Chemokines are low-molecular-weight proteins that attract leukocytes and other cell types, via interaction with G protein-coupled receptors. Chemokines control leukocyte migration not only during inflammatory processes, but also throughout ontogeny and differentiation of lymphoid tissues. They have been involved in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus infection, allergy, atherosclerosis, cancer, and autoimmunity. The number of studies focusing on chemokine biology is expanding exponentially. For example, searching PubMed for the terms "thyroid*" and "chemokine*" retrieved 1 article in 1980s, 18 articles in 1990s, and 81 articles from 2000 to July 2007. This review will focus on studies analyzing the role of chemokine in autoimmune thyroiditis (Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis), performed in both patients and experimental animals. The goal is to emphasize how a better understanding of chemokine biology has advanced our knowledge of the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroiditis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism