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Engineered agrin attenuates the severity of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis

Zhiguo Li, Minshu Li, Kristofer Wood, Steffan Hettwer, Suraj A Muley, Fu-Dong Shi, Qiang Liu, Shafeeq S Ladha
Muscle & Nerve 2018, 57 (5): 814-820
29193204

INTRODUCTION: Agrin is essential for the formation and maintenance of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). NT-1654 is a C-terminal fragment of mouse neural agrin. In this study, we determined the effects of NT-1654 on the severity of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG).

METHODS: EAMG was induced in female Lewis rats by immunization with the Torpedo acetylcholine receptor (tAChR) and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). NT-1654 was dissolved in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and injected daily subcutaneously into tAChR immunized rats during the first 10 days after immunization, and then every other day for the following 20 days.

RESULTS: We showed that NT-1654 attenuated clinical severity, effectively promoted the clustering of AChRs at NMJs, and alleviated the impairment of NMJ transmission and the reduction of muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) in EAMG rats.

DISCUSSION: We demonstrated that NT-1654 attenuated clinical severity, effectively promoted the clustering of AChRs at NMJs, and alleviated the impairment of NMJ transmission and the reduction of muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) in EAMG rats. Muscle Nerve 57: 814-820, 2018.

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