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February 1982

Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody Titer and HLA-B8 Antigen in Myasthenia Gravis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Keesey and Herrmann), Pathology (Drs Naiem and Walford), and Biomathematics (Ms Roe), UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Calif (Dr Lindstrom).

Arch Neurol. 1982;39(2):73-77. doi:10.1001/archneur.1982.00510140007002

• In 82 white patients with myasthenia gravis, a high serum human acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody titer was related to the presence of the HLA-B8 antigen and increasing severity of the disease and not to age at onset, sex, presence of thymoma, or mode of treatment. Among patients without thymomas a high antibody titer was also associated with HLA-B8, particularly in those patients whose age at onset was less than 35 years. Thymectomy was associated with a lower median antibody titer when compared in two groups of HLA-B8-positive patients without thymoma who were similar for all other factors. Patients with thymomas who had received corticosteroids had a lower median titer than those who had not received steroids. This study supports the possibility that immune-response genes near the HLA-B8 segment of the major histocompatibility complex participate in the regulation of the humoral response to autoantigens, such as AChR protein.

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