Journal of Korean Endocrine Society 1997;12(2):176-193.
Published online January 1, 2001.
Heterogeneity of TSH Receptor Autoantibodies in Autoimmune Thyroid Disease.
Won Bae Kim, Bo Youn Cho, Kyoung Ah Kim, Jae Hoon Chung, Young Ki Min, Myung Shik Lee, Moon Kyu Lee, Kwang Won Kim
It has been known that most of thyroid stimulating antibodies (TSAbs) may interact with epitopes near N-terminal, and thyroid stimulation blocking antibodies (TSBAbs) near C-terminal on the extracellular domain of TSH receptor. However, many authors have reported different results about epitopes reacting with TSH receptor autoantibody (TRAb). TSBAbs inhibit thyroid stimulation of TSH and TSAbs at the receptor level. However, it has been reported that there are some TSBAbs which bind to the other sites, not TSH receptor, or block post-reeeptor process. These findings raise the possibility that TRAbs may be heterogeneous according to the mechanism of action. In order to investigate the heterogeneity of TRAb, we undertook immuno-precipitation using synthetic peptides of TSH receptor and measured TRAb activities by FRTL-5 cells and chimeric CHO cells. METHODS: We studied 102 patients with autoimmune thyroid disease (Graves disease 32, Hashimotos thyroiditis 29, atrophic thyroiditis 41) and 35 healthy persons. Three synthetic peptide fragments of TSH receptor were used to perform immunoprecipitation with serum or IgG of patients and healthy persons, TSAb and TSBAb activities were measured by FRTL-5 cells and CHO cells transfected with wild-type and 2 mutant TSH receptor cDNA (Mc2, Mc1+2). Mc2 and Mcl+2 were rnade to substitute amino acid residues of 90-165, 8-165 of the TSH receptor with corresponding residues of LH/CG receptor, respectively. RESULTS: Two out of 10 IgGs extracted from Graves disease and 2 out of 9 IgGs from atrophic thyroiditis had specific bidings over 0.84% in immunoprecipitation with peptide I (amino acid residue 35-50). Four out of 18 IgGs from Graves disease, 9 out of 41 IgGs from atrophic thyroiditis, and 6 out of 14 IgGs from Hashimotos thyroiditis had specific bidings over 0.84% in immunoprecipitation with peptide II (amino acid residue 317-332). Only 2 out of 10 IgGs from Graves disease had specific bidings over 0.84% in immunoprecipitation with peptide III (amino acid residue 341-358). When 10 IgGs extracted from Graves disease were reacted with wild-type, Mc2, and Mcl+2 CHO cells, 7 IgGs in wild-type and 4 IgGs in Mc2 had positive for TSAb activities. In 10 IgGs from atrophic thyroiditis, 5 in wild-type, 5 in Mc2, and 3 in Mcl+2 CHO cells had positive for TSBAb activities. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis, only 1 with hyperthyroidism had positive for TSAb activity in wild-type and 1 with hypothyroidism had positive for TSBAb activities in both of wild-type and Mc2 CHO cells. Therefore, patients with Graves disease were divided into at least 3 groups according to the TSAb activities measured by wild-type, Mc2, Mcl+ 2 CHO cells and TBII activities. And patients with atrophic thyroiditis were divided into at least 4 groups according to the TBII activities, TSBAb activities by wild-type, Mc2, Mcl+2 CHO cells and FRTL-5 cells. CONCLUSION: From these results, epitopes of TSH receptor reacting with TSAb or TSBAb in autoimmune thyroid disease may be scattered in the TSH receptor, although epitopes of TSAb tend to be near N-terminal and those of TSBAb near C-terminal. Graves disease or atrophic thyroiditis were divided into 3 or 4 groups according to the TBII and TRAb activities. Therefore, TRAb detected in autoimmune thyroid disease may be heterogenous.
Key Words: TSH receptor autoantibody, Autoimmune thyroid disease, Heterogeneity

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