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1.  Lower CD28+ T cell proportions were associated with CMV-seropositivity in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis 
Alterations in the naive T cell subpopulations have been demonstrated in patients with T cell mediated autoimmune disorders, reminiscent of immunological changes found in the elderly during immunosenescence, including the switch from CD45RA + to CD45RO + T cells and decreased thymic function with increased compensatory proliferative mechanisms, partly associated with latent Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. The present study was aimed to investigate proportions of lymphocytes, their relation to CMV-seropositivity and the replicative history of CD45RA + expressing T cells in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT, n = 18) and healthy controls (HC, n = 70).
Proportions of peripheral T cells were investigated by flow cytometry. The replicative history was assessed by T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) and relative telomere length (RTL). Expression of CD62L was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in thyroid sections. The role of CMV was assessed by serology, ELISPOT assay and in situ hybridization.
Our results demonstrated a significant increase of CD28-negative T cells, associated with CMV-seropositivity in HT patients. HT showed abundant CD45RO + T cells with peripheral loss of CD62L-expressing CD8 + CD45RA + T cells, the latter mainly depending on disease duration. CD62L was expressed in thyroid lymphocyte infiltrations. The diagnosis of HT and within the HT group CMV-seropositivity were the main determinants for the loss of CD28 expression. RTL was not different between HC and HT. HT showed significantly lower TRECs in CD4 + CD45RA + T cells compared to HC.
Patients with HT display a peripheral T cell phenotype reminiscent of findings in elderly persons or other autoimmune disorders. Whether these mechanisms are primary or secondary to the immunological alterations of autoimmune conditions should be investigated in longitudinal studies which may open research on new therapeutic regimes for treatment of HT and associated autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC3844619  PMID: 24006909
Immunosenescence; CD62L; Regulatory T cells; TREC; Telomere
2.  Pediatric reference intervals for thyroid hormone levels from birth to adulthood: a retrospective study 
Age- and sex-specific reference intervals are an important prerequisite for interpreting thyroid hormone measurements in children. However, only few studies have reported age- and sex-specific pediatric reference values for TSHbasal (TSH), free T3 (fT3), and free T4 (fT4) so far. Reference intervals are known to be method- and population-dependent. The aim of our study was to establish reference intervals for serum TSH, fT3, and fT4 from birth to 18 years and to assess sex differences.
2,194 thyroid hormone tests obtained from a hospital-based pediatric population were included into our retrospective analysis. Individuals with diagnoses or medications likely to affect thyroid function were primarily excluded, as well as the diagnostic groups, if different from the purely healthy subgroup (n = 414). Age groups were ranging from 1 day to 1 month, 1 – 12 months, and 1 – 5, 6 – 10, 11 – 14, and 15 – 18 years, respectively. Levels of fT3, fT4 and TSH were measured on Advia® Centaur™ automated immunoassay system.
The final sample size for reference data creation was 1,209 for TSH, 1,395 for fT3, and 1,229 for fT4. Median and 2.5/10/25/75/90/97.5 percentiles were calculated for each age group. Males had greater mean fT3 concentrations than females (p < 0.001). No sex-differences were found for TSH and fT4 between age-matched serum samples. Median concentrations of fT3, fT4 and TSH were greatest during the first month of life, followed by a continuous decline with age.
Our results corroborate those of previous studies showing that thyroid hormone levels change markedly during childhood, and that adult reference intervals are not universally applicable to children. Moreover, differences of our reference intervals compared to previous studies were observed, likely caused by different antibody characteristics of various analytical methods, different populations or undefined geographic covariates, e.g. iodine and selenium status.
PMCID: PMC2645400  PMID: 19036169
3.  The role of selenium, vitamin C, and zinc in benign thyroid diseases and of selenium in malignant thyroid diseases: Low selenium levels are found in subacute and silent thyroiditis and in papillary and follicular carcinoma 
Thyroid physiology is closely related to oxidative changes. The aim of this controlled study was to evaluate the levels of nutritional anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se), and to investigate any association of them with parameters of thyroid function and pathology including benign and malignant thyroid diseases.
This controlled evaluation of Se included a total of 1401 subjects (1186 adults and 215 children) distributed as follows: control group (n = 687), benign thyroid disease (85 children and 465 adults); malignant thyroid disease (2 children and 79 adults). Clinical evaluation of patients with benign thyroid disease included sonography, scintigraphy, as well as the determination of fT3, fT4, TSH, thyroid antibodies levels, Se, Zn, and vitamin C. Besides the routine oncological parameters (TG, TSH, fT4, ultrasound) Se was also determined in the cases of malignant disease. The local control groups for the evaluation of Se levels were taken from a general practice (WOMED) as well as from healthy active athletes. Blood samples were collected between 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. All patients lived in Innsbruck. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS 14.0. The Ho stated that there should be no differences in the levels of antioxidants between controls and thyroid disease patients.
Among the thyroid disease patients neither vitamin C, nor Zn nor Se correlated with any of the following parameters: age, sex, BMI, body weight, thyroid scintigraphy, ultrasound pattern, thyroid function, or thyroid antibodies. The proportion of patients with benign thyroid diseases having analyte concentrations below external reference cut off levels were 8.7% of cases for vitamin C; 7.8% for Zn, and 20.3% for Se. Low Se levels in the control group were found in 12%. Se levels were significantly decreased in cases of sub-acute and silent thyroiditis (66.4 ± 23.1 μg/l and 59.3 ± 20.1 μg/l, respectively) as well as in follicular and papillary thyroid carcinoma. The mean Se level in the control group was 90.5 ± 20.8 μg/l.
The H0 can be accepted for vitamin C and zinc levels whereas it has to be rejected for Se. Patients with benign or malignant thyroid diseases can present low Se levels as compared to controls. Low levels of vitamin C were found in all subgroups of patients.
PMCID: PMC2266752  PMID: 18221503

Results 1-3 (3)