Cytokines (interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α)-induced nuclear factor-κB activation and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 10 release in Graves disease and ophthalmopathy are modulated by pioglitazone.

Research paper by Alessandro A Antonelli, Silvia Martina SM Ferrari, Poupak P Fallahi, Simona S Piaggi, Aldo A Paolicchi, Stefano Sellari SS Franceschini, Mario M Salvi, Ele E Ferrannini

Indexed on: 09 Mar '10Published on: 09 Mar '10Published in: Metabolism


Until now, the following are not known: (1) the mechanisms underlying the induction of chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 10 (CXCL10) secretion by cytokines in thyrocytes; (2) if pioglitazone is able, like rosiglitazone, to inhibit the interferon (IFN)-γ-induced chemokine expression in Graves disease (GD) or ophthalmopathy (GO); and (3) the mechanisms underlying the inhibition by thiazolidinediones of the cytokines-induced CXCL10 release in thyrocytes. The aims of this study were (1) to study the mechanisms underlying the induction of CXCL10 secretion by cytokines in GD thyrocytes; (2) to test the effect of pioglitazone on IFNγ-inducible CXCL10 secretion in primary thyrocytes, orbital fibroblasts, and preadipocytes from GD and GO patients; and (3) to evaluate the mechanism of action of thiazolidinediones on nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation. The results of the study (1) demonstrate that IFNγ + TNFα enhanced the DNA binding activity of NF-κB in GD thyrocytes, in association with the release of CXCL10; (2) show that pioglitazone exerts a dose-dependent inhibition on IFNγ + TNFα-induced CXCL10 secretion in thyrocytes, orbital fibroblasts, and preadipocytes, similar to the effect observed with rosiglitazone; and (3) demonstrate that thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone and rosiglitazone) act by reducing the IFNγ + TNFα activation of NF-κB in Graves thyrocytes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing that cytokines are able to activate NF-κB in Graves thyrocytes and a parallel inhibitory effect of pioglitazone both on CXCL10 chemokine secretion and NF-κB activation. Future studies will be needed to verify if new targeted peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ activators may be able to exert the anti-inflammatory effects without the risk of expanding retrobulbar fat mass.

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