Protein databases were searched for microbial sequences that bear amino acid similarities with identified T- or B-cell epitopes within the human α-subunit of acetylcholine receptor (AChR). One peptide, derived from Haemophilus influenzae, exhibits 50% homology to an identified T-cell epitope of AChR α-subunit. This peptide was shown to have a protective effect in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Pretreatment of rats with the mimicry peptide attenuated the induction and progression of EAMG. These effects were accompanied by a reduced T-cell response to AChR, diminished IL-2, IL-12, IFN-γ and IL-4 levels, as well as decreased humoral response to self-AChR.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grants from The Muscular Dystrophy Association of America (MDA), The Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM), The EC (no. QLG1-CT-2001-01918) and The Abramson Family Foundation.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Acetylcholine receptor (AChR)
- Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis
- Molecular mimicry