Serial studies on the affinity and heterogeneity of human autoantibodies to thyroglobulin

Clin Exp Immunol. 1989 Aug;77(2):191-5.


The functional affinity and heterogeneity of autoantibodies to thyroglobulin (Tg) were measured by an IgG subclass-specific solid-phase competition ELISA in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease. High-affinity IgG1 and IgG4 antibodies formed the major anti-Tg response. Both titre and affinity of IgG3 and IgG2 anti-Tg were generally low but in some Hashimoto's disease patients high-affinity IgG2 anti-Tg were found and IgG2 anti-Tg, unlike those of other subclasses, showed very restricted heterogeneity. The affinity of IgG4 anti-Tg was similar in patients with thyroid disease and their clinically euthyroid (normal) relatives. In contrast, a progressive increase in IgG1 anti-Tg affinity was seen in clinically euthyroid individuals compared with their relatives with thyroid disease and high titred Hashimoto's disease patients, suggesting that either rising titres of high affinity IgG1 anti-Tg or affinity maturation of IgG1 anti-Tg may be indicative of impending hypothyroidism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Affinity*
  • Autoantibodies / classification
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Child
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Family
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thyroglobulin / immunology*
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / immunology


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Thyroglobulin