In this study we analyzed the proliferative response to the extracellular domain of thyrotropin receptor (TSHR-ECD) of T-cell lines raised from healthy subjects. We found high frequencies of cell lines reactive to TSHR-ECD, ranging from 12% to 37%. The response of the cell lines to a set of overlapping peptides of TSHR-ECD showed that the most recognized epitopes by T lymphocytes are on the C-terminal portion. In particular, the regions of residues 360-396 and 258-277 are immunodominant in T-lymphocyte reactivity. A group of cell lines specific for the peptides of TSHR-ECD lost the response to the peptides during time in culture. However, these lines were still responsive to TSHR extracellular domain. The cloning of one of these lines showed three types of T-cell clones: (1) CD4+ clones (n = 4) highly responsive to the TSHR-ECD; (2) CD4+ clones (n = 4) low responsive to TSHR-ECD; (3) CD8+ clones (n = 9) not responsive to TSHR-ECD. The first group of clones was stable during time in culture, while the second group was characterized by the loss of the specific response to TSHR-ECD after some weeks from the first analysis. The observation of a spontaneous anergy in the second group of CD4+ clones suggests that mechanisms of control of the lymphocyte response to TSHR-ECD could be activated in vitro.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
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