Induction of suppressor cells specific for AChR in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis

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Science  18 Apr 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4748, pp. 401-403
DOI: 10.1126/science.2938256


Suppressor cells specific for acetylcholine receptor (AChR) were induced in a population of lymphocytes previously sensitized to AChR, obtained from rats with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). The lymphocytes were cultured with the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporin A plus purified AChR for 7 days. These cells, when mixed with lymphocytes from rats with EAMG in vitro, strongly suppressed the antibody response to AChR. They did not inhibit antibody responses to an unrelated antigen, an indication that suppression was specific for AChR. This approach should be a useful way to induce specific suppressor cells from sensitized populations of lymphocytes and may be applicable in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis.