Autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) are two autoimmune syndromes of unknown etiology with common immune features. One is that the target cells, thyrocytes and pancreatic islet beta cells respectively, hyperexpress several proteins encoded in the HLA region: HLA class I, HLA class II and transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP-1); the clinical course and many aspects of the immunopathology are, however, quite different. Low-molecular-mass polypeptides 2 and 7 (LMP2 and LMP7) are proteasome subunits that increase the efficiency of endogenous antigen processing and are encoded in close vicinity to the TAP genes. We investigated whether LMP2 and LMP7 are hyperexpressed in thyrocytes and islet cells in AITD and IDDM. Thyroid tissue from Graves' disease patients (GD, n = 8) and Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT, n = 1) and pancreatic tissue from IDDM patients (n = 4) as well as control tissues were examined by the two-color indirect immunofluorescence technique. The results demonstrate that, in normal glands, thyrocytes and pancreatic islet cells express comparable moderate to low levels of LMP2 and LMP7. In AITD and IDDM, expression of LMP2/7 in the endocrine cells was disparate: while in AITD glands there was hyperexpression of LMP2 and 7 parallel to that of HLA class I and TAP-1, in the islet cells of recent onset diabetic pancreases (n = 2) the level of LMP2 and 7 expression was totally normal, including islets that were infiltrated by lymphocytes and hyperexpressed HLA class I and TAP-1. These observations suggest different mechanisms of endogenous peptides generation at the target cells in AITD from IDDM. Since this is a key step for the maintenance of peripheral tolerance, it may help to understand some of the different clinical features of the two autoimmune diseases.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1997|
- Antigen processing
- Beta cell
- Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
- Low-molecular-mass polypeptides 2 and 7