The differences in T and B cell subsets in thyroid of children with Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
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The differences between Graves’ disease (GD) and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) suggest that changes in the subsets of T cells may have an influence on the course of these reactions.
This study included 90 children: 30 with GD, 30 with HT, and 30 healthy children as controls. After thyroidectomy, standard histological examinations and immunohistochemical reactions were performed in paraffin specimens with monoclonal antibodies against T cell markers CD3, CD4, CD8 as well as against CD79 alpha B cells. Ultrathin sections were examined under a transmission electron microscope.
Autoimmune reaction in GD consisted of an increased number of CD4+ T cells (3.17±4.27%) and plasma cells (22.89±8.61%) producing thyroidstimulating hormone-receptors and stimulating thyrocytes to activity. The number of CD8+ T cells was increased in children with HT (20.54±0.68%) as compared with the controls (0.65±0.30%). The autoimmune reaction in the HT children showed antibody dependent cytotoxicity with a low number of CD4+ T cells and an increased number of CD8+ T cells in the thyroid tissue in comparison with that in the GD children and the controls. Plasma cells (31.65±9.11%) in this situation produced the antibodies involved in cytotoxic reactions against thyrocytes.
Graves’ disease is characterized by the increased number of CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is characterized by the low number of CD4+ T cells and increased number of CD8+ T cells. CD8+ T cells have cytotoxic properties only in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Key wordsautoimmunity lymphocytes thyroid disorders
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