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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1976 Feb;42(2):341-54.

Human thyroid adenyl cyclase-stimulating activity in immunoglobulin G of patients with Graves' disease.


We have studied the characteristics of the stimulation of adenyl cyclase (AC) activity in human thyroid plasma membranes by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and by immunoglobulin G (IgG) from the sera of patients with Graves' disease. AC activity was measured as adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) generated by membranes in a 10 minute incubation. IgG from two patients with Graves' disease possessed particularly potent human thyroid AC-stimulating activity; the dose-response curves with these IgGs were essentially parallel to those obtained with TSH. As little as 30 mug of the IgG of one patient with Graves' disease or 8 muU of TSH caused significant AC stimulation. A Lineweaver-Burk plot of the data suggested similarity in the site of action of both TSH and human thyroid adenyl cyclase stimulator (HTACS) in Graves' IgG. Submaximal doses of HTACS and TSH had additive effects on AC stimulation, but a large dose of a Graves' IgG with potent AC stimulating activity did not enhance AC stimulation by a maximal dose of TSH. The effect of HTACS on AC was slower in onset and longer in duration than an equipotent dose of TSH. HTACS was detectable in IgGs of 9 of 15 untreated hyperthyroid Graves' disease patients; its concentration, however, did not correlate significantly with tests of thyroid function, nor with long-acting thyroid stimulator (LATS) activity. In another 11 treated patients with Graves' disease, selected for the presence of LATS, HTACS and LATS were significantly correlated. We observed no inhibition of LATS activity in a Graves' IgG chosen for such testing because of its high titer of HTACS and no detectable LATS. However, an inhibitor of HTACS was detected in 2 of 4 IgGs; one of these two IgGs also inhibited AC stimulation by TSH.


1) Some Graves' disease IgGs contain a human thyroid AC stimulator (HTACS), probably different from LATS. 2) HTACS may act via a common pathway with TSH; it differs from TSH, however, in having a slower onset and a greater effect during more prolonged incubation with plasma membranes. 3) There is also an inhibitor of HTACS activity in some Graves' disease IgGs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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