Neutralizing antibodies against endogenous interferon in myasthenia gravis patients

Francesca Bagnato, Alessandro Clemenzi, Carolina Scagnolari, Luigi Strizzi, Antonella Di Pasquale, Francesca Bellomi, Paola Di Marco, Guido Antonelli*, Giovanni Antonini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Anti-cytokine antibodies (Abs) play an important role in the regulation of the Immune response, both under normal conditions and in several autoimmune and neoplastic disorders. In the present study, we have investigated the occurrence and the clinical significance of natural neutralizing Abs (NAbs) against Interferons (IFNs) alpha (α), beta (β) and gamma (γ), as detected by bioassay, in 52 patients with myasthenia gravis (MG), and 43 sex- and age-matched healthy individuals. Patients showing titres ≥ 1.3 Log t 1/10, confirmed in 2 consecutive samples collected two months apart, were considered positive. NAbs against any of the IFNs were not detected in healthy subjects. Of the 52 MG patients, 11 (21.1%) had NAbs against IFNα and three (5.8%) had NAbs against IFNβ. None of these patients was found to be positive for NAbs against IFNγ. Of the patients positive for NAbs against IFNα, eight (15.4%) had NAbs at titres ≥ 2 Log t 1/10. A positive association was observed between high titres of NAbs and the presence of thymoma. These data suggest the presence of a generalized activation of the humoral response in MG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Anti-cytokines antibodies
  • Cytokines
  • Interferon
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Neutralizing antibodies
  • Thymus tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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