Susceptibility to experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) is linked to H2-A class II genes; k and s haplotypes are susceptible, while b and f are resistant. EAT is inducible with thyroglobulins (Tgs) from several mammalian species which share portions of identical sequences. But cross-activation and cross-tolerance studies with mouse (m), human (h), and porcine (p) Tg have indicated mTg-unique T-cell epitope(s), in addition to conserved, in EAT induction. The recent introduction of the HLA-DRB1(*)0301 (DR3) transgene rendered major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-negative (Ab0) mice susceptible to EAT induction by both hTg and mTg, suggesting usage of conserved epitopes. Here, we introduced the H2-Ea(k) transgene into resistant B10 (H2b) or Ab0 mice with a defective Ea gene to provide functional surface H2E (b haplotype) expression. Surprisingly, both transgenic strains showed severe inflammation only after hTg, but not mTg, immunization, although the moderating influence of the Ab gene in B10 was evident. In proliferative assays, hTg-primed cells did not respond to mTg, nor to conserved 12mer peptides from three primary hormonogenic sites, two of which can activate T cells for thyroiditis transfer and cytotoxicity. The vigorous response to hTg stimulation was reduced only-by Eβb-specific monoclonal antibody. EAT induction with bovine and pTg showed responses similar to hTg, suggesting thyroiditogenic epitopes shared with hTg, but not mTg. This is the first demonstration of: (1) nonpermissiveness for EAT induction with mTg, normally the most thyroiditogenic Tg and the one with unique epitopes for susceptible mice, and (2) the separation of hTg from mTg in EAT induction in H2-E-transgenic mice.
- EAT in transgenic mice
- Experimental autoimmune thyroiditis
- H2-E trangenic mice
- Self vs nonself thyroglobulin
- hTg in transgenic mice
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