Regulatory T cell-based immunotherapies in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis

Miriam C. Souroujon, Revital Aricha, Tali Feferman, Keren Mizrachi, Debby Reuveni, Sara Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Establishment of tolerance in myasthenia gravis (MG) involves regulatory T (Treg) cells. Experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG) in rats is a suitable model for assessing the contribution of Treg cells to the immunopathology of the disease and for testing novel Treg cell-based treatment modalities. We have studied two immunotherapeutic approaches for targeting of Treg cells in myasthenia. By one approach we demonstrated that treatment of sick rats by ex vivo-generated exogenous Treg cells derived from healthy donors suppressed EAMG. By a different approach, we aimed at affecting the endogenous Treg/Th17 cell balance by targeting IL-6, which has a key role in controlling the equilibrium between pathogenic Th17 and suppressive Treg cells. We found that treatment of myasthenic rats by neutralizing anti-IL-6 antibodies shifted this equilibrium in favor of Treg cells and led to suppression of EAMG. Our results show that Treg cells could serve as potential targets in treating MG patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis
  • IL-6
  • Th17 cells


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