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Br J Cancer. 2010 Mar 2;102(5):852-61. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605464. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Human recombinant anti-thyroperoxidase autoantibodies: in vitro cytotoxic activity on papillary thyroid cancer expressing TPO.

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  • 1Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-UMR 5232, CPID, Faculté de Pharmacie, 15 avenue Charles Flahault, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.



Thyroid cancers are difficult to treat due to their limited responsiveness to chemo- and radiotherapy. There is thus a great interest in and a need for alternative therapeutic approaches.


We studied the cytotoxic activity of anti-thyroperoxidase autoantibodies (anti-TPO aAbs, expressed in baculovirus/insect cell (B4) and CHO cells (B4') or purified from patients' sera) against a papillary thyroid cancer (NPA) cell line. Anti-TPO aAbs from patients' sera led to a partial destruction of NPA cell line by complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and exhibited an anti-proliferative activity. Comparison of the cytotoxic activity of anti-TPO aAbs shows that B4' induced an anti-proliferative effect and a better ADCC than B4, but a lower one than anti-TPO aAbs from patients' sera. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity was increased when human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were used as effector cells, suggesting that FcgammaRs, CD64, CD32 and CD16 are involved. Indeed, anti-TPO aAbs from patients' sera, but not B4 and B4', exhibited CDC activity.


These data indicate that anti-TPO aAbs display moderate ADCC and anti-proliferative activities on NPA cells; IgG glycosylation appears to be important for cytotoxic activity and ADCC efficiency depends on FcgammaR-bearing cells. Finally, recombinant human anti-TPO aAbs cannot yet be considered as an optimal tool for the development of a novel therapeutic approach for thyroid cancer.

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