Interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF-1) is a transcription factor involved in interferon-mediated immune reaction, CD8+ T cell differentiation and development of T helper 1 immune reaction. We have recently demonstrated that IRF-1 is pivotal in iodine-induced lymphocytic thyroiditis (LT) in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. However, it remains unclear whether the mechanism involved in spontaneous LT is identical with iodine-induced LT in NOD mice. To determine the role of IRF-1 in spontaneous LT, we used IRF-1 deficient NOD mice as well as IRF-1 +/+ and +/- mice which were free from treatments for LT induction, and LT was evaluated at 24 weeks of age. IRF-1 +/+, +/- and -/- mice developed LT spontaneously, and there were no differences among the 3 IRF-1 genotypes in the incidence and severity of LT. Whereas both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were present in the diseased thyroid of IRF-1 +/+ mice, CD8+ T cells were absent in the thyroid of IRF-1 -/- mice. MHC class II antigen expression was induced in the inflamed thyroid of IRF-1 -/- mice comparable to IRF-1 +/+ mice. There was a selective reduction in the number of CD8+ T cells in the spleen of IRF-1 -/- mice. IFNγ production, but not IL-10, by concanavalin A-stimulated splenocytes was significantly reduced in IRF-1 deficient mice. These results suggest that IRF-1 plays only a minor role in spontaneous LT in NOD mice and, furthermore, the mechanism involved in spontaneous LT is different from that of iodine-induced LT in NOD mice.
- NOD mice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism