Iodine-induced autoimmune thyroiditis in NOD-H-2(h4) mice

Linda Rasooly, C. Lynne Burek, Noel R. Rose

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179 Scopus citations


Excess iodine ingestion has been implicated in induction and exacerbation of autoimmune thyroiditis in human populations and animal models. We studied the time course and sex-related differences in iodine-induced autoimmune thyroiditis in NOD-H-2(h4) mice. This strain, derived from a cross of NOD with B1O.A(4R), spontaneously develops autoimmune thyroiditis but not diabetes. NOD-H-2(h4) mice were given either plain water or water with 0.05% iodine for 8 weeks. Approximately 54% of female and 70% of male iodine-treated mice developed thyroid lesions, whereas only 1 of 20 control animals had thyroiditis at this time. Levels of serum thyroxin (T4) were similar in the treatment and control groups. Thyroglobulin-specific antibodies were present in the iodine-treated group after 8 weeks of treatment but antibodies to thyroid peroxidase were not apparent in the serum of any of the animals. Levels of thyroglobulin antibodies increased throughout the 8-week iodine ingestion period; however, no correlation was seen between the levels of total thyroglobulin antibodies and the degree of thyroid infiltration at the time of autopsy. The thyroglobulin antibodies consisted primarily of IgG2a, IgG2b, and IgM antibodies with no detectable IgA, IgG1, or IgG3 thyroglobulin-specific antibodies. The presence of IgG2b thyroglobulin-specific antibodies correlated well with the presence of thyroid lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology


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