Synaptic signalling therapies for anti-acetylcholine receptor myasthenia gravis

Summary

This project will use a mouse model to test potential treatments for the autoimmune disease, anti-acetylcholine receptor myasthenia gravis.

Supervisor(s)

Associate Professor William (Bill) Phillips

Research Location

Camperdown - School of Medical Sciences - Bosch Institute

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

Myasthenia gravis is a muscle weakness disease. Most cases are caused by autoimmune antibodies that bind to the acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in the postsynaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). The current treatments for myasthenia gravis mainly involve immunosuppression. Additional treatment options are needed to better manage patient health. The aim of this project is to use the mouse active-immunization model of anti-AChR myasthenia gravis to test the benefit of new experimental interventions, including physical exercise and muscle specific kinase gene therapy. Mice will be carefully monitored for weight loss and muscle weakness. Impairment of NMJ function and structure will be assessed using electromyography and quantitative fluorescence microscopy. This project aims to establish new candidate treatments that can be tested for better health outcomes in myasthenia gravis patients.

Additional Information

Co-supervisor is Dr Stephen Reddel.

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Keywords

Neuromuscular, confocal microscopy, Myasthenia gravis, cell-cell communication, tyrosine kinases, disease models, exercise, cholinergic

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 673

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