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Autoimmun Rev. 2008 Jul;7(7):530-7. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2008.04.006. Epub 2008 May 9.

Autoimmune thyroiditis and ROS.

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Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 21205, United States.


Autoimmune thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic or Hashimoto's thyroiditis, is characterized by infiltration of the thyroid gland by inflammatory cells and production of autoantibodies to thyroid-specific antigens thyroglobulin and thyroperoxidase. It is accompanied by hypothyroidism due to destruction and eventual fibrous replacement of the follicle cells. Autoimmune thyroiditis is clearly multifactorial in etiology with genetic and environmental factors contributions. Excess dietary Iodine can exacerbate thyroiditis in genetically susceptible hosts such as the NOD.H2(h4) mouse. In this mouse excess dietary iodine leads to an increased immunogenicity of the thyroglobulin molecule and enhanced expression of ICAM-1 on thyroidal follicle cells. We present evidence here that ICAM-1 expression is enhanced by the elevated generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The anti-oxidant diphenyleneiodium (DPI), an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, reduced both the generation of ROS and of ICAM-1 expression in cultures of NOD.H2(h4) mouse thyrocytes. These results suggest that antioxidants may have therapeutic value in preventing autoimmune thyroiditis.

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