It is thought that the majority of autoimmune endocrinopathies, including Graves' disease, autoimmune hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes mellitus and autoimmune Addison's disease (sporadic and as well as autoimmune polyendocrinopathy syndrome type 2) are inherited as complex genetic traits. Multiple genetic and environmental factors interact with each other to confer susceptibility to these disorders. In recent years there have been considerable efforts towards defining susceptibility genes for complex traits. These investigations have shown, with increasing evidence, that the cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) gene is an important susceptibility locus for autoimmune endocrinopathies and other autoimmune disorders. Here we review the genetic and functional analyses of the CTLA-4 locus in autoimmune endocrinopathies, and discuss the recent efforts in fine-mapping this locus.
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B Vaidya and S Pearce
L Bartalena, G J Kahaly, L Baldeschi, C M Dayan, A Eckstein, C Marcocci, M Marinò, B Vaidya, W M Wiersinga, and EUGOGO
Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is the main extrathyroidal manifestation of Graves’ disease (GD). Choice of treatment should be based on the assessment of clinical activity and severity of GO. Early referral to specialized centers is fundamental for most patients with GO. Risk factors include smoking, thyroid dysfunction, high serum level of thyrotropin receptor antibodies, radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment, and hypercholesterolemia. In mild and active GO, control of risk factors, local treatments, and selenium (selenium-deficient areas) are usually sufficient; if RAI treatment is selected to manage GD, low-dose oral prednisone prophylaxis is needed, especially if risk factors coexist. For both active moderate-to-severe and sight-threatening GO, antithyroid drugs are preferred when managing Graves’ hyperthyroidism. In moderate-to-severe and active GO i.v. glucocorticoids are more effective and better tolerated than oral glucocorticoids. Based on current evidence and efficacy/safety profile, costs and reimbursement, drug availability, long-term effectiveness, and patient choice after extensive counseling, a combination of i.v. methylprednisolone and mycophenolate sodium is recommended as first-line treatment. A cumulative dose of 4.5 g of i.v. methylprednisolone in 12 weekly infusions is the optimal regimen. Alternatively, higher cumulative doses not exceeding 8 g can be used as monotherapy in most severe cases and constant/inconstant diplopia. Second-line treatments for moderate-to-severe and active GO include (a) the second course of i.v. methylprednisolone (7.5 g) subsequent to careful ophthalmic and biochemical evaluation, (b) oral prednisone/prednisolone combined with either cyclosporine or azathioprine; (c) orbital radiotherapy combined with oral or i.v. glucocorticoids, (d) teprotumumab; (e) rituximab and (f) tocilizumab. Sight-threatening GO is treated with several high single doses of i.v. methylprednisolone per week and, if unresponsive, with urgent orbital decompression. Rehabilitative surgery (orbital decompression, squint, and eyelid surgery) is indicated for inactive residual GO manifestations.