Arnold I. Levinson

faculty photo
Emeritus Professor of Medicine
Associate Dean for Research, Perelman School of Medicine
Department: Medicine

Contact information
Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania
Room 316 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 898-4592
Fax: (215) 898-0193
B.S. (Psychology)
University of Maryland, 1965.
M.D. (Medicine)
University of Maryland, 1969.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interest

Cellular and molecular basis of human autoimmune disease

Research Summary

Role of the thymus in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG)
Dr. Levinson analyzed the expression of acetylcholine receptors in the thymus in an effort to determine how intrathymic expression of this autoantigen may predispose to development of the prototypic autoimmune disease, myasthenia gravis (MG). His studies focused on the cellular localization of these receptors at the protein and mRNA levels, as well as their quantitation, and molecular regulation. He developed a mouse model of the intrathymic pathogenesis of MG, which suggested that an antecedent inflammatory response in the thymus augments lymphocyte trafficking back to this organ and leads to a breach of tolerance to locally expressed acetylcholine receptor.

Impact of a B cell superantigen on the immune response
Dr. Levinson studied the impact of a novel type of antigen, a B cell superantigen, on the immune system. Unlike a conventional antigen, a B cell superantigen has the potential to react with a large numbers of B cells or large amounts of soluble immunoglobulin. He found that the prototypic B cell superantigen, Staphylococcus aureus protein, activated the classical complement cascade in vitro and induced immune complex mediated tissue injury in vivo. His studies uncovered the molecular basis for this immunopathologic response. He subsequently discovereed that the proinflammatory effects of bacterial B cell superantigens may not be solely mediated by their interaction with the complement system given the fact that interaction with a toll-like receptor was the predominant mechanism in the case of a second B cell superantigen under study.

Additionally, Dr. Levinson has investigated mechanisms of human B cell activation and immunoregulatory abnormalities in patients with antibody deficiency syndromes.

Description of Itmat Expertise

Human B cell biology

Selected Publications

Levinson Arnold I: Modeling the intrathymic pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis. Journal of the neurological sciences Jan 2013.

Levinson AI: Myasthenia Gravis. Clinical Immunology: Principles and Practice. Rich R (eds.). Elseiver, fourth, 2013.

Anderson Amy L, Zheng Yi, Song Decheng, Larosa David, Van Rooijen Nico, Kierstein Gerold, Kierstein Sonja, Haczku Angela, Levinson Arnold I: The B-cell superantigen Finegoldia magna protein L causes pulmonary inflammation by a mechanism dependent on MyD88 but not B cells or immunoglobulins. Inflammation research : official journal of the European Histamine Research Society ... [et al.] 61(2): 161-9, Feb 2012.

Zemble Robert Marc, Takach Patricia A, Levinson Arnold I: The relationship between hypogammaglobulinemia, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance and humoral immunodeficiency: a case series. Journal of clinical immunology 31(5): 737-43, Oct 2011.

Park Joon H, Levinson Arnold I: Granulomatous-lymphocytic interstitial lung disease (GLILD) in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.) 134(2): 97-103, Feb 2010.

Glaum Mark C, Narula Shilpi, Song Decheng, Zheng Yi, Anderson Amy L, Pletcher C Hank, Levinson Arnold I: Toll-like receptor 7-induced naive human B-cell differentiation and immunoglobulin production. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 123(1): 224-230.e4, Jan 2009.

Torigian Drew A, LaRosa David F, Levinson Arnold I, Litzky Leslie A, Miller Wallace T: Granulomatous-lymphocytic interstitial lung disease associated with common variable immunodeficiency: CT findings. Journal of thoracic imaging 23(3): 162-9, Aug 2008.

Rabin R L, Levinson A I: The nexus between atopic disease and autoimmunity: a review of the epidemiological and mechanistic literature. Clinical and experimental immunology 153(1): 19-30, Jul 2008.

Glaum Mark C, Levinson Arnold I: Asymptomatic long-standing panhypogammaglobulinemia with impaired antibody responses. Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 100(4): 396-7, Apr 2008.

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Last updated: 02/06/2013
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