, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 400-402

Prevention of lymphocytic thyroiditis and insulitis in diabetes-prone BB rats by the depletion of macrophages

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Diabetes-prone biobreeding (BB) rats often develop lymphocytic thyroiditis. Intraperitoneal administration of silica to young BB rats (40-days-old) nearly completely prevented the development of lymphocytic thyroiditis as well as insulitis. Since silica is known to be toxic to macrophages, these data suggest that the presentation of autoantigen(s) on the specific target cells such as thyroid and pancreatic B cells by antigen-presenting cells (e.g., macrophages) would be the initial step in the development of organ-specific autoimmune diseases in diabetes-prone BB rats.