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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 574-581

Immunoregulatory T cells, LFA-3 and HLA-DR in autoimmune thyroid diseases

1 Endocrine Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Mansoura, Egypt
2 Department of Biochemistry, University of Mounofyia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Aml Mohamed Nada
Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, 24 El-Gomhoria Street, Mansoura 35516
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.137524

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Several reports have claimed a role for T regulatory cells (Tregs) in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD). Naturally occurring CD4+ regulatory T cells, the majority of which express CD25, are engaged in dominant control of self-reactive T cells, contributing to the maintenance of immunologic self-tolerance. Their depletion or functional alteration leads to the development of autoimmune diseases. CD8+ Tcells are also claimed to have a suppressive effect on autoimmune diseases. Lymphocyte function antigen-3 and human leucocyte antigen (HLA-DR) are involved in antigen presentation, initiation, and maintenance of autoimmune processes. Aim: The aim of the present study was to examine the changes in the expression of T-cell activation markers, namely CD4+ CD25+ and CD8+ in patients with AITD, namely Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis as well as colloid nodular goitre. HLA-DR, LFA-3, and peripheral total lymphocytic count are also measured. Materials and Methods: We compared the expression of CD4, CD25, and CD8 surface markers in peripheral blood lymphocyte in Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis as autoimmune thyroid diseases, as well as colloid goitre in comparison with healthy controls. Also, LFA-3 and HLA-DR were measured in the same groups using three-color flow cytometry. Total lymphocytic count in peripheral blood, thyroid function tests, antithyroid antibodies were also included in the laboratory investigations. The total number of participants was 65. All were recruited from endocrine clinics in a tertiary care hospital in the southern region of Saudi Arabia. All participants underwent history taking, clinical examination, laboratory workup, and radiological investigations. Neck ultrasound, technecium pertechnetateψψ thyroid uptake, and fine-needle aspiration and cytology (FNAC) of the thyroid were done when indicated. The study was approved by the Hospital Research Isthics Committee and informed consents were obtained from all participants before enrollment in the study. Results: In comparison with thecontrol group, activation markers CD4, CD25, and CD8 were lower in the autoimmune thyroid diseases. Lymphocyte function antigen-3 (CD58) and total lymphocytic count were higher in the AIT diseases whereas HLA-DR was lower than that in the control group. The CD4/CD8 ratio was lower in the AITD compared with the healthy euthyroid subjects. No difference was found between patients with colloid nodular goitre and the healthy control in any of the study variables except for LFA-3 which was significantly higher in the colloid goitre group. Conclusion: Our findings indicate downregulation of CD4+ CD25+ Treg as well as CD8+ T cells in autoimmune thyroid diseases. Downregulation of suppressor T lymphocytes helps initiation, progression, and maintenance of the autoimmune thyroid diseases. Lower HLA-DR and higher CD58 in AITDs indicate their role in the expression of the autoantigen and its escape from the immune surveillance. High levels of LFA-3 in colloid goitre indicate that the autoimmune process needs interacting factors, and not only the high level of LFA-3.

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