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

Human T cell leukemia virus type I-infected patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease.

CONTEXT: Autoimmune thyroid diseases have been reported to be associated with human T cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-I) infection. HTLV-I proviral load is related to the development of HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis and has also been shown to be elevated in the peripheral blood of HTLV-I-infected patients with uveitis, arthritis, and connective tissue disease. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to evaluate the proviral load in HTLV-I-infected patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) or Graves' disease (GD) and ascertain the ability of HTLV-I to infect thyroid cells. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A quantitative real-time PCR assay was developed to measure the proviral load of HTLV-I in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 26 HTLV-I-infected patients with HT, eight HTLV-I-infected patients with GD, or 38 asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers. Rat FRTL-5 thyroid cells were cocultured with HTLV-I-infected T cell line MT-2 or uninfected T cell line CCRF-CEM. After coculture with T cell lines, changes in Tax and cytokine mRNA expression were studied by RT-PCR. RESULTS: HTLV-I proviral load was significantly higher in the peripheral blood of patients with HT and GD than asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers. In the peripheral blood from HTLV-I-infected patients with HT, HTLV-I proviral load did not correlate with the thyroid peroxidase antibody or thyroglobulin antibody titer. After coculture with MT-2 cells, FRTL-5 cells expressed HTLV-I-specific Tax mRNA. These cocultured FRTL-5 cells with MT-2 cells expressed IL-6 mRNA and proliferated more actively than those cocultured with CCRF-CEM cells. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest the role of the retrovirus in the development of autoimmune thyroid diseases in HTLV-I-infected patients.[1]


  1. Human T cell leukemia virus type I-infected patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease. Matsuda, T., Tomita, M., Uchihara, J.N., Okudaira, T., Ohshiro, K., Tomoyose, T., Ikema, T., Masuda, M., Saito, M., Osame, M., Takasu, N., Ohta, T., Mori, N. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (2005) [Pubmed]
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