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Spreading and Adjuvant as a ‘Double Edged Sword’

By Human Tsh, Receptor A-subunit Thyroiditis, Ra M. Mclachlan, Holly A. Aliesky, Chun-rong Chen, Gao Chong and Basil Rapoport


Transgenic mice with the human thyrotropin-receptor (TSHR) A-subunit targeted to the thyroid are tolerant of the transgene. In transgenics that express low A-subunit levels (Lo-expressors), regulatory T cell (Treg) depletion using anti-CD25 before immunization with adenovirus encoding the A-subunit (A-sub-Ad) breaks tolerance, inducing extensive thyroid lymphocytic infiltration, thyroid damage and antibody spreading to other thyroid proteins. In contrast, no thyroiditis develops in Hi-expressor transgenics or wild-type mice. Our present goal was to determine if thyroiditis could be induced in Hi-expressor transgenics using a more potent immunization protocol: Treg depletion, priming with Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) + A-subunit protein and further Treg depletions before two boosts with A-sub-Ad. As controls, anti-CD25 treated Hi- and Lo-expressors and wild-type mice were primed with CFA+ mouse thyroglobulin (Tg) or CFA alone before A-sub-Ad boosting. Thyroiditis developed after CFA+A-subunit protein or Tg and A-sub-Ad boosting in Lo-expressor transgenics but Hi- expressors (and wild-type mice) were resistant to thyroiditis induction. Importantly, in Lo-expressors, thyroiditis was associated with the development of antibodies to the mouse TSHR downstream of the A-subunit. Unexpectedly, we observed that the effect of bacterial products on the immune system is a ‘‘double-edged sword’’. On the one hand, priming with CFA (mycobacteria emulsified in oil) plus A-subunit protein broke tolerance to the A-subunit in Hi-expressor transgenics leading to high TSHR antibody levels. On the other hand, prior treatment with CFA in the absence o

Year: 2016
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