Intrathyroidal cytokine production in thyroid disease.
Grubeck-Loebenstein B., Buchan G., Chantry D., Turner M., Londei M., Feldmann M.
The intrathyroidal production of Interferon gamma, tumour necrosis factor alpha and beta, Interleukin-1 alpha and beta, Interleukin-6, platelet-derived growth factor A and of transforming growth factor-beta was analysed in patients with autoimmune and non-autoimmune thyroid disease. Cytokines were assessed indirectly by slot blot mRNA analysis in fresh tissue samples (unpurified cells, infiltrating mononuclear cells and thyroid follicular cells), in thyroid follicular cells in primary culture, as well as in thyroid-derived T-cell clones. The production of Interleukin-1 alpha and beta, Interleukin-6 and transforming growth factor beta was additionally measured by bioassay. Cytokine production by thyroid-infiltrating mononuclear cells generally did not differ between autoimmune and non-autoimmune samples, the whole panel of all cytokines being found in freshly purified cells as well as in thyroid-derived T-cell clones from patient with Graves' disease, as well as with multinodular non-toxic goitre. Thyroid follicular cells produced Interleukin-1 alpha, Interleukin-6 and transforming growth factor beta. Interleukin-1 and Interleukin-6 production did not differ between thyroid follicular cells from autoimmune and non-autoimmune thyroids. Transforming growth factor beta was, however, lower in non-toxic goitre than in Graves' disease and in normal thyroid tissue, but could be increased by exposure of the cells to micromolar concentrations of iodide. This seemed of special interest, as transforming growth factor beta proved to inhibit thyroid follicular cell growth in response to known growth stimuli, such as insulin-like growth factor I or epidermal growth factor.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)