Autosomal dominant myopathy with proximal weakness and early respiratory muscle involvement maps to chromosome 2q. (1/934)

Two Swedish families with autosomal dominant myopathy, who also had proximal weakness, early respiratory failure, and characteristic cytoplasmic bodies in the affected muscle biopsies, were screened for linkage by means of the human genome screening set (Cooperative Human Linkage Center Human Screening Set/Weber version 6). Most chromosome regions were completely excluded by linkage analysis (LOD score <-2). Linkage to the chromosomal region 2q24-q31 was established. A maximum combined two-point LOD score of 4.87 at a recombination fraction of 0 was obtained with marker D2S1245. Haplotype analysis indicated that the gene responsible for the disease is likely to be located in the 17-cM region between markers D2S2384 and D2S364. The affected individuals from these two families share an identical haplotype, which suggests a common origin.  (+info)

Mice with IFN-gamma receptor deficiency are less susceptible to experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. (2/934)

IFN-gamma can either adversely or beneficially affect certain experimental autoimmune diseases. To study the role of IFN-gamma in the autoantibody-mediated experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), an animal model of myasthenia gravis in humans, IFN-gammaR-deficient (IFN-gammaR-/-) mutant C57BL/6 mice and congenic wild-type mice were immunized with Torpedo acetylcholine receptor (AChR) plus CFA. IFN-gammaR-/- mice exhibited significantly lower incidence and severity of muscle weakness, lower anti-AChR IgG Ab levels, and lower Ab affinity to AChR compared with wild-type mice. Passive transfer of serum from IFN-gammaR-/- mice induced less muscular weakness compared with serum from wild-type mice. In contrast, numbers of lymph node cells secreting IFN-gamma and of those expressing IFN-gamma mRNA were strongly augmented in the IFN-gammaR-/- mice, reflecting a failure of negative feedback circuits. Cytokine studies by in situ hybridization revealed lower levels of lymphoid cells expressing AChR-reactive IL-1beta and TNF-alpha mRNA in AChR + CFA-immunized IFN-gammaR-/- mice compared with wild-type mice. No differences were found for AChR-reactive cells expressing IL-4, IL-10, or TGF-beta mRNA. These results indicate that IFN-gamma promotes systemic humoral responses in EAMG by up-regulating the production and the affinity of anti-AChR autoantibodies, thereby contributing to susceptibility to EAMG in C57BL/6-type mice.  (+info)

Contribution of lung function to exercise capacity in patients with chronic heart failure. (3/934)

BACKGROUND: The importance of exercise capacity as an indicator of prognosis in patients with heart disease is well recognized. However, factors contributing to exercise limitation in such patients have not been fully characterized and in particular, the role of lung function in determining exercise capacity has not been extensively investigated. OBJECTIVE: To examine the extent to which pulmonary function and respiratory muscle strength indices predict exercise performance in patients with moderate to severe heart failure. METHODS: Fifty stable heart failure patients underwent a maximal symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise test on a treadmill to determine maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), pulmonary function tests and maximum inspiratory (PImax) and expiratory (PEmax) pressure measurement. RESULTS: In univariate analysis, VO2max correlated with forced vital capacity (r = 0.35, p = 0.01), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (r = 0.45, p = 0.001), FEV1/FVC ratio (r = 0.37, p = 0.009), maximal midexpiratory flow rate (FEF25-75, r = 0. 47, p < 0.001), and PImax (r = 0.46, p = 0.001), but not with total lung capacity, diffusion capacity or PEmax. In stepwise linear regression analysis, FEF25-75 and PImax were shown to be independently related to VO2max, with a combined r and r2 value of 0. 56 and 0.32, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Lung function indices overall accounted for only approximately 30% of the variance in maximum exercise capacity observed in heart failure patients. The mechanism(s) by which these variables could set exercise limitation in heart failure awaits further investigation.  (+info)

Dominant hereditary inclusion-body myopathy gene (IBM3) maps to chromosome region 17p13.1. (4/934)

We recently described an autosomal dominant inclusion-body myopathy characterized by congenital joint contractures, external ophthalmoplegia, and predominantly proximal muscle weakness. A whole-genome scan, performed with 161 polymorphic markers and with DNA from 40 members of one family, indicated strong linkage for markers on chromosome 17p. After analyses with additional markers in the region and with DNA from eight additional family members, a maximum LOD score (Zmax) was detected for marker D17S1303 (Zmax=7.38; recombination fraction (theta)=0). Haplotype analyses showed that the locus (Genome Database locus name: IBM3) is flanked distally by marker D17S945 and proximally by marker D17S969. The positions of cytogenetically localized flanking markers suggest that the location of the IBM3 gene is in chromosome region 17p13.1. Radiation hybrid mapping showed that IBM3 is located in a 2-Mb chromosomal region and that the myosin heavy-chain (MHC) gene cluster, consisting of at least six genes, co-localizes to the same region. This localization raises the possibility that one of the MHC genes clustered in this region may be involved in this disorder.  (+info)

