Serum chemokine CXCL10 is increased in chronic autoimmune thyroiditis associated with autoimmune gastritis
M. Santaguida1, S. Ferrari2, S Del Duca1, P. Fallahi2, M. Centanni1 & A. Antonelli2
Autoimmune thyroiditis (AT) may occur as a single disease or associated with further endocrine and non endocrine autoimmune diseases (NEAD). Chronic autoimmune gastritis (CAG) is the more frequently associated NEAD. A prevalent Th1-representative pattern of cytokines and chemokines has been described in isolated autoimmune thyroiditis. However, the behaviour of chemokines when AT is associated with CAG is not known. Aim of the study has been to measure serum levels of CXCL10 in patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis in association with CAG. Serum CXCL10 was assayed in 95 consecutive AT patients, in 95 gender and age-matched healthy volunteers (Controls, C) and in 45 patients with autoimmune thyroiditis plus CAG. All patients studied were free from: a) active infectious diseases in the last three months; b) treatment with drugs known to interfere with immune system, namely cytokines, interferon, corticosteroids, NSAIDs, amiodarone, lithium; c) pregnancy and lactation over the previous 6 months; d) the presence of acute or chronic systemic diseases. High CXCL10 levels (defined as a value higher than mean+2SD of controls; i.e. >103 pg/ml) were observed in 3% of controls, in12% of patients with isolated AT and in 45% of patients with AT+CAG, (P<0.0001). Hence, the mean serum levels of CXCL10 were significantly higher in patients with AT, isolated or associated with CAG, than in control subjects (C=49±27 pg/ml, AT=74±29 pg/ml, AT+CAG=126±121 pg/ml; P=0.003). Moreover, AT+CAG patients also showed significantly higher CXCL10 levels than those with isolated AT (Bonferroni-Dunn: P=0.0004). In conclusion, in patients with AT and autoimmune gastritis, circulating CXCL10 concentrations are significantly higher than in patients with isolated autoimmune thyroiditis.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector