Date of Original Version
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.
Inaba, H., Moise, L., Martin, W., De Groot, A. S., Desrosiers, J., Tassone, R., Buchman, G., Akamizu, T., & De Groot, L. J. (2013). Epitope Recognition in HLA-DR3 Transgenic Mice Immunized to TSH-R Protein or Peptides. Endocrinology, 154(6), 2234-2243.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/en.2013-1033