Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2013

DOI

10.1210/en.2013-1033

Abstract

Development of Graves' disease is related to HLA-DR3. The extracellular domain (ECD) of human TSH receptor (hTSH-R) is a crucial antigen in Graves' disease. hTSH-R peptide 37 (amino acids 78–94) is an important immunogenic peptide in DR3 transgenic mice immunized to hTSH-R. This study examined the epitope recognition in DR3 transgenic mice immunized to hTSH-R protein and evaluated the ability of a mutant hTSH-R peptide to attenuate the immunogenicity of hTSH-R peptide 37. DR3 transgenic mice were immunized to recombinant hTSH-R-ECD protein or peptides. A mutant hTSH-R 37 peptide (ISRIYVSIDATLSQLES: 37m), in which DR3 binding motif position 5 was mutated V>A, and position 8 Q>S, was synthesized. 37m should bind to HLA-DR3 but not bind T cell receptors. DR3 transgenic mice were immunized to hTSH-R 37 and 37m. Mice immunized to hTSH-R-ECD protein developed strong anti-hTSH-R antibody, and antisera reacted strongly with hTSH-R peptides 1–5 (20–94), 21 (258–277), 41 (283–297), 36 (376–389), and 31 (399–418). Strikingly, antisera raised to hTSH-R peptide 37 bound to hTSH-R peptides 1–7 (20–112), 10 (132–50), 33 (137–150), 41, 23 (286–305), 24 (301–320), 36, and 31 as well as to hTSH-R-ECD protein. Both antibody titers to hTSH-R 37 and reaction of splenocytes to hTSH-R 37 were significantly reduced in mice immunized to hTSH-R 37 plus 37m, compared with mice immunized to hTSH-R 37 alone. The ability of immunization to a single peptide to induce antibodies that bind hTSH-R-ECD protein, and multiple unrelated peptides, is a unique observation. Immunogenic reaction to hTSH-R peptide 37 was partially suppressed by 37m, and this may contribute to immunotherapy of autoimmune thyroid disease.

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