School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Alpha-fetoprotein inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation in vitro cell culture related to myasthenia gravis

Poster Number

283

Document Type

Poster

Status

Staff

Abstract Category

Immunology/Infectious Diseases

Keywords

Myasthenia Gravis, AFP, Proliferation, FACS, PBLs

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is a disorder of the neuromuscular junction caused in the majority of patients by autoantibodies directed against the postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR). The prevalence of myasthenia gravis in the United States is estimated at 14 to 20 per 100,000 population and women are more often affected than men. Cholinesterase inhibitors, corticosteroids and immunosuppressant are commonly used classes of drugs to treat MG patients but these drugs do not prevent disease progression and are associated with serious side effects. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a serum protein produced by the yolk sac and the fetal liver, is present in high amounts during pregnancy. The clinical remission of myasthenia gravis during the second half of pregnancy may be attributed to the immunosuppressive effect of AFP.

METHOD

The peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) were obtained from MG patients and healthy controls (HCs) by using density gradient media (Ficoll). PBLs were cultured 5 days after the proliferation dye combination, and then the effect of PHA, hAChR and AFP on the proliferation of lymphocytes were investigated by using flow cytometry.

RESULTS

Both PHA and hAChR treatment can promote lymphocytes’ proliferation. The human AChR selectively induced MG patient’s lymphocytes proliferation, but not affect the cell growth of the healthy control. AFP treatment can significantly inhibit lymphocytes proliferation in a dose dependent manner without any effect on the healthy control.

CONCLUSION

AFP inhibits the peripheral lymphocyte proliferation of MG patients by in vitro cell culture. However, AFP did not affect proliferation of PBLs in healthy control samples. The immunosuppressive effect of AFP demonstrated AFP might be a potential therapeutic reagent for autoimmune myasthenia gravis patients.

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Alpha-fetoprotein inhibition of lymphocyte proliferation in vitro cell culture related to myasthenia gravis

BACKGROUND

Autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is a disorder of the neuromuscular junction caused in the majority of patients by autoantibodies directed against the postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR). The prevalence of myasthenia gravis in the United States is estimated at 14 to 20 per 100,000 population and women are more often affected than men. Cholinesterase inhibitors, corticosteroids and immunosuppressant are commonly used classes of drugs to treat MG patients but these drugs do not prevent disease progression and are associated with serious side effects. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a serum protein produced by the yolk sac and the fetal liver, is present in high amounts during pregnancy. The clinical remission of myasthenia gravis during the second half of pregnancy may be attributed to the immunosuppressive effect of AFP.

METHOD

The peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) were obtained from MG patients and healthy controls (HCs) by using density gradient media (Ficoll). PBLs were cultured 5 days after the proliferation dye combination, and then the effect of PHA, hAChR and AFP on the proliferation of lymphocytes were investigated by using flow cytometry.

RESULTS

Both PHA and hAChR treatment can promote lymphocytes’ proliferation. The human AChR selectively induced MG patient’s lymphocytes proliferation, but not affect the cell growth of the healthy control. AFP treatment can significantly inhibit lymphocytes proliferation in a dose dependent manner without any effect on the healthy control.

CONCLUSION

AFP inhibits the peripheral lymphocyte proliferation of MG patients by in vitro cell culture. However, AFP did not affect proliferation of PBLs in healthy control samples. The immunosuppressive effect of AFP demonstrated AFP might be a potential therapeutic reagent for autoimmune myasthenia gravis patients.