Researchers identify factor in pathogeensis of graves' disease

February 16, 2007

TORRANCE, Calif. (February 16, 2007) -- Investigators at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) have found evidence that continues to implicate insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) in the development of Graves' disease.

In previous research published in the Journal of Immunology, Terry J. Smith, M.D. and Raymond Douglas, M.D., Ph.D. have identified the interaction between immunoglobulins and IGF-1R as a cause of inflammation and lymphocyte infiltration in both Graves' disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The discovery of these mechanisms in a similar class of autoimmune diseases supports the belief that a single biological mechanism is activating a variety of autoimmune diseases. The identification of such a mechanism may lead to a common therapeutic strategy for these conditions.

According to Dr. Smith, "We continue to build a body of evidence that suggests that a single biological mechanism can activate a variety of autoimmune diseases. It is possible that these findings will allow us for the first time to interrupt the disease process before any lasting damage is done. It could be involved in other autoimmune disorders as well; we're thinking about a large number of diseases."

In the article appearing in the March 1, 2007 issue of the Journal of Immunology, Dr. Smith and his colleagues report that a disproportionately large fraction of peripheral blood T cells express IGF-1R in patients with Graves' disease. The results support a potential role for IGF-1R as a determinant of immune responses through fibroblast and lymphocyte activation and expansion. This further implicates IGF-1R in the pathogenesis of patients with Graves' disease.

Graves' disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, can lead to severe swelling around the eye sockets. It is part of a class of autoimmune disorders in which cellular defense mechanisms mistakenly identify the body's own tissues as foreign and seek to destroy them. Other autoimmune disorders in the same class include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus. 37,000 new patients per year are diagnosed with Graves' disease in the United States.

"Autoimmune diseases are among the most insidious and debilitating of human ailments," said LA BioMed President and CEO Kenneth P. Trevett, J.D. "We are working closely with Dr. Smith and his colleagues to facilitate this work and promote its transfer to the patient bedside."
-end-
The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) is one of the largest independent, not-for-profit biomedical research institutes in Los Angeles County. Affiliated with both the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the Institute has an annual budget of over $75 million and currently supports more than 1,000 research studies in areas such as cardiology, emerging infections, cancer, women's health, reproductive health, vaccine research, respiratory physiology, dermatology, neonatology, molecular biology, and genetics.

LA BioMed

Related Rheumatoid Arthritis Articles from Brightsurf:

Reducing dementia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
The incidence of dementia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is lower in patients receiving biologic or targeted synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) than in patients who receive conventional synthetic DMARDs, according to a new study.

Is rheumatoid arthritis two different diseases?
While disease activity improves over time for most rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, long-term outcomes only improve in RA patients with autoantibodies, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Xanthe Matthijssen of Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, and colleagues.

Does the Mediterranean diet protect against rheumatoid arthritis?
Previous research has demonstrated a variety of health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, cereals, fruit and vegetables, fish, and a moderate amount of dairy, meat, and wine.

Reducing corticosteroid use in rheumatoid arthritis
Is the long-term use of glucocorticoids essential in people with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, or can early discontinuation prevent characteristic side effects?

Rheumatoid arthritis patients under treatment with methotrexate
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often suffer from what is referred to as interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Rheumatoid arthritis -- can its onset be delayed or prevented?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that leads to significant health issues as well as high treatment costs.

Disease burden in osteoarthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) has traditionally been viewed as a highly prevalent but milder condition when compared with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and some may believe that it is part of a normal aging process requiring acceptance, not treatment.

Prospect of a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
An international research group led by Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin has completed testing a new drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Can rare lymphocytes combat rheumatoid arthritis?
Immunologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have demonstrated that ILC2, a group of rare lymphoid cells, play a key role in the development of inflammatory arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis meets precision medicine
Scientists are bringing precision medicine to rheumatoid arthritis for the first time by using genetic profiling of joint tissue to see which drugs will work for which patients, reports a new multi-site study.

Read More: Rheumatoid Arthritis News and Rheumatoid Arthritis Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.