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Immunological Function in Dystrophia Myotonica

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 14 July 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:81
  1. D. I. Grove,
  2. S. J. O' Callaghan,
  3. T. O. Burston,
  4. I. J. Forbes


    Humoral and cellular immunity have been investigated in 15 patients with dystrophia myotonica. No abnormalities in total serum levels of the five major immunoglobulin classes were found but there was a rise in the mean serum level of β1A complement. Altogether, 54% of patients failed to make antibody to tetanus toxoid as compared with 1% of controls: 13% of patients failed to make antibody to Salmonella typhi H antigen as compared with no failure of this function in control subjects. There was a reduced uptake of tritiated thymidine by whole blood lymphocyte cultures spontaneously, while in the presence of phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and both autologous and fetal calf serum the uptake was normal. It is suggested that there may be a wider derangement of immunological function in dystrophia myotonica than previously thought.