Age-related susceptibility to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis: immunological and electrophysiological aspects

Age-related susceptibility to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis: immunological and electrophysiological aspects

Age-related susceptibility to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis: immunological and electrophysiological aspects

Abstract

Susceptibility to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) was found to decrease with aging in both Lewis and Brown Norway (BN) rats. In this study, the difference in susceptibility between young and aged Lewis and BN rats was used to analyze factors determining the clinical severity of EAMG. The incidence and severity of muscular weakness did not correlate with acetylcholine receptor (AChR) loss nor with the ability of antibodies to interfere with AChR function. Aged rats showed significantly lower anti-rat AChR antibody titers than young rats and developed less severe or no clinical signs of disease. In individual young or aged rats, however, no significant correlation was found between the clinical signs of disease and anti-rat AChR titer. Neuromuscular transmission was found to change with aging as measured by single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG). In aged BN rats, increased jitter and blockings were found even before EAMG induction. Despite this disturbed neuromuscular transmission, these aged BN rats were clinically resistant against induction of EAMG. The results of this study indicate that the age-related susceptibility to EAMG is influenced by factors determined by the immune attack as well as mechanisms at the level of the neuromuscular junction.

read online

Post Comment

Filed in: