Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Antigen-specific therapy of Graves' disease and orbitopathy by induction of tolerance
Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder, which is characterized by stimulatory antibodies targeting the human thyrotropin receptor (TSHR), resulting in hyperthyroidism and multiple organ damage. The disease can be modelled in mice using adenoviral immunizations with the extracellular A subunit of the TSHR, which induces a long-term stable disease state. TSHR binding cAMP-stimulatory antibodies, thyroid enlargement, elevated serum thyroxin levels, tachycardia, cardiac hypertrophy and orbitopathy are observed in these Ad-TSHR-immunized mice. T cell epitope-derived linear peptides have been identified using immunized HLA-DR3 transgenic mice, which may induce tolerance towards TSHR. A combination of such peptides are being investigated in a first clinical phase I trial in patients with Graves' disease. Alternatively, intravenous administration of cyclic peptides derived from the interaction site of the TSHR A domain with stimulatory anti-TSHR antibodies can re-establish tolerance towards the antigen in immunized mice, improving symptoms of Graves' disease within 3 – 4 months after starting these therapies. In immunologically naïve mice, administration of the cyclic peptides did not induce any immune response.