Circulating antibodies against neurotransmitter receptor activities in children with congenital heart block and their mothers

FASEB J. 1994 Nov;8(14):1170-6. doi: 10.1096/fasebj.8.14.7958624.


In this work we demonstrated that IgG present in the sera of patients with congenital heart block (CHB) and their mothers could bind and activate beta adrenoceptors and muscarinic cholinergic receptors of neonatal heart. These antibodies were able to inhibit in a noncompetitive manner the binding of [3H]QNB and [3H]CGP to muscarinic cholinergic and beta adrenoceptors of purified neonatal rat myocardial membranes, respectively. Moreover, IgG from children with CHB and their mothers could modify biological effects mediated by these neurotransmitter receptors, i.e., heart contractility and cAMP production. Neither binding nor biological effects were obtained using adult instead of neonatal rat atria. Both reactivities (adrenergic and cholinergic) were independent of Ro/SS-A and La/SS-B antibodies and were absent in the sera of normal women of childbearing age and of normal children. It could be concluded that antibodies against cardiac neurotransmitter receptors may be another serum factor (or factors) to be considered in the pathophysiology of the development of CHB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / physiopathology
  • Heart Block / congenital
  • Heart Block / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Infant
  • Mothers
  • Myocardial Contraction
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta / immunology*
  • Receptors, Muscarinic / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
  • Receptors, Muscarinic