Increased thymocyte differentiation in myasthenia gravis: a dual-color immunofluorescence phenotypic analysis

Annals of Neurology
L DurelliL Bergamini


Thymocytes express multiple, different surface antigens according to their stage of maturation. Surface differentiation antigens have been studied with the technique of simultaneous dual-color, direct immunofluorescence in the thymuses of 20 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) and 10 control subjects with cardiac diseases. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated and phycoerythrin-conjugated monoclonal antibodies were used to stain thymic cell suspensions. A significant decrease in the percentage of immature and common thymocyte phenotypes (CD1+,3+ and CD4+,8+) and a significant increase in the percentage of mature thymocyte phenotypes (CD1-,3+; CD4+,8-; and CD4-,8+) and of B cells (CD20+) were found in MG thymuses compared with controls. These data, indicating an increased availability of mature, fully immunocompetent T and B cells, indirectly suggest the occurrence of an active immune response in MG thymus.


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Related Concepts

Common Thymocyte
Antigens, Differentiation
Monoclonal Antibodies
Monoclonal antibodies, antineoplastic
Immunofluorescence Assay
Mature Thymocyte
T6 Antigens
Neoplasm of Uncertain or Unknown Behavior of Thymus

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