Antigen mimicry in autoimmune disease. Can immune responses to microbial antigens that mimic acetylcholine receptor act as initial triggers of myasthenia gravis?

Philip Deitiker, Tetsuo Ashizawa, M. Zouhair Atassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease caused by autoantibodies against self acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Although a great deal of information is known about the molecular and cellular parameters of the disease, its initial trigger is not known. In order to study the possibility of the involvement of microbial antigens that mimic AChR in triggering MG, we have searched the microbial proteins in the data bank for regions that are similar in structure to the regions of human (h) AChR α chain recognized by autoAbs in MG patients. Hundreds of candidate structures on a large number of bacterial and viral proteins were identified. To test the feasibility of the idea, we synthesized four microbial regions similar to each of the major autodeterminants of hAChR (α12-27, α111-126, α122-138, α182-200) and investigated their ability to bind autoAbs in MG and normal sera controls. It was found that MG sera recognized a significant number of these microbial regions. The results indicate that in some MG cases immune responses to microbial antigens may cross-react with self antigen (in this case hAChR) and could constitute initial triggers of the disease. (C) American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, 2000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-265
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Immunology
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000

Keywords

  • Antigen mimicry
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Microbial antigens
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Synthetic peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Antigen mimicry in autoimmune disease. Can immune responses to microbial antigens that mimic acetylcholine receptor act as initial triggers of myasthenia gravis?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this