Employing purified extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, i.e. type I, III, IV and V collagens (CI, CIII, CIV, CV), laminin (LM) and fibronectin (FN), as antigen sources we detected autoantibodies to conformational and/or denatured ECM antigens among 34 of 50 sera obtained from Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) patients and 6 of 51 control sera obtained from non-autoimmune thyroid disease patients and healthy donors (HT sera vs. control sera p=4×10 -9). Reactivity to conformational antigens, mostly due to autoantibodies of the IgG isotype, was observed in 30/50 HT sera and in 6/51 control sera (p=3.5×10-7) and was not always concomitant with that to linear antigens, found in 23/50 HT and in 6/51 control sera (p=1.6×10-4). Ultrastructural analysis of skin biopsies obtained from 18 HT patients without symptomatic cutaneous diseases revealed defects of the stratified squamous epithelium basement membrane in 11/18, alterations of the stroma in 13/18 and both basement membrane and stromal defects in 9/18. Interestingly, 13/13 (p=0.012) and 9/11 (p=0.012) patients with stromal and basement membrane defects respectively, exhibited serum antibodies to at least one ECM antigen involved in the organization of the altered tissue compartment. Lastly, 10/18 skin biopsies presented immunoglobulin (Ig) and/or complement (C3) deposits along the cutaneous basement membrane zone (BMZ) or in the papillary dermis and 9/10 sera from the same patients simultaneously showed antibodies to at least one ECM antigen involved in the organization of these two skin compartments. Besides, 8/11 HT patients with basement membrane defects exhibited Ig or C3 deposits along the BMZ. Our findings suggest that autoantibodies to ECM molecules might contribute to the development of asymptomatic extra-thyroid skin diseases in HT patients.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2006|
- Extracellular matrix
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis
ASJC Scopus subject areas