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OBJECTIVES To determine whether patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) have serum antibodies to lipoprotein-related protein 4 (LRP4), a newly identified receptor for agrin that is essential for neuromuscular junction formation, and to establish whether such antibodies contribute to MG pathogenesis. DESIGN Serum samples from patients with MG with known(More)
To determine if patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) have antibodies to agrin, a proteoglycan released by motor neurons and is critical for neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation, we collected serum samples from 93 patients with MG with known status of antibodies to acetylcholine receptor (AChR), muscle specific kinase (MuSK) and lipoprotein-related 4(More)
B cells are important in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and some of the effects are not dependent on maturation of B cells into immunoglobulin (Ig) producing plasmablasts and plasma cells. B cells present antigen, activate T cells, and are involved in immunoregulation and cytokine secretion. To determine if B cells from MS patients secrete(More)
OBJECTIVE To compare serum B-cell activating factor (BAFF) levels in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) with those in control subjects without MG. DESIGN Case-control study. Subjects Forty-three patients with MG were compared with control subjects without MG. These included 48 healthy subjects, 25 patients with multiple sclerosis, and 3 patients with(More)
BAFF is a potent B-cell survival factor, and it plays an essential role in B-cell homeostasis and B-cell function in the periphery. Both normal and autoreactive B cells are BAFF dependent; however, excess BAFF promotes the survival, growth, and maturation of autoreactive B cells. When overexpressed, BAFF protects B cells from apoptosis, thereby contributing(More)
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease characterized by deficits in neuromuscular transmission due to antibody-mediated damage of the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). We examined the in vitro immune response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from MG patients (n=38) and healthy nonmyasthenic subjects (n=31) to epitopes on the alpha-,(More)
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