Selective destruction of preganglionic sympathetic nerves by antibodies to acetylcholinesterase
Systemic injection of monoclonal antibodies to neural acetylcholinesterase in rats causes permanent, complement-mediated destruction of presynaptic fibers in sympathetic ganglia and adrenal medulla. Ptosis, hypotension, bradycardia, and postural syncope ensue. In sympathetic ganglia, cholinergic synapses disappear, but postganglionic adrenergic neurones remain structurally and functionally normal. Somatic motor and parasympathetic systems are also spared. This model of selective cholinergic autoimmunity is a new tool for autonomic physiology and may be relevant to the pathogenesis of human dysautonomias.
KeywordsSympathetic Ganglion Superior Cervical Ganglion Motor Endplate Selective Destruction Cholinergic Synapse
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