Zeitlin, Abigail (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland characterised by thyrocyte death. Although it was previously thought that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis shared common aetiology with Graves’ disease, there is now significant evidence to suggest separate causal loci. The aims of this thesis were, i) to investigate HLA class II as a causal factor for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis ii) to investigate the potential role played by HLA class I MICA and MICB in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Several predisposing and protective loci within the HLA class II region were determined including the strongly associated DR4 haplotype and its component alleles. Of note DR4 is not associated with Graves’ disease providing evidence for a difference in the aetiology of autoimmune thyroid disease. There were no strong associations in MICA and MICB in the context of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Further work is required to screen the HLA gene region to determine additional casual loci for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. As the HLA gene region is an area of strong linkage disequilibrium this additional screening is also required to determine the primary associated loci. The data presented in this thesis provides further evidence for a difference in the aetiology of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis compared to that of Graves’ disease.
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