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International journal of molecular sciences

Th17/Treg cells imbalance and GITRL profile in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.


PMID 25429429

Abstract

Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) is an organ-specific immune disease characterized by the presence of lymphocytic infiltration and serum autoantibodies. Previous studies have confirmed the critical role of Th17 cells in the pathopoiesis of HT patients. Additionally, regulatory T cells (Treg) display a dysregulatory function in autoimmune disease. The purpose of this study is to investigate the alteration of Th17 and Treg cells in HT patients and explore contributing factors. We found there was an increased ratio of Th17/Treg in HT patients and a positive correlation with autoantibodies (anti-TgAb). In addition, there was an increased level of GITRL, which has been demonstrated to be correlated with the increassement of Th17 cells in the serum and thyroid glands of HT patients; the upregulated serum level of GITRL has a positive correlation with the percentage of Th17 cells in HT patients. In summary, an increase in GITRL may impair the balance of Th17/Treg, and contribute to the pathopoiesis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis.