Cathepsin S is not crucial to TSHR processing and presentation in a murine model of Graves' disease

Mrinalini Kala, Chun Rong Chen, Sandra M. McLachlan, Basil Rapoport, Holly Aliesky, Harold A. Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


By regulating invariant (Ii) chain processing and MHC class II peptide loading, the endosomal protease cathepsin S (Cat S) has a potential role in autoimmune susceptibility. Indeed, Cat S null mice are resistant to I-Ab-restricted experimental myasthenia gravis due to inadequate peptide presentation. To explore the role of Cat S in a Graves' disease model, I-Ad-restricted wild-type (WT) and Cat S-/- mice were immunized with adenovirus encoding the A subunit of thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR). TSHR adenovirus immunized mice develop Th1 T cells, TSHR antibodies, and a proportion become overtly hyperthyroid. Although TSHR presentation in vitro was initially impaired in Cat S-/- mice, subsequent TSHR presentation in vitro and disease development were similar in both groups but with higher antibody responses in Cat S null mice. WT and Cat S-/- mice recognized similar T cell epitopes from a panel of overlapping TSHR peptides. TSHR responses were found to be I-Ad-restricted and Cat S-/- I-Ad B cells had marked defects in Ii processing. These data imply that loading of TSHR peptides critical to TSHR antibody responses becomes Ii-independent. Contrasting findings among organ-specific murine autoimmune models imply that potential uses of Cat S inhibitors to ameliorate autoimmunity must be determined empirically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-540
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen presentation
  • Cysteine proteases
  • Graves' hyperthyroidism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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