Possible involvement of human herpesvirus-6 U83 gene expression in autoimmune thyroiditis development

Alina Sultanova (Coresponding Author), Maksims Čistjakovs, Liba Sokolovska, Egils Cunskis, Modra Murovska

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Viral infections have been frequently cited as important environmental factors implicated in autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) development, although no specific virus has yet been conclusively associated with the disease. Some evidence implicates human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) in this disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the HHV-6 U83 gene expression in autoimmune thyroiditis development. Fifty-one patients with AIT following thyroidectomy and a control group of 30 autopsied subjects without thyroid pathologies for comparing virology results and 30 healthy blood donors for comparing serology results were enrolled in this study. HHV-6 U83 gene expression was determined using nested PCR with complementary DNA as the template acquired from thyroid gland extracted RNA. Plasma samples of AIT patients and blood donors were tested for IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, sTNF-RII and IL-1beta levels by ELISA. Virology results were compared with pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels to determine possible interaction of HHV-6 with host immune response. HHV-6 U83 gene expression was found only in 24% (12/49) of AIT patient thyroid gland tissue samples and in none of the control group individuals, showing possible involvement of this gene in AIT development. However, no interaction between HHV-6 and changes in cytokine levels was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Section B: Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • autoimmunity
  • cytokines
  • HHV-6
  • thyroid gland

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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