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  • Author: Valērija Groma x
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Open access

Tatjana Zaķe, Sandra Skuja, Aivars Lejnieks, Valērija Groma and Ilze Konrāde

Abstract

Autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) mainly include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and Graves’ disease (GD), which are characterised by the presence of circulating antibodies against various thyroid autoantigens and infiltration of the thyroid gland by autoreactive lymphocytes. Despite the significant advancement in the knowledge of AITD pathogenesis in the last decade, the specific immunological mechanisms responsible for development of the disease are not thoroughly understood. Classically, HT has long been considered as a T helper (Th)1-mediated disease, while a Th2-driven autoimmune response is dominant for GD development. However, this classification has changed due to the description of Th17 lymphocytes, which suggested participation of these cells in AITD, particularly HT pathogenesis. Moreover, a shift in the balance between Th17 and T regulatory (Treg) cells has been observed in thyroid autoimmunity. We have observed overexpression of IL-17, the prominent effector cytokine of Th17, within thyroid tissues from HT and GD patients in our studies. The present review will focus on recent data regarding the role of Treg and Th17 lymphocytes in AITD pathogenesis. In addition, the impact and proposed mechanisms of the predominant environmental factors triggering the autoimmune response to the thyroid will be discussed.

Open access

Anda Kadiša, Zaiga Nora-Krūkle, Svetlana Kozireva, Simons Svirskis, Pēteris Studers, Valērija Groma, Aivars Lejnieks and Modra Murovska

Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune inflammatory disease affecting joints and causing symmetrical chronic progressive aseptic synovitis and erosive-destructive changes. Viruses and viral infections are considered to be the main risk factors for autoimmune disease development (especially for individuals with genetic predisposition). The goal of this study was to evaluate the frequency of HHV-6 and HHV-7 persistent infection and its activity phase in RA and osteoarthritis (OA) patients, and healthy persons. We examined also the influence of HHV-6 and -7 infections on RA activity, aggressiveness, radiographical stage, and frequency of complications as well as the presence of HHV-6 infection markers in synovial fluid and synovial tissues of RA joints of affected patients. Despite the lack of significant correlation between frequency of persistent single HHV-6, single HHV-7, and concurrent HHV-6 and HHV-7 infection and RA clinical course, we found that both active and latent HHV-6 and/or HHV-7 infection increased RA activity and progression in several clinical and laboratory parameters. Regarding the severity of the course of RA, we observed also a high prevalence of RA complications in the patient group with active single HHV-6 infection and also a more severe radiographical stage in RA patients with active concurrent HHV-6 and HHV-7 infection. Moreover, viral infection markers were found in synovial fluid and synovial tissues of affected joints of RA patients. This suggests that HHV-6 and/or HHV-7 infection has effect on the disease clinical course, but virus reactivation may be a consequence of immunosuppressive treatment.