Project: Research project

Project Details


Myasthenia gravis (MG) and its animal models Experimental Autoimmune
Myasthenia Gravis (EAMG), are characterized by an ease of fatigability and
relative weakness of voluntary muscles. A common feature associated with
MG is T lymphocyte-dependent serum antibody responses against a self-
antigen expressed by voluntary muscles, the acetylcholine receptor (AchR);
the binding of anti-AChR autoantibodies to AChR at the neuromuscular
junction results in the observed impairment of neuromuscular transmission.
Various modalities of therapy are used to treat MG, most often
immunosuppressive chemotherapy. However, the innate lack of selectivity of
the drugs employed limits their usefulness. The goal of the proposed
program is to identify and characterize molecular-structural targets that
would allow the development of more selective immunosuppressive agents.
Since MG is caused by a T cell-dependent anti-AChR antibody response,
studies are to be performed to identify both B cell and T cell targets.
The primary strength of the Program is that, in addition to the examination
of both the B cell and T cell side of the problem, both animal models and
human patient systems will be explored; this should facilitate a relatively
direct path from the laboratory to the clinic. The eventual goal is to
test, in MG patients, antibody-toxin conjugates (immunotoxins) with
specificity for AChR-reactive lymphocytes. We are very excited to bring
together, from 4 different departments, basic scientists with a history of
exploring cellular and molecular immunological aspects of disease with
clinicians that have direct access to both the appropriate patients as well
as with the appropriate clinical setting. We believe that because of the
circumstances surrounding this group of investigators, novel approaches to
immune intervention in MG can be tested that would not be possible anywhere
Effective start/end date9/1/924/30/97


  • National Institutes of Health: $456,206.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $464,636.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $403,737.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $470,086.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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