Thymus in Thymoma-Associated Myasthenia Gravis
The SCID mouse model of myasthenia gravis (MG) has given some insight into the pathogenesis of autoimmune MG associated with lymphofollicular hyperplasia of the thymus1,2. In this model, small pieces of thymic tissue were transplanted under the kidney capsule of SCID mice. The transplant induced a longlasting production of anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies (anti-AchR-abs) in these mice. In contrast, the injection of single cell suspensions containing 100fold more cells than thymus transplant resulted only in an initial, transient rise of anti-AchR-abs. When investigated immunohistochemically, the transplants had retained the characteristic features of thymus tissue. Some myoid cells had differentiated further into myotubes. This study demonstrated that the hyperplastic thymus in autoimmune MG contains all elements necessary to induce and maintain an immune response against the AchR.
KeywordsSCID Mouse Thymic Carcinoma Thymic Tissue Kidney Capsule Myoid Cell
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