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September 1974

Cell-Mediated Immunity in Polymyositis: Creatine Phosphokinase Release From Muscle Cultures

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Upstate Medical Center, State University of New York, Syracuse (Dr. Haas), and Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Dr. Arnason).

Arch Neurol. 1974;31(3):192-196. doi:10.1001/archneur.1974.00490390074008

Muscle cultures in Petri dishes were challenged with lymphocytes from polymyositis patients or controls, and the creatine phosphokinase (CPK) released from muscle was measured. The mean CPK value of 15 polymyositis patients was significantly higher than the mean of 15 controls. No differences between active and quiescent or treated and untreated polymyositis patients were noted. Patients with muscular dystrophy or myasthenia gravis gave values comparable with controls. Destruction of muscle did not accompany CPK release in Petri dish cultures, but when muscle cultures in Maximow chambers were challenged with lymphocytes from polymyositis patients, destruction often occurred. A correlation between muscle destruction in Maximow chambers and CPK release in Petri dishes was established. Serum from polymyositis patients never produced destruction of muscle cultures. These studies suggest that a cell-mediated immune reaction against muscle operates in polymyositis.