Graves’ disease (GD) is a common autoimmune disease involving the thyroid gland. The altered balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines plays an important role in the pathogenesis of GD. Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 20 (CCL20) is important for interleukin-17 (IL-17) signal activation and a potent chemoattractant for Th17 cells. Meanwhile, Osteopontin (OPN), a broadly expressed pleiotropic cytokine, has been implicated in GD through inducing Th1-involved response to enhance the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, but little is known about the role of OPN in regulating CCL20 and IL-17 signaling.This study sought to explore the possibility of CCL20 level as a biomarker for GD, as well as investigate the role of OPN in regulating CCL20 production.Fifty untreated GD patients, fifteen euthyroid GD patients, twelve TRAb-negative GD patients and thirty-five healthy control donors were recruited. OPN, CCL20 and other clinical GD diagnosis parameters were measured. CD4+T cells were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using antibody-coated magnetic beads. Enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay and quantitative polymerase chain reaction were used to determine CCL20 expression level.We found that the plasma CCL20 level was enhanced in GD patients and decreased in euthyroid and TRAb-negative GD patients. In addition, CCL20 level correlated with GD clinical diagnostic parameters and plasma OPN level. Moreover, we demonstrated that recombinant OPN and plasma from untreated GD patients increased the expression of CCL20 in CD4+T cells, which could be blocked by OPN antibody. Furthermore, we found that the effect of OPN on CCL20 expression was mediated by β3 integrin receptor, IL-17, NF-κB and MAPK pathways.These results demonstrated that CCL20 might serve as a biomarker for GD and suggested the possible role of OPN in induction of CCL20 expression
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