Elevated Prolactin to Cortisol Ratio and Polyclonal Autoimmune Activation in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
18 October 2001 (online)
Cortisol and prolactin, which are considered to have an immunomodulatory effect, and selected autoantibodies were determined in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. 37 patients (8 males and 29 females) (54 ± 13.8 years) and an equal number of sex- and age-matched normal subjects (52.6 ± 14.2 years) were studied. None of the 74 subjects suffered from any other immunological, infectious, hepatic, renal or malignant diseases. Patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis exhibited significantly higher (p < 0.016) prolactin values (14.0 ± 3.8 ng/ml) than did control subjects (6.5 ± 1.3 ng/ml). In contrast, cortisol levels were lower in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (13.5 ± 3.2 µg/dl) vs. normal state (16.0 ± 1.13 µg/dl), (p < 0.05). The prevalence of anti-TPO and anti-Tg antibodies was 100 % and 43 % in the patients with Hashimoto’s disease. In contrast, no subject of the control group was positive for anti-TPO, although 9 subjects (24 %) were positive for anti-Tg autoantibodies. The percentage of positive autoantibodies to nucleous, smooth-muscle, and parietal cells in the patients (36.0, 10.9 and 18.5 %, respectively) was higher than that in healthy group (11.0 and 0 % respectively). Notably, neither group was positive for antibodies against double-stranded DNA or mitochondria. In conclusion, our results provide evidence for a polyclonal activity in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an organ-specific autoimmune disease, associated with an altered prolactin-adrenocortical status. Such information should initiate longitudinal studies to clarify the exact time sequence of these events related to the disease’s activity.
Prolactin - Cortisol - Autoantibobies - Hashimoto’s Disease