The effect of ACTH treatment on lymphocyte subpopulations in patients with myasthenia gravis
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Blood lymphocytes were collected before, at various times during treatment and after treatment with ACTH in patients with myasthenia gravis. The relative proportions of thymus-derived (T cells) and bursa-derived (B cells) lymphocytes were determined. Eight of nine patients had a relative increase in B cells, whereas T cells showed a relative decrease. Myasthenic symptoms in these eight patients also were relieved. One patient who was not thymectomized showed virtually no relief in symptoms nor any changes in the relative T and B cell proportions or numbers, indicating a close association between the disease and the thymus-derived immune system.
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