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Local Hormone Networks and Intestinal T Cell Homeostasis

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Science  28 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5308, pp. 1937-1939
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5308.1937

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Abstract

Neuroendocrine hormones of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis can exert positive or negative immunoregulatory effects on intestinal lymphocytes. Small intestine epithelial cells were found to express receptors for thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and to be a primary source of intestine-derived thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The gene for the TSH receptor (TSH-R) was expressed in intestinal T cells but not in epithelial cells, which suggested a hormone-mediated link between lymphoid and nonhematopoietic components of the intestine. Because mice with congenitally mutant TSH-R (hyt/hyt mice) have a selectively impaired intestinal T cell repertoire, TSH may be a key immunoregulatory mediator in the intestine.

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