ESPE Abstracts (2019) 92 P1-421

Zinc Transporter 8 (ZnT8) as a New Autoantigen in Thyroid Tissue – Preliminary Data

Artur Bossowski1, Wieslawa Niklinska2, Marta Gasowska2, Dariusz Polnik3, Mieczyslaw Szalecki4, Agnieszka Miklosz5, Adrian Chabowski5, Joanna Reszec6


1Department of Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes with a Cardiology Unit, Medical University in Bialystok,, Bialystok, Poland. 2Department of Histology and Embryology, Medical University in Bialystok,, Bialystok, Poland. 3Department of Children's Surgery and Transplantology, Children's Memorial Health Institute, Warsaw,, Warsaw, Poland. 4Department of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology, Children's Memorial Health Institute,, Warsaw, Poland. 5Department of Physiology,Medical University in Bialystok,, Bialystok, Poland. 6Department of Medical Patomorphology. Medical University in Bialystok,, Bialystok, Poland


Zinc (Zn) is a crucial trace mineral that regulates the expression and activation of biological molecules such as transcription factors, enzymes, adapters, channels, and growth factors, along with their receptors. Bioinformatics analysis of the human genome discloses that Zn may bind ~ 10% of all of the proteins found in the human organism. This remarkable finding highlights the physiological significance of Zn in molecules involved in cellular processes and thereby its essential role in development, differentiation, immune responses, neurological functions, and protein synthesis.

We studied the expression of ZnT8 transporter in thyroid tissues from patients with immune and non-immune thyroid diseases. The study was performed in thyroid tissues after thyroidectomy from patients with thyroid nodular goiter (n=12, mean age 16.5 years ± 4) and cases with Graves' disease (n=13, mean age14.6 years ± 2.5).

In our study we investigated the expression of ZnT8 in human thyroid tissues from patients with immune and non-immune thyroid diseases using immunohistochemistry, Western Blot as well as immunofluorescence analyses. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first investigation which identified ZnT8 protein expression in human thyroid tissues, moreover, confirmed by three different laboratory techniques.

1. Expression of ZnT8 transporter was identified by immunohistochemistry in the thyroid tissues from pediatric patients with Graves' disease (on +++) and nontoxic nodular goiter (on ++).

2. ZnT8 transporter expression was found both in thyroid follicular cells(within the cytoplasm and cytoplasmic membrane in follicular cells) and C cells (membrane-cytoplasmic reaction) in fluorescence.

3. Predominant expression of ZnT8 in band 41 kDa (cases:2,3,5,7,10,14,15,16,17,19) in immune than in non-immune (cases: 1,4,6,8,9,18) thyroid disorders (Fig.1) may suggest potential role of ZnT8 as a new thyroid autoanitgen but it requires further study on a larger cohort.

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