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Experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) develops in genetically susceptible mice after immunization with mouse thyroglobulin (MTg), and is mediated by T cells, both CD4+ and CD8+, infiltrating the thyroid. Previous work showed that depletion of CD4+, but not CD8+, cells with rat monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) interfered with EAT induction. To test if concomitant CD4+ cell depletion and immunization led to EAT resistance, mice were reimmunized at an interval of 15 or 43 days after injection of CD4 mAbs. No resistance had been established; disease severity and anti-MTg titers were comparable to mice with primary immunization. Previous work also showed that treatment during advancing EAT with only CD4 mAbs on days 21, 25 led to long-lasting, reduced severity in EAT, whereas administration of CD8 mAbs alone reduced the smaller CD8+ subset only. However, therapy with both mAbs was most efficacious; > 50% of thyroids were purged of all cellular infiltrate after only two doses. Moreover, T cells emerging subsequent to depletion were not retained in the thyroid, despite ongoing antibody production. To test if nondepleting CD4 and CD8 mAbs were similarly effective for therapy, mAbs of the IgG2a isotype were administered during advancing EAT. No effect on thyroidal infiltration was observed, indicating that modulation of the CD4 and CD8 antigen without depletion was insufficient for efficacious therapy. To determine if combined therapy with depleting mAbs reestablished self tolerance, treated mice were reimmunized on days 70, 77, when T cell recovery was nearly complete. Thyroiditis was comparable to controls given primary immunization, despite high antibody levels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Journal article



Publication Date





161 - 168


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Autoantibodies, Autoimmune Diseases, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Female, Immunization, Immunization, Secondary, Immunologic Memory, Immunotherapy, Adoptive, Lymphocyte Depletion, Lymphocyte Subsets, Mice, Mice, Inbred CBA, Self Tolerance, Spleen, Thyroglobulin, Thyroid Gland, Thyroiditis, Autoimmune