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

Thyrocyte HLA-DR expression and interferon-gamma production in autoimmune thyroid disease.

We examined the expression of HLA-DR antigen induced by mitogen, mitogen-free supernatants from mitogen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), or autologous and allogeneic PBMC on thyrocytes cultured for 1-2 weeks (precultured) before the addition of the stimulant. Leucoagglutinin (LAG) and concanavalin A, but not lipopolysaccharide induced HLA-DR expression on thyrocytes from normal subjects (NC) and patients with Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis ( HT). The degree of DR expression induced by LAG was significantly less in GD than in NC thyrocytes. This response was dependent on contaminating T cells, especially suppressor-cytotoxic T (Ts/c) cells, NK cells, and HLA-DR+ cells, but not helper-inducer T (Th/i) cells or B cells, in the thyrocyte cultures. OKT3 monoclonal antibody, which activates T cells specifically in the presence of monocytes, also induced thyrocyte HLA-DR expression. Furthermore, interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) was detected in culture supernatants from LAG-stimulated thyrocytes. Anti-IFN-gamma monoclonal antibody eliminated the ability of LAG to induce HLA-DR. Mitogen-free supernatants from mitogen-stimulated PBMC also induced thyrocyte HLA-DR expression, which was inhibited by anti-IFN-gamma. The supernatants of concanavalin A- or LAG-stimulated PBMC from either untreated or recently treated patients with GD or hypothyroid HT induced less thyrocyte DR expression than NC PBMC. Indeed, the levels of IFN-gamma in supernatants from such patients were lower than those in NC, and the correlation between DR expression and IFN-gamma levels was significant. This IFN-gamma production by PBMC required Th/i cells, NK cells, and HLA-DR+ cells. Before the addition of autologous or allogeneic PBMC, only precultured HT thyrocytes expressed HLA-DR, whereas GD and NC thyrocytes did not. The induction or enhancement of DR expression on autologous thyrocytes by direct coculture with PBMC occurred within 8 days in GD and HT, but not in NC. There was a significant correlation between the serum titer of antithyroid microsomal antibodies and the degree of DR expression. Allogeneic normal PBMC also induced DR expression on NC and GD thyrocytes within 8 days, the effect on the latter being more pronounced than with autologous GD PBMC. Thyrocyte HLA-DR expression induced by autologous GD PBMC and allogeneic normal PBMC required monocytes. Th/i, and NK cells and was blocked by anti-IFN-gamma. However, the enhancement of thyrocyte DR expression by autologous HT PBMC did not require monocytes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)[1]


  1. Thyrocyte HLA-DR expression and interferon-gamma production in autoimmune thyroid disease. Iwatani, Y., Gerstein, H.C., Iitaka, M., Row, V.V., Volpé, R. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1986) [Pubmed]
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