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NMO-IgG and AQP4 Peptide Can Induce Aggravation of EAMG and Immune-Mediated Muscle Weakness

J Immunol Res. 2018; 2018: 5389282.

Tehila Mizrachi, 1 Livnat Brill, 1 Malcolm Rabie, 2 Yoram Nevo, 2 Yakov Fellig, 1 Mayan Zur, 1 Dimitrios Karussis, 1 Oded Abramsky, 1 Talma Brenner, 1 and Adi Vaknin-Dembinskycorresponding author 1

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and myasthenia gravis (MG) are autoimmune diseases mediated by autoantibodies against either aquaporin 4 (AQP4) or acetylcholine receptor (AChR), respectively. Recently, we and others have reported an increased prevalence of NMO in patients with MG. To verify whether coexisting autoimmune disease may exacerbate experimental autoimmune MG, we tested whether active immunization with AQP4 peptides or passive transfer of NMO-Ig can affect the severity of EAMG. Injection of either AQP4 peptide or NMO-Ig to EAMG or to naive mice caused increased fatigability and aggravation of EAMG symptoms as expressed by augmented muscle weakness (but not paralysis), decremental response to repetitive nerve stimulation, increased neuromuscular jitter, and aberration of immune responses. Thus, our study shows increased disease severity in EAMG mice following immunization with the NMO autoantigen AQP4 or by NMO-Ig, mediated by augmented inflammatory response. This can explain exacerbation or increased susceptibility of patients with one autoimmune disease to develop additional autoimmune syndrome.

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