T lymphocyte subsets were prospectively examined in the peripheral blood and thyroid aspirates of 10 patients with hyperthyroid Graves' disease before and after treatment with methimazole and attainment of euthyroidism. T lymphocyte subsets were identified with monoclonal antibodies and pattern of alpha-naphthyl-acetate esterase (ANAE) staining pattern in the case of peripheral blood and ANAE staining pattern with thyroid aspirate smears. Before treatment, OKT8+ lymphocytes were significantly decreased (18.4% +/- 4.8) (S. D.) in the patients compared to control (28.8 +/- 6.7%, p less than 0.05), the OKT4/OKT8 ratio was increased (2.92 vs 2.11). Percent OKT8+ lymphocytes were not different from the controls when the ten patients had been rendered euthyroid. ANAE mononuclear cells with a diffuse pattern (presumed suppressor cells) were 4.2% +/- 1.8 before treatment and 8.3 +/- 2.4 (p less than 0.05) after treatment and 11.5% +/- 2.2 in controls. ANAE mononuclear cells with diffuse pattern represented 4.2% +/- 1.8 of the mononuclear cells infiltrating the thyroid gland of untreated patients and rose to 8.3% +/- 2.4 after the patients had become euthyroid. ANAE negative cells (B cells and some T cells) were increased in the thyroid of untreated patients. It is concluded that mononuclear cells with presumed suppressor T cell phenotype are decreased in the blood and thyroid glands of patients with active Graves' disease and that this defect is corrected when euthyroidism has been established.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Acta medica Hungarica|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 1986|
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