Molin CJ, Westerberg E, Punga AR
Sci Rep 7 (1) 39716 [2017-01-03; online 2017-01-03]
This study describes specific patterns of elevated inflammatory proteins in clinical subtypes of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients. MG is a chronic, autoimmune neuromuscular disease with antibodies most commonly targeting the acetylcholine receptors (AChRab), which causes fluctuating skeletal muscle fatigue. MG pathophysiology includes a strong component of inflammation, and a large proportion of patients with early onset MG additionally present thymus hyperplasia. Due to the fluctuating nature and heterogeneity of the disease, there is a great need for objective biomarkers as well as novel potential inflammatory targets. We examined the sera of 45 MG patients (40 AChRab seropositive and 5 AChRab seronegative), investigating 92 proteins associated with inflammation. Eleven of the analysed proteins were significantly elevated compared to healthy controls, out of which the three most significant were: matrix metalloproteinase 10 (MMP-10; p = 0.0004), transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-α; p = 0.0017) and extracellular newly identified receptor for advanced glycation end-products binding protein (EN-RAGE) (also known as protein S100-A12; p = 0.0054). Further, levels of MMP-10, C-X-C motif ligand 1 (CXCL1) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) differed between early and late onset MG. These novel targets provide valuable additional insight into the systemic inflammatory response in MG.