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Y. Ochi, T. Nagamune, Y. Nakajima, M. Ishida, Y. Kajita, T. Hachiya and H. Ogura

Abstract. The occasional occurrence in sera of patients with Graves' disease of negative values in the assay for TSH receptor antibodies led to the discovery of endogenous antibodies to TSH. We examined the sera of approximately 2500 patients with Graves' disease. Eight positive sera were found. The IgG in all 8 sera showed higher binding with both bTSH and porcine TSH (pTSH) than with human TSH (hTSH). This means that autoantibodies to TSH in sera from patients with Graves' disease are rare and often directed towards heterologous bovine and porcine TSH. When hTSH levels were determined in sera of hyperthyroid patients with positive antibodies to hTSH, discrepancies in serum hTSH levels were observed when using different assay methods, i.e. hTSH levels were higher with the double-antibody technique, and lower with immunoradiometric assays. Antibodies in these sera showed higher binding to pTSH-α subunit than to -β subunit. The binding of the two pTSH subunits with antibodies could be displaced by intact bTSH. Neither stimulation in Graves' disease nor blocking in primary hypothyroidism of TSH receptor antibodies interfered with the binding of the anti-TSH antibodies to 125I-labelled pTSH, pTSH-α, and pTSH-β. Consequently, using this type of autoantibodies to TSH we were unable to obtain evidence that the TSH receptor antibodies of patients with Graves' disease was an anti-idiotype antibody against anti-TSH antibodies.

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T. Inui, Y. Ochi, T. Hachiya, W. Chen, Y. Nakajima, Y. Kajita and H. Ogura


A receptor assay using [125I]bTSH-binding to guinea-pig testis membrane was developed. Unlabelled hCG and FSH inhibited [125I]bTSH binding. In patients with Graves' disease and in untreated hyperthyroid patients, almost all long-acting thyroid stimulators and thyroid-stimulating antibodies, respectively did not inhibit [125I]bTSH binding, which on the other hand was inhibited by thyroid stimulation blocking antibodies in patients with primary hypothyroidism. When the inhibitory effect on the binding of [125I]hCG and 125I-synthetic α-subunit peptide (α26-46) of hCG to testis membrane was examined, bTSH resulted in a significant inhibition. However, all three kinds of TSH receptor antibodies had no inhibitory effect. This study demonstrated 1. interaction of α-subunit of TSH and hCG with the testicular receptor; 2. binding of thyroid stimulation-blocking antibody and lack of binding of thyroid-stimulating antibody to the testicular TSH receptor in spite of binding of these TSH receptor antibodies to the thyroidal TSH receptor, and 3. lack of binding of thyroid-stimulating antibody and thyroid stimulation-blocking antibody to the testicular gonadotropin receptor.

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Y Tang, H Osawa, H Onuma, M Hasegawa, T Nishimiya, M Ochi and H Makino

OBJECTIVE: Phosphodiesterase (PDE) 3B is a key enzyme involved in the anti-lipolytic action of insulin in adipocytes. PDE3B activation results in a reduced output of free fatty acids (FFA), whereas elevated serum FFA is known to cause insulin resistance. We have recently reported that reduced PDE3B gene expression is restored by treatment with pioglitazone, in the adipose tissues of obese, insulin-resistant diabetic KKAy mice. To determine whether the altered PDE3B gene expression is specific for adipocytes, the expression of this gene in liver and epididymal fat tissues of KKAy mice was examined. The effect of JTT-501, another peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)gamma ligand, which is different from thiazolidinedione, was also examined. METHODS: PDE3B mRNA and protein were quantified by an RNase protection assay and Western blotting respectively. Membrane-bound PDE activities were also measured. RESULTS: In adipose tissues of KKAy mice, PDE3B mRNA, protein and membrane-bound PDE activity were reduced to 47%, 57% and 51% respectively relative to those in C57BL/6J control mice. JTT-501 increased PDE3B mRNA, protein and membrane-bound PDE activity by 2.2-, 1.6- and 1.7-fold respectively over those of untreated KKAy mice. In the liver, PDE3B gene expression remained unchanged in KKAy mice, and was not affected by JTT-501. JTT-501 reduced the elevated levels of serum insulin, glucose, FFA and triglyceride in KKAy mice. CONCLUSIONS: PDE3B gene expression was specifically reduced in the adipose tissues of KKAy mice. JTT-501 restored this reduced gene expression with an accompanying improvement in elevated serum FFA and insulin resistance.