Autoimmune Response to Acetylcholine Receptor

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Science  25 May 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4088, pp. 871-872
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4088.871


Injection of rabbits with acetylcholine receptor highly purified from the electric organ of Electrophorus electricus emulsified in complete Freund's adjuvant resulted in the production of precipitating antibody to acetylcholine receptor. After the second injection of antigen, the animals developed the flaccid paralysis and abnormal electromyographs characteristic of neuromuscular blockade. Treatment with the anticholinesterases edrophonium or neostigmine dramatically alleviated the paralysis and the fatigue seen in electromyography.