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      Induction of Graves-like disease in mice by immunization with fibroblasts transfected with the thyrotropin receptor and a class II molecule.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

      Animals, Antigen-Antibody Reactions, Cattle, Cyclic AMP, metabolism, Female, Graves Disease, immunology, pathology, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Histocompatibility Antigens Class II, Humans, Immunization, Mice, Mice, Inbred AKR, Receptors, Thyrotropin, Signal Transduction, Thyroid Gland, Thyroxine, blood, Transfection, Triiodothyronine

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          Abstract

          Graves disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease characterized by the presence of antibodies against the thyrotropin receptor (TSHR), which stimulate the thyroid to cause hyperthyroidism and/or goiter. By immunizing mice with fibroblasts transfected with both the human TSHR and a major histocompatibility complex class II molecule, but not by either alone, we have induced immune hyperthyroidism that has the major humoral and histological features of Graves disease: stimulating TSHR antibodies, thyrotropin binding inhibiting immunoglobulins, which are different from the stimulating TSHR antibodies, increased thyroid hormone levels, thyroid enlargement, thyrocyte hypercellularity, and thyrocyte intrusion into the follicular lumen. The results suggest that the aberrant expression of major histocompatibility complex class II molecules on cells that express a native form of the TSHR can result in the induction of functional anti-TSHR antibodies that stimulate the thyroid. They additionally suggest that the acquisition of antigen-presenting ability on a target cell containing the TSHR can activate T and B cells normally present in an animal and induce a disease with the major features of autoimmune Graves.

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