A few patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Graves' disease develop a multiform syndrome of the central nervous system (CNS) termed Hashimoto's encephalopathy or steroid-responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (HE/SREAT). They have high levels of thyroid autoantibodies (TgAb, TPOAb and/or TSH-R-Ab) in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Autoantibodies against alpha-enolase, aldehyde reductase-I (AKRIA) and/or dimethylargininase-I (DDAHI), proteins expressed in the CNS among other tissues, were detected in the blood and, when searched, in the cerebrospinal fluid of HE/SREAT patients. Recently, we reported that alpha-enolase, AKRIA and DDAHI share local sequence homology with each of the three autoantigens (TgAb, TPOAb, TSH-R-Ab), often in epitope-containing segments of the thyroid autoantigens. We hypothesized that there might be additional CNS-expressed proteins homologous to thyroid autoantigens, possibly overlapping known epitopes of the thyroid autoantigens. We used bioinformatic methods to address this hypothesis. Six, 27 and 47 of 46,809 CNS-expressed proteins share homology with TSH-R, Tg and TPO, respectively. The homologous regions often contain epitopes, and some match regions of thyroid autoantigens which have homology with alpha-enolase, AKRIA and/or DDAHI. Several of the aforementioned proteins are present in CNS areas that show abnormalities at neuroimaging in HE/SREAT patients. Furthermore, autoantibodies against some of the said six, 27 and 47 proteins were reported to be associated with a number of autoimmune diseases. Not only we validated our hypothesis, but we think that such a variety of potential CNS targets for thyroid Ab against epitopes contained in regions that have local homology with CNS proteins may explain the polymorphic phenotypes of HE/SREAT. Only when elevated amounts of these Ab are synthesized and trespass the blood-brain barrier, HE/SREAT appears. This might explain why HE/SREAT is so relatively rare.

Amino acid sequence homology between thyroid autoantigens and central nervous system proteins: Implications for the steroid-responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroiditis

Antonelli A.;Fallahi P.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

A few patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis or Graves' disease develop a multiform syndrome of the central nervous system (CNS) termed Hashimoto's encephalopathy or steroid-responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (HE/SREAT). They have high levels of thyroid autoantibodies (TgAb, TPOAb and/or TSH-R-Ab) in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Autoantibodies against alpha-enolase, aldehyde reductase-I (AKRIA) and/or dimethylargininase-I (DDAHI), proteins expressed in the CNS among other tissues, were detected in the blood and, when searched, in the cerebrospinal fluid of HE/SREAT patients. Recently, we reported that alpha-enolase, AKRIA and DDAHI share local sequence homology with each of the three autoantigens (TgAb, TPOAb, TSH-R-Ab), often in epitope-containing segments of the thyroid autoantigens. We hypothesized that there might be additional CNS-expressed proteins homologous to thyroid autoantigens, possibly overlapping known epitopes of the thyroid autoantigens. We used bioinformatic methods to address this hypothesis. Six, 27 and 47 of 46,809 CNS-expressed proteins share homology with TSH-R, Tg and TPO, respectively. The homologous regions often contain epitopes, and some match regions of thyroid autoantigens which have homology with alpha-enolase, AKRIA and/or DDAHI. Several of the aforementioned proteins are present in CNS areas that show abnormalities at neuroimaging in HE/SREAT patients. Furthermore, autoantibodies against some of the said six, 27 and 47 proteins were reported to be associated with a number of autoimmune diseases. Not only we validated our hypothesis, but we think that such a variety of potential CNS targets for thyroid Ab against epitopes contained in regions that have local homology with CNS proteins may explain the polymorphic phenotypes of HE/SREAT. Only when elevated amounts of these Ab are synthesized and trespass the blood-brain barrier, HE/SREAT appears. This might explain why HE/SREAT is so relatively rare.
Benvenga, S.; Antonelli, A.; Fallahi, P.; Bonanno, C.; Rodolico, C.; Guarneri, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1113905
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