To analyse the ultrastructure and cytokines expression from cultured orbital fibroblasts (OFs) in the patients with thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy (TAO).
Primary cultured OFs were obtained from 5 patients with TAO and 4 normal control subjects, some of subcultured OFs were treated by patients' serum with active TAO. Ultrastructures of OFs were observed by transmission election microscope. The cytokines in cultured supernatant were detected by enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA).
There were no significant differences of ultrastructure of OFs from TAO patients and normal subjects. Nucleoli enlargement, microvillus prolongation and increase of endoplasmic reticular of OFs were detected after maintaining in culture. The IL-1, TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma were found in supernatant of OFs treated by patients' serum. IL-1 was found in supernatant of OFs in TAO patient and control subjects, and the IL-1 level of former was higher than the controls.
There are no significant differences in ultrastructure of OFs from patients with TAO and normal subjects. The OFs treated with the serum of TAO patients showed proliferation and increasing cytokines secretion.
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