Myasthenic syndrome of snake envenomation: a clinical and neurophysiological study. (5/934)

In this prospective study, 65 consecutive patients with neurological manifestations after snake envenomation, were examined in order to describe the natural history of the reversible nature of muscle weakness. Snake envenoming led to a completely reversible muscle paralysis involving the external ocular muscles with sparing of the pupils, muscles of mastication, facial muscles, palatal muscles, neck and proximal limb muscles. The deep tendon reflexes were preserved with no sensory abnormalities. The muscular weakness usually set in within an hour of envenomation and lasted up to 10 days, with fatigability lasting for 12 days. Respiratory muscle paralysis led to ventilatory failure needing ventilation in severely envenomed patients. Motor and sensory nerve conduction were normal with normal resting compound motor action potentials on electromyography. Repetitive nerve stimulation gave rise to a decremental response during high frequency stimulation. The edrophonium test gave negative results. These manifestations are due to abnormalities of neuromuscular transmission and are not typical of myasthenia gravis. As the exact pathophysiology of venom-related neurotoxicity is not known, it is suggested that the neurological manifestations of snake envenoming be designated a myasthenic syndrome. Further studies to isolate the neurotoxin and its mechanism and exact site of blocking at the neuromuscular junction would pave the way for the development of a novel long-acting neuromuscular blocking agent.  (+info)

MR imaging of Dejerine-Sottas disease. (6/934)

We report the MR findings in two patients with clinically and histologically proved Dejerine-Sottas disease. One patient had spinal involvement with multiple thickened and clumped nerve roots of the cauda equina; the second had multiple enlarged and enhancing cranial nerves. Although these findings are not specific for Dejerine-Sottas disease, they are suggestive of the diagnosis, which is further corroborated with history and confirmed with sural nerve biopsy and laboratory studies.  (+info)

Bethlem myopathy: a slowly progressive congenital muscular dystrophy with contractures. (7/934)

Bethlem myopathy is an early-onset benign autosomal dominant myopathy with contractures caused by mutations in collagen type VI genes. It has been reported that onset occurs in early childhood. We investigated the natural course of Bethlem myopathy in five previously published kindreds and two novel pedigrees, with particular attention to the mode of onset in 23 children and the progression of weakness in 36 adult patients. Our analysis shows that nearly all children exhibit weakness or contractures during the first 2 years of life. Early features include diminished foetal movements, neonatal hypotonia and congenital contractures which are of a dynamic nature during childhood. The course of Bethlem myopathy in adult patients is less benign than previously thought. Due to slow but ongoing progression, more than two-thirds of patients over 50 years of age use a wheelchair.  (+info)

Mechanisms of nasal tolerance induction in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis: identification of regulatory cells. (8/934)

Autoantigen administration via nasal mucosal tissue can induce systemic tolerance more effectively than oral administration in a number of experimental autoimmune diseases, including Ab-mediated experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis, a murine model of myasthenia gravis. The mechanisms underlying nasal tolerance induction are not clear. In this study, we show that nasal administration of acetylcholine receptor (AChR) in C57BL/6 mice, before immunizations with AChR in adjuvant, results in delayed onset and reduced muscle weakness compared with control mice. The delayed onset and reduced muscle weakness were associated with decreased AChR-specific lymphocyte proliferation and decreased levels of anti-AChR Abs of the IgG2a and IgG2b isotypes in serum. The clinical and immunological changes in the AChR-pretreated C57BL/6 wild-type (wt) mice were comparable with those observed in AChR-pretreated CD8-/- mice, indicating that CD8+ T cells were not required for the generation of nasal tolerance. AChR-pretreated wt and CD8-/- mice showed augmented TGF-beta and reduced IFN-gamma responses, whereas levels of IL-4 were unaltered. Splenocytes from AChR-pretreated wt and CD8-/- mice, but not from CD4-/- mice, suppressed AChR-specific lymphocyte proliferation. This suppression could be blocked by Abs against TGF-beta. Thus, our results demonstrate that the suppression induced in the present model is independent of CD8+ T cells and suggest the involvement of Ag-specific CD4+ Th3 cells producing TGF-beta.  (+info)