Which immune mechanisms are etiologic factors in Graves disease?

Updated: Apr 17, 2020
  • Author: Sai-Ching Jim Yeung, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Graves disease is autoimmune in etiology, and the immune mechanisms involved may be one of the following:

  • Expression of a viral antigen (self-antigen) or a previously hidden antigen

  • The specificity crossover between different cell antigens with an infectious agent or a superantigen

  • Alteration of the T cell repertoire, idiotypic antibodies becoming pathogenic antibodies

  • New expression of HLA class II antigens on thyroid epithelial cells (eg, HLA-DR antigen)

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