Implications of RANTES in the development of autoimmune thyroiditis via chemokine production down-regulation by HHV-6

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Several studies have demonstrated that HHV-6 could be an environmental trigger of thyroid autoimmunity by showing high prevalence of the virus in the diseased tissues. HHV-6 possesses a range of immunomodulatory abilities and one of the modulation strategies it utilizes is virally encoded chemokine receptors. HHV-6 encodes two putative homologs of cellular G-protein-coupled receptors - U12 and U51. In vitro studies have shown that these two viral receptors can interact with cytokine and chemokine signaling. This study aimed to investigate the immunomodulating properties of HHV-6 in the development of autoimmune thyroid disease via the investigation of HHV-6 interaction with RANTES signaling pathway. Prior to this study, the presence of HHV-6 DNA, viral load, the expression of active infection markers and viral chemokine receptors was determined in patient tissue samples. The levels of of RANTES, IFN-γ and TNFα were determined in 109 patient and 27 blood donor plasma samples.
Conclusions: Autoimmune thyroiditis patient RANTES plasma levels were significantly lower compared to healthy blood donors. A potential link exists between RANTES level and viral load, as higher HHV-6 viral loads could be observed in patient with the lowest RANTES levels. HHV-6 could be able to disrupt RANTES production, as AIT patients had lower levels or RANTES, even with higher levels of RANTES inductive cytokines.
Period29 May 2021
Event title12th International Congress on Autoimmunity
Event typeCongress
Conference number12
LocationGreeceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • HHV-6
  • thyroid autoimmunity