OBJECTIVE: Antibodies against thyroglobulin, thyroid peroxidase and the TSH receptor are accepted as pathophysiological and diagnostic biomarkers in autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). In contrast, the prevalence, aetiology and clinical relevance of autoantibodies against the human sodium-iodine symporter (NISAb) and pendrin (PenAb) remain unclear. The objectives of the study were to investigate the presence of NISAb and PenAb in Danish twins, with and without AITD, to study whether the published variations in NISAb and PenAb frequencies were related to differences in methodology or study populations, and to evaluate whether the presence of NISAb or PenAb most likely results from genetic or nongenetic factors. METHODS: Sera from 93 patients with AITD and 230 healthy controls were evaluated for NISAb and PenAb using radioligand binding assays (RBA). RESULTS: Patients with AITD had a higher prevalence than the controls: NISAb: 17% vs 0% (P < 0·001) and PenAb: 11% vs 0% (P < 0·001). Subdividing according to cause of AITD yielded similar results: 20% (11/56) of patients with Graves' disease (GD) and 14% (5/37) of patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) had NISAb, (P < 0·05, vs control population). Seven of 56 (13%) patients with GD and three of 37 (8%) patients with HT had PenAb (P < 0·05 vs control population). No twin pairs were concordant for NISAb or PenAb, not even among twin pairs concordant for AITD. CONCLUSIONS: In accord with studies using the same RBAs, the frequency of NISAb and PenAb was low in Danish patients with AITD and absent in healthy individuals, suggesting that differences between studies rely on assay differences. The skewed distribution of NISAb and PenAb within AITD concordant twin pairs suggests that NISAb and PenAb are likely attributable to the effects of environmental factors acting in genetic susceptible individuals.
Clinical Endocrinology, 2014, Vol 81, Issue 3, p. 440-4