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J Immunol ; 193(8): 3872-9, 2014 Oct 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25217160


Down syndrome (DS), or trisomy of chromosome 21, is the most common genetic disorder associated with autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune regulator protein (AIRE), a transcription factor located on chromosome 21, plays a crucial role in autoimmunity by regulating promiscuous gene expression (pGE). To investigate if autoimmunity in DS is promoted by the reduction of pGE owing to dysregulation of AIRE, we assessed the expression of AIRE and of several peripheral tissue-restricted Ag genes by quantitative PCR in thymus samples from 19 DS subjects and 21 euploid controls. Strikingly, despite the 21 trisomy, AIRE expression was significantly reduced by 2-fold in DS thymuses compared with controls, which was also confirmed by fluorescent microscopy. Allele-specific quantification of intrathymic AIRE showed that despite its lower expression, the three copies are expressed. More importantly, decreased expression of AIRE was accompanied by a reduction of pGE because expression of tissue-restricted Ags, CHRNA1, GAD1, PLP1, KLK3, SAG, TG, and TSHR, was reduced. Of interest, thyroid dysfunction (10 cases of hypothyroidism and 1 of Graves disease) developed in 11 of 19 (57.9%) of the DS individuals and in none of the 21 controls. The thymuses of these DS individuals contained significantly lower levels of AIRE and thyroglobulin, to which tolerance is typically lost in autoimmune thyroiditis leading to hypothyroidism. Our findings provide strong evidence for the fundamental role of AIRE and pGE, namely, central tolerance, in the predisposition to autoimmunity of DS individuals.

Doenças Autoimunes/imunologia , Autoimunidade/imunologia , Síndrome de Down/imunologia , Fatores de Transcrição/biossíntese , Adolescente , Adulto , Doenças Autoimunes/complicações , Doenças Autoimunes/genética , Autoimunidade/genética , Tolerância Central , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Síndrome de Down/complicações , Síndrome de Down/genética , Feminino , Expressão Gênica , Humanos , Hipotireoidismo/complicações , Lactente , Masculino , Timo/metabolismo , Tireoglobulina/biossíntese , Tireoglobulina/imunologia , Fatores de Transcrição/imunologia , Adulto Jovem
Hum Mol Genet ; 20(17): 3415-23, 2011 Sep 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21642385


Graves' disease (GD) is the paradigm of an anti-receptor autoimmune disease, with agonistic auto-antibodies against the thyrotropin receptor (TSHR-thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor) being the underlying pathogenic effector mechanism. The TSHR belongs to the category of tissue-restricted antigens, which are promiscuously expressed in the thymus and thereby induce central T cell tolerance. In order to understand the association between TSHR gene polymorphisms and GD, we tested the hypothesis that TSHR gene variants affect susceptibility to GD by influencing levels of TSHR transcription in the thymus. We show that thymic glands from non-autoimmune donors homozygous for the rs179247 SNP predisposing allele of TSHR had significantly fewer TSHR mRNA transcripts than carriers of the protective allele. In addition, in heterozygous individuals, the TSHR predisposing allele was expressed at a lower level than the protective one as demonstrated by allele-specific transcript quantification. This unbalanced allelic expression was detectable in both thymic epithelial cells and thymocytes. Since the level of self-antigen expression is known to influence the threshold of central tolerance, these results are compatible with the notion that defective central tolerance contributes to the pathogenesis of GD, a scenario already implicated in type 1 diabetes mellitus, myasthenia gravis and autoimmune myocarditis.

Doença de Graves/genética , Polimorfismo de Nucleotídeo Único/genética , Receptores da Tireotropina/genética , Timo/metabolismo , Idoso de 80 Anos ou mais , Alelos , Feminino , Citometria de Fluxo , Humanos , Lactente , Recém-Nascido , Masculino , Reação em Cadeia da Polimerase em Tempo Real