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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1997 Dec;85(3):253-64.

Evaluating the role of Th0 and Th1 clones in autoimmune thyroid disease by use of Hu-SCID chimeras.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


To study the role of Th0 and Th1 cells in autoimmune thyroid disease, thyroid tissues from patients with Graves' disease (GD), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), and colloid nodular disease were xenografted into SCID mice, followed by ip injection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), T cell lines, and T cell clones (TCC). The antigen-specific TCC reactive to TSH receptor (TSH-R), thyroid peroxidase (TPO), or thyroglobulin (Tg), and their respective peptides, were classified into Th0 (secreting IL-4 and/or IL-5 and IFN-gamma) and Th1 (secreting IFN-gamma) according to their cytokine profile. Engraftment of autologous or HLA-matched allogeneic CD4+ thyroid-specific clones with Th0 or Th1 phenotypes induced the production of total IgG and thyroid-specific autoantibodies by B cells present in xenografted thyroid tissues. TSH-R-specific clones mainly enhanced thyroid-stimulating antibodies (TSAb) production, while clones reactive to TPO and Tg increased the synthesis of TPO and Tg autoantibodies. Total IgG production, but not TSAb, was also stimulated by PBMC and TSH-R lines. TSAb correlated with the viability and hyperplasia of thyroid follicles, but not with the serum T3 levels, which were normal. Thyroid tissue viability was maintained or increased by antigen-specific Th0 clones, and decreased by Th1 clones reactive to TSH-R or TPO. Thyroid lymphocytic infiltration was variable; however, Th0 and Th1 clones from HT patients caused high degree of lymphocytic infiltration compared to the control groups. These results demonstrate for the first time that T cells clones reactive to specific epitopes of TSH-R, TPO, or Tg can generate antibody-mediated and/or cell-mediated responses in the xenografted thyroid tissue microenvironment. Such effects depend on clonal specificity, HLA class II restriction, and cytokine profile of the clone. Th0 clones reactive to TSH-R stimulate both total IgG production and TSAb in SCID mice engrafted with thyroid tissue from GD patients. Th0 and Th1 clones specific for TPO and Tg also function as helper T cells, stimulating total IgG synthesis and autoantibodies against TPO and Tg. Th1 clones may also cause tissue destruction in GD and HT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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