Background. The involvement of herpesvirus infections has recently been suggested as a major environmental factor in the development of Autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD), but no conclusive data are available. Methods. Fine needle aspiration biopsies from 15 patients with AITD, 10 patients with thyroid neoplasia and 10 patients with benign follicular epithelial lesions were analyzed for the presence of HHV-6 by PCR and real-time qPCR. To verify if HHV-6 has a tropism for thyroid cells, we infected thyroid follicular epithelial Nthy-ori3-1 cells and analyzed viral replication by PCR, RT-PCR and IFA. Results. HHV-6 DNA was detected in 15/15 AITD patients, in 1/10 tumours and in none of the benign tissue specimens. Furthermore, in vitro infection experiments showed that Nthy-ori3-1 cells are permissive to HHV-6 replication, and support productive infection for the first 7 days p.i.. Subsequently HHV-6 persists establishing latency. Conclusions. The detection of HHV-6 DNA in thyroid biopsies and HHV-6 in vitro infection of thyroid cells demonstrate that thyroid tissue represents a target for in vivo HHV-6 infection. The observation that HHV-6 DNA is present in all thyroid specimens from patients with AITD, but not in controls, shows an association between HHV-6 and autoimmune thyroiditis, with a potential role of the virus in the development or triggering of the disease. Although there are no details on the effects of HHV-6 infection on thyroid tissue elements, the immune response to the virus might induce a non-specific inflammatory mechanism, promoting activation and expansion of autoreactive T cells.

Detection of HHV-6 in thyroid specimens from patients with Hashimoto autoimmune thyroid disease

BENEDETTI, Sabrina;DI LUCA, Dario;ZATELLI, Maria Chiara;DEGLI UBERTI, Ettore;CASSAI, Enzo;CASELLI, Elisabetta
2010

Abstract

Background. The involvement of herpesvirus infections has recently been suggested as a major environmental factor in the development of Autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD), but no conclusive data are available. Methods. Fine needle aspiration biopsies from 15 patients with AITD, 10 patients with thyroid neoplasia and 10 patients with benign follicular epithelial lesions were analyzed for the presence of HHV-6 by PCR and real-time qPCR. To verify if HHV-6 has a tropism for thyroid cells, we infected thyroid follicular epithelial Nthy-ori3-1 cells and analyzed viral replication by PCR, RT-PCR and IFA. Results. HHV-6 DNA was detected in 15/15 AITD patients, in 1/10 tumours and in none of the benign tissue specimens. Furthermore, in vitro infection experiments showed that Nthy-ori3-1 cells are permissive to HHV-6 replication, and support productive infection for the first 7 days p.i.. Subsequently HHV-6 persists establishing latency. Conclusions. The detection of HHV-6 DNA in thyroid biopsies and HHV-6 in vitro infection of thyroid cells demonstrate that thyroid tissue represents a target for in vivo HHV-6 infection. The observation that HHV-6 DNA is present in all thyroid specimens from patients with AITD, but not in controls, shows an association between HHV-6 and autoimmune thyroiditis, with a potential role of the virus in the development or triggering of the disease. Although there are no details on the effects of HHV-6 infection on thyroid tissue elements, the immune response to the virus might induce a non-specific inflammatory mechanism, promoting activation and expansion of autoreactive T cells.
HHV-6; autoimmune thyroiditis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1490519
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