FASEB J 2002 Jul;16(9):1087-92
Estienne V, Duthoit C, Reichert M, Praetor A, Carayon P, Hunziker W, Ruf J.
Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne, CH-1066 Epalinges, Switzerland.
Thyrocyte expression of HLA class I and class II antigens and related accessory molecules would convert these epithelial cells into functional antigen-presenting cells.
Here we show that whereas normal thyrocytes express FcRn, Graves' disease thyrocytes also express FcgammaRIIB2.
We further find that expression of FcgammaRIIB2, but not FcRn, is repressed by dihydrotestosterone.
By mediating the uptake and transport of autoantibodies, we suggest that these IgG Fc receptors contribute in various ways to the onset and/or progression of autoimmune thyroid diseases.
The androgen-mediated decrease of FcgammaRIIB2 expression in Graves' disease thyrocytes also provides a rationale for the predominant susceptibility of women to develop an autoimmune thyroid disease.
Our findings open up a new prospect to autoimmunity, linking the role of the target organ to the sex dependence in autoimmune disease.