Complement mannan-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency is associated with increased susceptibility to infections and autoimmune diseases. Previous studies suggested that the production of MBL is stimulated by thyroid hormones. The aim of our study was to investigate this association in patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD). Serum levels of MBL and parameters of the thyroid function were determined in 62 patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, 33 with Graves' disease and 47 blood donors. Follow-up measurements were performed after 6 to 24 months. MBL2 genotypes were determined using multiplex PCR and compared to 359 healthy Czech individuals. Serum levels of MBL tightly correlated with thyroid hormones, leading to strongly increased MBL levels in hyperthyroidism and decreased levels in hypothyroidism. With normalization of the thyroid function during follow-up, MBL levels decreased or increased respectively. The observed correlations were not due to MBL polymorphisms since the frequency of MBL2 polymorphisms in AITD patients was not different from the general population. We conclude that AITD are not associated with MBL polymorphisms. However, the MBL production is strongly dependent on thyroid function, regardless of the genotype.
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