Detection of in vivo production of tumour necrosis factor-alpha by human thyroid epithelial cells.
Zheng RQ., Abney ER., Chu CQ., Field M., Maini RN., Lamb JR., Feldmann M.
We have established previously that human thyroid epithelial cells (TEC) from patients with autoimmune thyroiditis are able to synthesize cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). This paper examines TEC in sections from autoimmune thyroiditis for the in vivo production of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) using the combined techniques of in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Thyroid tissue from patients with Graves' disease, Hashimoto's disease and non-toxic goitre was examined and both mRNA and the protein of TNF-alpha were detected in TEC on frozen sections. Representative figures of only Graves' samples are illustrated in this paper. In contrast, using the same methods, IFN-gamma was detected only in the infiltrating cells and not in TEC of thyroid tissue from the patients.