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HLA-DM and invariant chain are expressed by thyroid follicular cells, enabling the expression of compact DR molecules.

Unitat d'Immunologia, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
International Immunology (Impact Factor: 3.14). 03/1999; 11(2):269-77. DOI: 10.1093/intimm/11.2.269
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Thyroid follicular cells (TFC) in Graves' disease (GD) hyperexpress HLA class I and express ectopic HLA class II molecules, probably as a consequence of cytokines produced by infiltrating T cells. This finding led us to postulate that TFC could act as antigen-presenting cells, and in this way be responsible for the induction and/or maintenance of the in situ autoimmune T cell response. Invariant chain (li) and HLA-DM molecules are implicated in the antigen processing and presentation by HLA class II molecules. We have investigated the expression of these molecules by TFC from GD glands. The results demonstrate that class II+ TFC from GD patients also express li and HLA-DM, and this expression is increased after IFN-gamma stimulation. The level of HLA-DM expression by TFC was low but sufficient to catalyze peptide loading into the HLA class II molecules and form stable HLA class II-peptide complexes expressed at the surface of TFC. These results have implications for the understanding of the possible role of HLA class II+ TFC in thyroid autoimmune disease.

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May 19, 2014