Involvement of T cell immunity in the transient thyroid inflammation induced by iodide in goitrous BALB/C and nude mice

Neu, F.; Rebai, T.; Denef, J.F.; Many, M.C.

Autoimmunity 17(3): 209-216

1994


ISSN/ISBN: 0891-6934
PMID: 7948605
DOI: 10.3109/08916939409010656
Accession: 046466957

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Abstract
To evaluate the involvement of T cell immunity in the thyroiditis induced in goitrous mice by iodide administration, we analyzed the immunological changes happening in the thyroid glands and lymph nodes during goiter involution in balb/c and athymic nude mice of similar background. In both balb/c and nude mice, goiter involution was characterized by thyroid cell necrosis and inflammation. In balb/c mice, the inflammatory infiltrate was made of numerous Ia+ cells. Their number was unchanged during goiter development, but was significantly increased after 2 days of involution and remained high after 8 days. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were also observed, some of which were clearly activated since they expressed the receptor for Interleukin-2 (IL-2R). The numbers of CD4+, CD8+ and IL-2R+ T cells were increased during goiter as compared to control mice, and they reached a maximum at day 1 of involution. In nude mice, unexpectedly, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were also found in the thyroid. Their numbers, as well as the number of Ia+ cells, were significantly increased at the onset of involution, but they remained systematically lower than in the corresponding groups of balb/c mice. Iodide treatment of goitrous mice also induced modifications of the lymph nodes draining the thyroid: enlargement of the paracortical T zone, presence of germinal centers in cortical follicles, and increase of the density of IL-2R+ cells. Mesenteric lymph nodes taken as controls were unchanged. Thus, three observations suggest the involvement of T cell immunity in iodine-induced thyroid inflammation: 1. Infiltration of Ia+, CD4+, CD8+ and IL-2R+ cells. 2. Signs of stimulation in thyroid lymph nodes, 3. Significant differences between balb/c and nude mice, in which the inflammatory reaction is weaker.