Probing the genetic basis for thyrotropin receptor antibodies and hyperthyroidism in immunized CXB recombinant inbred mice

Endocrinology. 2006 Jun;147(6):2789-800. doi: 10.1210/en.2006-0160. Epub 2006 Mar 16.


Immunization with adenovirus encoding the TSH receptor (TSHR) or its A-subunit induces Graves' hyperthyroidism in BALB/c and BALB/c x C57BL/6 offspring but not C57BL/6 mice. High-resolution genetic maps are available for 13 recombinant inbred CXB strains generated from BALB/c x C57BL/6 progeny by repeated brother x sister matings to establish fully inbred lines. CXB strains were studied before and after A-subunit adenovirus immunization for TSHR antibodies (TBI, inhibition of TSH binding), serum T4, and thyroid histology. All strains developed TBI activity (at variable levels), six strains became hyperthyroid, and one was overtly thyrotoxic. No low TBI responders became hyperthyroid, but high TBI did not predict hyperthyroidism. Preimmunization T4 levels varied in different CXB strains and was unrelated to subsequent T4 elevation. Linkage analysis indicated that different chromosomes were involved in generating TSHR antibodies and serum T4 before and after immunization. TBI activity was linked in part with major histocompatibility (MHC) genes on chromosome 17 (Chr 17) but induced Graves' disease involved non-MHC genes (Chr 19 and 10). The Chr 10 locus is close to the Trhde gene that encodes TSH-releasing hormone degrading enzyme. Expression of Trhde is controlled by thyroid hormones and linkage with a thyroid function-related gene is intriguing. Our data, the first genome scan in murine Graves' disease, provides insight into the role of MHC and non-MHC genes in human and murine Graves' disease. Finally, our study demonstrates the potential of recombinant inbred mice for discriminating between immune-response genes and thyroid function susceptibility genes in Graves' disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / genetics
  • Autoantibodies / biosynthesis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Hyperthyroidism / etiology
  • Hyperthyroidism / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Protein Subunits
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / genetics
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / immunology*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Thyroxine / blood


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating
  • Protein Subunits
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin
  • thyrotropin-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin
  • Thyroxine