B Cell Activating Factor (BAFF) and BAFF Receptor Expression in Autoimmune and Nonautoimmune Thyroid Diseases

Irene Campi, Delfina Tosi, Stefania Rossi, Guia Vannucchi, Danila Covelli, Federico Colombo, Elena Trombetta, Laura Porretti, Leonardo Vicentini, Gianmaria Cantoni, Nicola Currò, Paolo Beck-Peccoz, Gaetano Bulfamante, Mario Salvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The B cell activating factor (BAFF) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor family, which controls the survival/proliferation of B cells and is involved in the pathogenesis of a number of autoimmune diseases. The objective of the present study was to investigate the expression of BAFF and BAFF receptor (BAFF-R) in the thyroid tissue of patients affected with autoimmune thyroid disorders (AITD) or multinodular goiter (MNG) compared with those with normal thyroids. Methods: Immunohistochemistry was performed using a panel of antibodies against BAFF, BAFF-R, CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, CD34, CD79a, CD1a, CD68, and CD163 on the thyroid sections of 27 patients affected with Graves' disease (GD), 23 with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), 16 with nontoxic nodular goiter (NTG), and 15 with toxic nodular goiter (TG), submitted to total thyroidectomy between 2000 and 2011. Results: The overall BAFF-R expression in thyrocytes was weak and not different in AITD and MNG. Conversely, a stronger BAFF expression was observed in MNG compared with AITD. BAFF and BAFF-R expression in the infiltrating lymphocytes was higher in AITD compared with MNG. Interestingly, in lymphocytes of follicular-like structures observed in HT, BAFF and BAFF-R were localized in the germinal center or in the mantle, respectively. Conclusions: This study shows that BAFF and BAFF-R are expressed in the thyrocytes derived from patients with either AITD or MNG, in addition to the expected expression of BAFF and its receptor in the infiltrating immune cells of GD and HT. These findings suggest a possible involvement of BAFF and its receptors in the pathophysiology of AITD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1049
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'B Cell Activating Factor (BAFF) and BAFF Receptor Expression in Autoimmune and Nonautoimmune Thyroid Diseases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this