Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 152, Issue 6, pp 467–473 | Cite as

Potential role of IL-37 signaling pathway in feedback regulation of autoimmune Hashimoto thyroiditis

  • Cui-Ping Ren
  • Li Sun
  • Feng-Chun Liu
  • Chun-Lin Zuo
  • Miao Liu
  • Wenda GaoEmail author
  • Ji-Jia ShenEmail author
Short Communication


IL-37, the anti-inflammatory cytokine of the IL-1 family, plays several key roles in the regulation of autoimmune diseases. Yet, its role in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) is not clear. In the present study, we found that, in tissues from HT patients, most of the follicular epithelial cells were positive for both IL-37 and single Ig IL-1-related receptor (SIGIRR) by immunohistochemical staining, while the infiltrating lymphocytes and other inflammatory cells hardly expressed any. Meanwhile, mRNA expression levels of IL-37 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of HT patients were significantly higher than those in normal controls measured by quantitative real-time PCR. Finally, we studied the possible role of IL-37 in IFN-γ-stimulated rat FRTL-5 cells. The results showed that IL-1β, TNF-α, and MCP-1 mRNA levels were significantly decreased, while the expression of IL-4 mRNA was dramatically up-regulated in IFN-γ-stimulated rat thyroid cell line FRTL-5 pre-treated with IL-37. The current study, for the first time, demonstrated that the IL-37 network is involved in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and IL-37 signaling pathway may ameliorate the excessive autoimmune responses in this chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.


Hashimoto’s thyroiditis Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis IL-37 SIGIRR 



This study was supported by two grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81802027 and 81271864) and a grant from Anhui Provincial National Science Foundation (1608085MH173).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Anhui Provincial Laboratory of Pathogen Biology, Anhui Provincial Laboratory of Zoonoses, Laboratory of Tropical and Parasitic Diseases Control, School of Basic Medical SciencesAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Antagen Institute for Biomedical ResearchBostonUSA

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