Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease caused by circulating antibodies that block acetylcholine receptor (AchR) at the neuromuscular junction. There is the cognitive and memory impairment in patients with MG. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the alteration of central nervous system in MG remain unknown. In the present study, we found that the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) was increased in the brain of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Furthermore, the expression of thioredoxin-1 (Trx-1) and the activity of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) were significantly decreased in frontal lobe and hippocampus of mice with EAMG. We also found that the expression of pro-apoptotic C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) was increased in the frontal lobe and hippocampus of mice. However, the expressions of glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78/Bip) was not changed in same areas. Inversely, the expressions of pro-caspase-12, pro-caspase-3 and pro-caspase-9 were decreased. These data indicate that Trx-1 mediated endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria pathways are involved in brain damage in MG. Trx-1 may be a pivotal target for brain protective treatment in MG.
Keywords: C/EBP homologous protein; Endoplasmic reticulum; Mitochondria; Myasthenia gravis; Thioredoxin-1.
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