HLA-D/DR expression on epithelial cells: the finger on the trigger?
Todd I., Londei M., Pujol-Borrell R., Mirakian R., Feldmann M., Bottazzo GF.
The findings we have described here show a clear association between epithelial HLA-D/DR expression and autoimmunity. Furthermore, the ability of class II+ thyrocytes to present both exogenous antigens and autoantigens indicates an active role for these HLA-D/DR molecules in autoimmune pathogenesis. IFN-gamma is capable of inducing HLA-D/DR expression by thyroid epithelium, but a number of observations suggest the involvement of other inducers as well. Overall, we conclude that epithelial class II expression very probably plays a key role in the propagation and also in possibly the initiation of autoimmune attack. This is in accord with the proposal of a more general relationship between inappropriate or excessive class II expression and pathogenesis.