Animal models of Myasthenia Gravis for Preclinical Evaluation

Abstract : Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by generalized muscle weakness due to autoantibodies causing dysfunction of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Steroids and other immunosuppressants provide effective treatment for MG. However, these treatments often cause severe side effects and some patients are treatment resistant. Therefore, the development of new therapeutics that are specific, potent and safe is necessary to improve quality of life in MG patients. Use of animal models can accelerate the pre-clinical evaluation of new or repurposed therapeutics for MG. The experimental animal models are the experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG), induced by antigen immunization and the passive transfer MG (PTMG), induced by antibodies. The variability, between laboratories, in experimental design, methods of induction and outcome measurements for pre-clinical studies make it difficult to interpret and compare the published reports and assess the potential for application to MG patients. Standard procedures for animal care, sampling and randomization of animals, experimental design and outcome measures will clarify the interpretation of pre-clinical testing and improve our ability to navigate potential new therapeutics toward clinical trials.

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