The significance of titin antibodies in myasthenia gravis

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Abstract.Myasthenia gravis (MG) is caused by autoantibodies to acetylcholine receptors (AChR). Non-AChR muscle autoantibodies, such as titin antibodies, are present in sera of many MG patients. To study the correlation between titin antibodies and the features of MG, the cDNA segment encoding MGT-30 was amplified and sequenced. The cloned MGT-30 cDNA was expressed in vector pET-30a, and then transfected into E.coli. BL21. We examined titin antibodies in sera of 265 normal subjects, 154 MG patients with different thymic pathology and 48 patients with other neurological diseases. Titin antibodies occurred more frequently in MGT, especially in MG with epithelial predominant-thymoma, and were correlated with the severity of disease. The levels of titin antibodies were reduced 6 months after thymectomy. The specificity of titin antibodies for the detection of thymoma was higher than that of CT examination in MG with thymoma. These results suggest that titin antibodies could be useful in both diagnosis and follow-up of MG patients with thymoma.

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