A peptide corresponding to the sequence 169-193 of the second extracellular loop of the human muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-2 was used as an antigen to screen sera from patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM, n = 36) and healthy blood donors (HBD, n = 40). The sera from 14 patients with DCM (38.8%) and 3 HBD (7.5%) recognized the muscarinic receptor peptide at dilutions varying from 1:20 to 1:160 in ELISA. A highly significant correlation (P = 0.006) was found between the presence of antimuscarinic receptor-2 autoantibodies and anti-beta-adrenoceptor-1 autoantibodies in the patients' sera. Affinity-purified autoantibodies from positive sera of patients with DCM recognized on the electrotransferred protein of rat ventricular membrane a major band of about 80 kD. Incubation of autoantibodies with membrane resulted not only in a decrease in the maximal binding sites (Bmax) but also in an increase in Kd of radioligand binding in a concentration-dependent manner. This suggests a mixed-type of inhibition. Moreover, preincubation with atropine abolished the inhibitory effect of autoantibodies on the receptor binding whereas carbachol appeared to have no effect on the activity of the autoantibodies. These data define a subgroup of patients with idiopathic DCM who have in their sera functionally active autoantibodies against muscarinic receptor-2.


L X Fu, Y Magnusson, C H Bergh, J A Liljeqvist, F Waagstein, A Hjalmarson, J Hoebeke


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