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Chemokines are a large family of cytokines, which may be involved in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of inflammatory or autoimmune conditions. The role of chemokines in chronic autoimmune thyroiditis is unknown. We sought to examine the role of CC chemokines in chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. We measured serum levels of CC chemokines, including monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and macrophage inflammatory protein 1a and 1b (MIP-1a and MIP-1b) in 32 women with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis in comparison with 2 control groups (33 apparently healthy women and 43 women with benign cold thyroid nodules) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We found a 45% increase in serum MCP-1 levels in women with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis compared with either of the 2 control groups (P = .01). There was no difference in either serum MIP-1a (P = .69) or MIP-1b (P = .81) levels between women with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis and controls. Among women with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, women with a family history of hypothyroidism had a 59% increase in serum MCP-1 levels compared with women with no family history of hypothyroidism (P = .02). Serum MCP-1 levels were associated with serum levels of antithyroid peroxidase (r = .2, P = .03) (anti-TPO Ab) and antithyroglobulin (r = .2, P = .04) antibodies (anti-TG Ab). There was no association between serum MCP-1 levels and serum free thyroxine index (P = .57), triiodothyronine (T3) (P = .47) or thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) (P = .47) levels. Serum MCP-1 is increased in women with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, especially in the presence of a family history of hypothyroidism, indicating a possible pathogenetic role for MCP-1 in this condition.
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© 2002 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.