Suppression of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis and experimental allergic encephalomyelitis by oral administration of acetylcholine receptor and myelin basic protein: double tolerance

J Neuroimmunol. 1995 Dec;63(1):79-86. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(95)00136-0.


Oral administration of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) or myelin basic protein (MBP) to Lewis rat prior to immunization with AChr or MBP and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) has previously been shown to prevent or delay the onset of experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG) or experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), which represent animal models of myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis, respectively. Here we show that Lewis rats immunized with AChr+MBP+CFA developed both signs of muscular weakness seen in EAMG and paresis characteristic for EAE. This disease was associated with high levels of anti-AChR and anti-MBP antibody secreting cells and of AChR- and MBP-reactive INF-gamma secreting Th1-like cells in lymph nodes. The diseased rats also showed upregulation of AChR- and MBP-induced mRNA expression of IFN-gamma in lymph node cells. Oral tolerization with AChR and MBP in combination prior to immunization with AChR+MBP+CFA alleviated clinical disease as well as AChR- and MBP-specific B cell node cells. The results implicate that oral tolerization simultaneously to more than one autoimmune disease-related autoantigen is feasible, and that suppression of autoantigen-induced IFN-gamma and augmentation of TGF-beta are pivotal in tolerance induction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interleukin-4 / genetics
  • Myasthenia Gravis / prevention & control*
  • Myelin Basic Protein / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / immunology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics


  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma