Myasthenia gravis, a model of organ-specific autoimmune disease

J Autoimmun. 1995 Apr;8(2):139-43. doi: 10.1006/jaut.1995.0011.


Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disorder of autoimmune origin. Most patients have antibodies directed against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) that interfere with neuromuscular transmission. MG is a model of organ-specific autoimmune disease in which the autoantigen, AChR, is well characterized. However, several questions remain unanswered. Why is AChR, which is present in the thymus, not tolerized? Why does the anti-AChR antibody titre not correlate with clinical manifestations, and why do some patients not have such antibodies? What genetic elements are involved in disease susceptibility? How is the expression of AChR regulated after its attack by autoantibodies? Could MG patients benefit from new immunomodulatory treatments? At the IVth EuroMyasthenia meeting, held in Versailles in April 1994, almost 200 researchers and physicians met to discuss the pathophysiology and treatment of myasthenia gravis and to provide answers to some of these questions. The sessions covered immunological, genetic and clinical aspects of MG.

Publication types

  • Congress

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • HLA Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Myasthenia Gravis / genetics
  • Myasthenia Gravis / immunology*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / therapy
  • Organ Specificity
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • HLA Antigens
  • Receptors, Cholinergic