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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Absence of IFN-gamma or IL-12 has different effects on experimental myasthenia gravis in C57BL/6 mice.

Immunization with acetylcholine receptor (AChR) causes experimental myasthenia gravis (EMG). Th1 cells facilitate EMG development. IFN-gamma and IL-12 induce Th1 responses: we investigated whether these cytokines are necessary for EMG development. We immunized wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice and IFN-gamma and IL-12 knockout mutants (IFN-gamma-/-, IL-12-/-) with Torpedo AChR (TAChR). WT and IFN-gamma-/- mice developed EMG with similar frequency, IL-12-/-mice were resistant to EMG. All strains synthesized anti-AChR Ab that were not IgM or IgE. WT mice had anti-AChR IgG1, IgG2b, and IgG2c, IFN-gamma-/- mice had significantly less IgG2c, and IL-12-/- mice less IgG2b and IgG2c. All mice had IgG bound to muscle synapses, but only WT and IFN-gamma-/- mice had complement; WT mice had both IgG2b and IgG2c, IFN-gamma-/- only IgG2b, and IL-12-/- neither IgG2b nor IgG2c. CD4+ cells from all AChR-immunized mice proliferated in response to AChR and recognized similar epitopes. After stimulation with TAChR, CD4+ cells from IFN-gamma-/- mice secreted less IL-2 and similar amounts of IL-4 and IL-10 as WT mice. CD4+ cells from IL-12-/- mice secreted less IFN-gamma, but more IL-4 and IL-10 than WT mice, suggesting that they developed a stronger Th2 response to TAChR. The EMG resistance of IL-12-/- mice is likely due to both reduction of anti-TAChR Ab that bind complement and sensitization of modulatory Th2 cells. The reduced Th1 function of IFN-gamma-/- mice does not suffice to reduce all complement-fixing IgG subclasses, perhaps because as in WT mice a protective Th2 response is missing.[1]


  1. Absence of IFN-gamma or IL-12 has different effects on experimental myasthenia gravis in C57BL/6 mice. Karachunski, P.I., Ostlie, N.S., Monfardini, C., Conti-Fine, B.M. J. Immunol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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