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Autoimmune thyroid diseases

Caturegli, Patrizio; Kimura, Hiroaki; Rocchi, Roberto; Rose, Noel R

Current Opinion in Rheumatology: January 2007 - Volume 19 - Issue 1 - p 44–48
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e3280113d1a
Systemic disorders with rheumatic manifestations

Purpose of review Interesting clinical and basic studies have been published in the field of autoimmune thyroiditis (represented by Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis) since January 2005. The review is organized into four main areas: genetics, environment, adaptive immune system, and innate immune system.

Recent findings The quest continues for the identification of susceptibility genes for autoimmune thyroiditis. In addition to the classical major histocompatibility complex class II genes and cytotoxic T cell antigen-4, new studies have appeared on CD40 the protein tyrosine phosphatase-22. Too much iodine increases the incidence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, perhaps by augmenting the antigenicity of thyroglobulin. T regulatory cells, Toll-like receptors and presentation of lipid antigens by CD1 molecules are new areas of basic immunological investigation that have been applied to autoimmune thyroiditis.

Summary Overall, the studies have greatly expanded our understanding of the pathogenesis of thyroiditis. They have opened new lines of investigations that will ultimately result in a better clinical practice.

Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Correspondence to Patrizio Caturegli, Johns Hopkins Pathology, Ross Building, Room 632, 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA Tel: +1 443 287 8911; e-mail:

The work was support by NIH grant DK55670 to P.C.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.