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Animal Model of Graves' Orbitopathy Developed

Model closely resembles the human condition

THURSDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A mouse model of Graves' orbitopathy, a complication of Graves' disease, has been developed that closely resembles the human condition, according to a study published in the Sept. 1 issue of Endocrinology.

To develop a mouse model of Graves' orbitopathy, Sajad Moshkelgosha, from King's College in London, and colleagues immunized mice with DNA encoding the human TSH receptor A-subunit, the target of the autoimmune response in Graves' disease.

The researchers found that the mice recapitulated Graves' orbitopathy, with extensive remodeling of orbital tissue. The mice had antibodies to the TSH receptor and were profoundly hypothyroid. Orbital pathology consisted of interstitial inflammation of extraocular muscles and glycosaminoglycan deposition, leading to separation of individual muscle fibers. In vivo magnetic resonance images showed evidence of orbital muscle hypertrophy with protrusion of the eye as well as eyelid manifestations of chemosis.

"The availability of a preclinical model that closely resembles the human condition will allow in vivo evaluation of these new therapeutic reagents for rapid translation to Graves' orbitopathy patients," Moshkelgosha and colleagues conclude.

One author disclosed receiving license income from ThermoFischer Scientific (Diagnostics).

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