Gene(s) at the I-A subregion of the murine major histocompatibility complex influence susceptibility to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. C57B1/6 mice immunized with acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in complete Freund's adjuvant demonstrated cellular and humoral immune responses to AChR. They developed muscle weakness characteristic of myasthenia gravis and demonstrated a reduction in the muscle AChR content. The kinetics of AChR-specific lymphocyte proliferation generally correlate with anti-AChR antibody response. AChR-specific lymphocyte proliferation was also observed in C57B1/6 splenocytes after secondary immunization with AChR. The in vitro cellular reactivity to AChR in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) mice (C57B1/6) was suppressed by monoclonal anti-I-Ab antibodies directed against private (Ia20) or public (Ia8) specificities, suggesting a critical role for these Ia determinants in the cellular immune response to AChR in murine EAMG.
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