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Thyroid. 2015 Sep;25(9):1043-9. doi: 10.1089/thy.2015.0029. Epub 2015 Aug 13.

B Cell Activating Factor (BAFF) and BAFF Receptor Expression in Autoimmune and Nonautoimmune Thyroid Diseases.

Author information

1
1 Graves' Orbitopathy Center , Endocrinology Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan and Università degli Studi di Milano , Milan, Italy .
2
2 Unit of Pathology A.O. San Paolo, Department of Health Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy .
3
3 Flow Cytometry Service, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan and Università degli Studi di Milano , Milan, Italy .
4
4 Endocrine Surgery Unit, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan and Università degli Studi di Milano , Milan, Italy .
5
5 Ophtalmology Unit, Fondazione Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Cà Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan and Università degli Studi di Milano , Milan, Italy .

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The B cell activating factor (BAFF) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor family, which controls the survival/proliferation of B cells and is involved in the pathogenesis of a number of autoimmune diseases. The objective of the present study was to investigate the expression of BAFF and BAFF receptor (BAFF-R) in the thyroid tissue of patients affected with autoimmune thyroid disorders (AITD) or multinodular goiter (MNG) compared with those with normal thyroids.

METHODS:

Immunohistochemistry was performed using a panel of antibodies against BAFF, BAFF-R, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, CD34, CD79a, CD1a, CD68, and CD163 on the thyroid sections of 27 patients affected with Graves' disease (GD), 23 with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), 16 with nontoxic nodular goiter (NTG), and 15 with toxic nodular goiter (TG), submitted to total thyroidectomy between 2000 and 2011.

RESULTS:

The overall BAFF-R expression in thyrocytes was weak and not different in AITD and MNG. Conversely, a stronger BAFF expression was observed in MNG compared with AITD. BAFF and BAFF-R expression in the infiltrating lymphocytes was higher in AITD compared with MNG. Interestingly, in lymphocytes of follicular-like structures observed in HT, BAFF and BAFF-R were localized in the germinal center or in the mantle, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study shows that BAFF and BAFF-R are expressed in the thyrocytes derived from patients with either AITD or MNG, in addition to the expected expression of BAFF and its receptor in the infiltrating immune cells of GD and HT. These findings suggest a possible involvement of BAFF and its receptors in the pathophysiology of AITD.

PMID:
26214745
DOI:
10.1089/thy.2015.0029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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