Altered expression of chemokine receptor CXCR5 on T cells of myasthenia gravis patients

Ryuji Saito, Hiroshi Onodera, Hideaki Tago, Yasushi Suzuki, Masayuki Shimizu, Yuji Matsumura, Takashi Kondo, Yasuto Itoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Myasthenia gravis (MG) is characterized by the T cell-dependent production of anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies. The chemokine receptor CXCR5 regulates lymphocyte migration and is expressed on a subset of CD4+ T cells named follicular helper T cells (TFH), the key modulators of antibody production by B cells. We studied the frequency of CXCR5-positive lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of MG patients before and after therapy (thymectomy plus glucocorticoid). Before therapy, the MG patients showed a significantly higher frequency of CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells in the peripheral blood compared with the control group, while no significant difference in the percentages of CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells was observed between the patients of the hyperplasia group and those of the thymoma group. The CXCR5+ CD4+ T cell frequency correlated with the disease severity. The CXCR5+ CD4+ T cell frequency of MG patients positive for other autoantibodies together with anti-AChR antibodies was significantly higher than in those having only anti-AChR antibodies. After therapy, the CXCR5+ CD4+ T cell percentage decreased gradually to the control level with a significant inverse correlation between the CXCR5+ CD4+ T cell frequency and duration after the initiation of MG therapy. The CXCR5+ CD4+ T cell populations in the hyperplastic thymuses and thymomas were not significantly different from those in the control thymuses. These results suggest that CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells play an important role in the disease activity of MG and that some MG patients have a systemic abnormality in T cell-dependent antibody production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 30
Externally publishedYes


  • CXCR5
  • Chemokine
  • Helper T
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Thymus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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