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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Adhesion molecule expression in Graves' thyroid glands; potential relevance of granule membrane protein (GMP-140) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in the homing and antigen presentation processes.

To assess the potential role of adhesion molecules in the pathogenesis of Graves' disease, we examined the expression of several of these adhesion molecules, including intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1) and granule membrane protein-140 (GMP-140), in sections of Graves' thyroid glands and control thyroids, using immunohistochemical techniques. Up-regulated expression of GMP-140 was frequently observed on endothelial cells (EC) of post-capilliary venules in all Graves' thyroids examined, compared with an occasional weak staining on EC control glands. Some capillary EC around thyroid follicles (perifollicular EC) were strongly positive for GMP-140 in the Graves' thyroids in contrast to a negative staining on the same structures in the control glands. In addition, there was a correlation between the reactivity and frequency of GMP-140 expression on EC and the severity of mononuclear cell (MNC) infiltration in the Graves' thyroids. The expression of ICAM-1 was up-regulated on perifollicular EC and EC of small venules in some thyroids of both Graves' and control groups. Conversely, no significant expression was observed on any type of EC for both endothelial-leucocyte adhesion molecule-1 (ELAM-1) and VCAM-1. However, dendritic-like cells, present within lymphocytic infiltrates, were positive for VCAM-1 in most of the Graves' thyroids examined, especially in those with a severe lymphocytic infiltration. Thyrocytes were constantly negative for the expression of all four adhesion molecules investigated. These data suggest that GMP-140, as well as ICAM-1, could play an important role in the initiation of MNC infiltration in Graves' disease. ELAM-1 and VCAM-1 appear not to be relevant for the migration of MNC from the blood vessels into the target gland, although VCAM-1 expression on dendritic-like cells might play an additively tissue-selective role in autoantigen presentation and subsequent elicitation of autoimmune phenomena.[1]


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