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J Autoimmun. 2002 May;18(3):213-20.

Coexpression of susceptible and resistant HLA class II transgenes in murine experimental autoimmune thyroiditis: DQ8 molecules downregulate DR3-mediated thyroiditis.

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Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) can be induced in genetically susceptible mice by immunization with the self antigen, thyroglobulin (Tg). Since susceptibility is linked to H2 class II molecules, we have generated human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II transgenic mice to study potential HLA associations with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. DR3 (HLA-DRA/DRB1*0301) and DQ8 (HLA-DQA1*0301/DQB1*0302) transgenes were introduced into class II-negative Ab(0)/B10 and Ab(0) nonobese diabetic (Ab(0)/NOD) mice. Previous work had shown that DR3 transgenic mice were susceptible to both mouse Tg and human Tg-induced EAT, whereas DQ8 transgenic mice were moderately susceptible only to human Tg induction. In this report, we examined the effect of DQ8 transgene on mouse Tg- and human Tg-induced EAT in double transgenic DR3/DQ8 mice. After mouse Tg induction, thyroiditis in DR3(+)DQ8(+) Ab(0)/B10 mice was significantly less severe than in DR3(+) mice but more severe than in DQ8(+) mice. No difference in thyroiditis was observed between DR3(+) and DR3(+)DQ8(+) mice in another background strain, Ab(0)/NOD. However, after immunization with human Tg, DQ8 coexpression downregulated thyroiditis severity, compared to DR3(+) mice, whereas thyroiditis was more extensive than in DQ8(+) mice. Thus, depending on the background strain and the Tg used to induce disease, the presence of the DQ8 transgene can reduce thyroiditis mediated by DR3 molecules.

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