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Autoimmune Dis. 2012; 2012: 236981.
Published online Dec 27, 2011. doi:  10.1155/2012/236981
PMCID: PMC3254007
Genetic Factors of Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases in Japanese
Yoshiyuki Ban *
Division of Diabetes, Metabolism, and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8666, Japan
*Yoshiyuki Ban: yshyban/at/yahoo.co.jp
Academic Editor: Juan-Manuel Anaya
Received September 20, 2011; Revised October 31, 2011; Accepted October 31, 2011.
Abstract
Autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs), including Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), are caused by immune response to self-thyroid antigens and affect approximately 2–5% of the general population. Genetic susceptibility in combination with external factors, such as smoking, viral/bacterial infection, and chemicals, is believed to initiate the autoimmune response against thyroid antigens. Abundant epidemiological data, including family and twin studies, point to a strong genetic influence on the development of AITDs. Various techniques have been employed to identify genes contributing to the etiology of AITDs, including candidate gene analysis and whole genome screening. These studies have enabled the identification of several loci (genetic regions) that are linked to AITDs, and, in some of these loci, putative AITD susceptibility genes have been identified. Some of these genes/loci are unique to GD and HT and some are common to both diseases, indicating that there is a shared genetic susceptibility to GD and HT. Known AITD-susceptibility genes are classified into three groups: HLA genes, non-HLA immune-regulatory genes (e.g., CTLA-4, PTPN22, and CD40), and thyroid-specific genes (e.g., TSHR and Tg). In this paper, we will summarize the latest findings on AITD susceptibility genes in Japanese.
Articles from Autoimmune Diseases are provided here courtesy of
Hindawi Publishing Corporation