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Characterization of thyroglobulin epitopes in Sardinian adults and juveniles with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: evidence against a major effect of age and genetic background on B-cell epitopes

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Summary Background 

Using recombinant human monoclonal thyroglobulin antibodies expressed as Fab molecules (TgAb-Fab), we have recently confirmed the restriction of Tg epitopes in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT). Objective 

To investigate Tg epitopes of serum TgAb in HT adults and HT juveniles from a geographically isolated area (Sardinia). Design and Patients 

Serum TgAb of 39 Sardinian HT adults, 53 Sardinian HT juveniles and 45 non-Sardinian HT adults were evaluated. The binding of serum TgAb to Tg in ELISA was inhibited by four recombinant human TgAb-Fab, identifying Tg epitopic regions A–D. The percentage of Tg binding inhibition was calculated comparing the binding of serum TgAb in presence of each TgAb-Fab with that in its absence. Results 

In the whole cohort of 137 patients, A region TgAb-Fab induced the highest levels of inhibition (55·3 ± 17·8%) (mean ± SD). Lower levels of inhibition were induced by TgAb-Fab of regions B (27·8 ± 25·8%), C (26·8 ± 24·6%) and D (17·5 ± 18·4%). In Sardinian HT adults inhibition by TgAb-Fab of regions A, B and C were comparable to Sardinian HT juveniles; the marginal D region TgAb-Fab induced a slightly higher inhibition (22·1 vs. 13·8%; P = 0·034) in the former than in the latter group. In Sardinian and non-Sardinian HT adults inhibitions by the four TgAb-Fab were similar. Conclusions 

In HT, the Tg epitope pattern of serum TgAb was similar in juveniles and adults from a geographically restricted area and in two adult populations from different geographical areas. Thus, in HT, neither age nor genetic background appear to influence B-cell epitopes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Endocrinology, WHO Collaborating Centre for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Thyroid Cancer and Other Thyroid Diseases, University of Pisa 2: Endocrinology, Department of Medical Sciences AmbiSEN Center, University of Cagliari 3: Paediatric Endocrine Unit, Regional Hospital for Microcitaemia, Cagliari, Italy

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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