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Evidence supporting the identity in Graves' disease of thyroid-stimulating antibody and thyroid growth-promoting immunoglobulin G as assayed in FRTL5 cells.

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  • Research Article
  • Medicine


This paper addresses the question: in Graves' disease is there a thyroid-growth stimulating IgG (TGI) separate from thyroid-stimulating antibody (TSAb)? Using the functioning rat thyroid line (FRTL5) cells for TGI (incorporation of [3H]-thymidine into DNA) and TSAb (increase in cAMP concentration) assays, we tested IgG from 30 Graves' patients. Positive TGI assay occurred only if cAMP increased in the cells and responses correlated, i.e., r = 0.95, P less than 0.001. With one very potent TSAb-IgG we showed that Fab was active as TGI and TSAb, IgG with pI of 8.5-9.0 was the most potent fraction in both systems and an inhibitory IgG prevented the action of both TSAb-IgG and TSH in both the TSAb and TGI assays. In the last example, the action was on the cell membrane and not on the TSH or IgG. These data are entirely compatible with the view that in Graves' disease, at least as tested in FRTL5 cells, the same IgG is active in stimulating both growth and adenylate cyclase.

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