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Titolo: Pituitary gonadotropins and autoimmunity
Data di pubblicazione: 2014
Abstract: Autoimmune disease occurs when the body produces an inappropriate immune response against its own tissues producing antibodies, called autoantibodies, reacting to specific antigens. Studies regarding the presence of an autoimmune process specifically involving gonadotropins date from over than 20 years ago, when antibodies to gonadotropic-secreting cells were found by immunofluorescence in sera from a group of patients affected by cryptorchidism. Later on, antibodies detected by the same technique, and directed to the same cells were also found at high titer in sera from patients affected by hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, Kallmann’s syndrome, lymphocytic hypophysitis with isolated gonadotropin deficiency, as well as autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome. Concerning the autoimmune target/s within the gonadotropic cells, rarely autoantibodies were found labeling gonadotropins while in a large number of cases, auto-antigens remained to be identified. Since pituitary gonadotropins are fundamental for the sexual maturity and reproductive mechanisms, patients with infertility were largely investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of circulating antibodies likely interfering with gonadotropin activity. In infertile women, autoantibodies to gonadotropins were found related to ovarian autoimmunity, ovarian disorders that cause infertility and also associated with in vitro fertilization treatments. In infertile men, autoantibodies to gonadotropins may alter the testicular spermatogenesis and cause apoptosis of the spermatogenic cells. In conclusion, circulating antibodies were found labeling gonadotropic cells and/or gonadotropins, and in both cases they could create dysfunctions in gonadotropin related mechanism. The intriguing question of what can cause the production of such autoantibodies is not clear yet.
Tipologia:1.1 Articolo in rivista

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