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Disease Markers
Volume 2015, Article ID 609593, 6 pages
Research Article

Th1, Th2, and Th17 Cytokine Involvement in Thyroid Associated Ophthalmopathy

1Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510630, China
2Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Guangzhou City People’s Hospital, Huadu District, Guangzhou, China
3Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Nanjing Jiangning Hospital, Nanjing, China
4Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Guangzhou Military General Hospital, Guangzhou, China

Received 5 December 2014; Revised 30 April 2015; Accepted 30 April 2015

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Murdaca

Copyright © 2015 Jie Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To determine serum cytokine profiles in Graves’ disease (GD) patients with or without active and inactive thyroid associated ophthalmopathy (TAO), we recruited 65 subjects: 10 GD only (without TAO), 25 GD + active TAO, 20 GD + TAO, and 10 healthy controls. Liquid chip assay was used to measure serum Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines including IFN-γ (interferon-gamma), TNF-α (tumor necrosis factor-alpha), IL-1α (interleukin-1 alpha), IL-1Ra (IL-1 receptor antagonist), IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-17 and two chemokines: RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) and IP-10 (IFN-γ-induced protein 10). Serum levels of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) receptor autoantibodies (TRAb) were measured using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Compared with healthy controls, TAO patients showed significantly elevated serum levels of IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-4, IL-6, IL-17, and IP-10. Comparing active and inactive TAO, serum Th1 cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α were elevated in active TAO, while serum Th2 cytokine IL-4 was elevated in inactive TAO. Serum Th17 cytokine IL-17 was elevated in GD but reduced in both active and inactive TAO. A positive correlation was found between TRAb and IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-1α, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-6. Taken together, serum Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines and chemokines reflect TAO disease activity and may be implicated in TAO pathogenesis.