Role of autoantibodies in the pathogenesis and association of endocrine autoimmune disorders.

M. Salvi, H. Fukazawa, N. Bernard, Y. Hiromatsu, J. How, J. R. Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review has focused on the nature and significance of aAB detected in the serum of patients with EAD. Although many antibodies are characteristically detected in the serum of patients with such disorders, only a few are of known pathogenic significance. Antibodies that react with soluble cytoplasmic antigens are not expected to be harmful. On the other hand, membrane or cell surface-directed antibodies are likely to be damaging, either by lysis of the cell membrane, or by reaction with hormone or other surface receptors. Clinically, measurement of aAB has important diagnostic and management value. Moreover, detection of certain antibodies before the onset of disease raises hope that the corresponding disorders may be preventable, e.g. by specific immunosuppression of those subjects, or patients, with positive tests. The possible role of aAB in the association of organ-specific AID by cross-reacting with shared epitopes in various tissues has been highlighted by the recent finding, from the authors' laboratory, of antibodies reactive with a 64-kDa membrane protein found in several tissues, including thyroid, eye muscle, and pancreas, which are frequent sites for autoimmune inflammation. Study of such antibodies and the molecular characterization of the corresponding antigens in the various involved tissues should provide information concerning the role of cross-reactivity in autoimmunity as well as leading to the development of specific immunotherapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-466
Number of pages17
JournalEndocrine Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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