Some growth factors and cytokines are known to cooperate with TSH in thyroid nodular growth, but few data are available on their circulating levels in Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT).
To evaluate in HT patients whether thyroid nodules are associated with variations in serum levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
Serum levels of HGF and IL-6 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 176 euthyroid subjects, subdivided into 4 groups: A) HT patients with nodular goiter (no.=42); B) non-goitrous HT patients (no.=36); C) non-HT patients with nodular goiter (no.=48), and D) healthy subjects without thyroid disease (no.=50).
The highest concentrations of serumHGF were found in patients with nodular goiter, irrespective of the presence of associated HT (groups A and C). Nevertheless, in group A serum HGF levels were significantly higher than in group C (860.8+/-333.6 pg/ml vs 691.5+/-156 pg/ml, p<0.01). Moreover, though serum HGF levels in group B (578.3+/-217 pg/ml) were lower than in group A, they were significantly higher than in healthy controls (group D, 512.7+/-170.4 pg/ml, p<0.001). Serum IL-6 levels were similar in the two HT groups (A and B), and increased with respect to groups C and D.
Serum HGF is increased in HT, especially associated to thyroid nodules, as compared with healthy non-goitrous individuals.
Journal of endocrinological investigation 03/2009; 32(5):465-9. DOI:10.3275/6104 · 1.55 Impact Factor