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

Rare detection of phenotypically immature lymphocytes in Hashimoto thyroiditis and rheumatoid arthritis.

It has been suggested that recombination activating gene (RAG)-dependent revision of the immunoglobulin genes in germinal centres may contribute to local production of autoantibodies in Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). To test this hypothesis we examined HT and RA tissues for expression of RAG and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) in situ. Paraffin-embedded tissues from 19 HT patients and from 20 RA patients were subjected to immunohistochemistry using TdT-specific antibodies. Expression of the RAGs was studied by in situ hybridisation. Tonsil sections were used as a control. Expression of TdT and RAGs was detected in extrafollicular lymphocytes in control tonsil sections. By contrast, only rare TdT-expressing cells were identified in 11 of 19 HT and in 2 of 20 RA samples. Germinal centre B-cells were consistently TdT- and RAG-negative. These results suggest that local RAG-dependent receptor revision in germinal centres is unlikely to contribute to production of autoantibodies in HT and RA. The presence of TdT-positive extrafollicular cells may represent an influx of immature cells in the context of chronic immune stimulation.[1]


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