Modulation of T cell function by alpha-fetoprotein: An in vivo study on porcine thyroid peroxidase-induced experimental autoimmune thyroiditis in transgenic mice producing human alpha-fetoprotein

E. Matsuura, Y. Kang, H. Kitakawa, A. Ogata, T. Kotani, S. Ohtaki, Shinzo Nishi

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Experimental autoimmune thyroiditis was induced in transgenic mice (TG- 3) producing human α-fetoprotein (AFP) and in control mice by immunization of porcine thyroid peroxidase (TPO). Development of thyroiditis accompanied with mononuclear cell infiltration was observed in 6 out of 8 treated control mice. In contrast, the development was significantly suppressed in TG-3 mice and mild histologic change was observed in only I out of 8 TG-3 mice (p < 0.05). Serum anti-TPO antibody titers gradually increased in TG-3 mice as well as in control mice and there were no significant differences. In vitro phytohemagglutinin response of splenocytes from TG-3 mice was lower than that from control mice. Significantly reduced numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ splenocytes, total thymocytes, and CD4+ thymocytes were found in the nontreated TG-3 mice as compared with those in control mice. These results suggest that ubiquitously produced AFP modulates in vivo T cell development and/or T cell-dependent immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-171
Number of pages10
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1999



  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Immunoregulation
  • Thyroid peroxidase
  • Transgenic mouse
  • α-Fetoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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