocytochemical studies documented that the human thymus tissues are accepted as long-term grafts in the host SCID mice, with human lymphocytes, thymic stroma, and thymic myoid cells demonstrable in transplanted thymus for at least 15 weeks after transplantation. Human anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies became detectable 1 to 2 weeks after transplantation, and in most chimeras the titers increased over at least 11 weeks to reach levels typically found in severe human MG. Human Ig deposits were detected at skeletal muscle end-plates, demonstrating that the human (auto)antibodies bound to murine acetylcholine receptor. In contrast, transfers of dissociated thymus cells only lead to a transient increase of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Our data prove that myasthenia gravis thymus is able to induce and maintain autoantibody production in immunodeprived host animals, and that this tissue contains all cellular components required for autoantibody production. Transplantation of solid thymus tissue seems to transfer an autoimmune microenvironment, which will allow direct studies of the mechanism of autosensitization inside the thymus.
Keywords:Animal Disease Models, Autoantibodies, Autoimmunity, Cholinergic Receptors, Immunoglobulin G, Myasthenia Gravis, SCID Mice , Thymus Gland, Animals, Mice
Source:Journal of Clinical Investigation
ISSN:0021-9738
Publisher:American Society for Clinical Investigation (U.S.A.)
Volume:90
Number:1
Page Range:245-250
Date:July 1992
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI115843
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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