Ocular and generalized myasthenia gravis induced by human acetylcholine receptor γ subunit immunization



Introduction: HLA-DQ8 transgenic mice develop ocular myasthenia gravis (oMG), which then progresses to generalized MG (gMG) when immunized with the human acetylcholine receptor (H-AChR) α subunit. Because the fetal AChR γ subunit is expressed in adult extraocular muscles, we anticipated that γ subunit immunization would generate an immune response to mouse AChR and induce MG in mice. Results: H-AChR γ subunit immunization in HLA-DQ8 mice induced an autoimmune response to mouse AChR and led to the destruction of AChR in the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) by anti-AChR antibody and complement activation, and it triggered upregulation of AChR gene transcription. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that oMG may be induced by immunity to the AChR γ subunit. Muscle Nerve, 2012