BACKGROUND: Osteopontin (OPN) is recognized as a potent immunoregulator of autoimmune disease. In the study, we tried to explore the association of serum OPN levels with autoimmune thyroid disease, including Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), in an ethnic Chinese population. METHODS: We enrolled 131 patients with GD, 33 patients with HT, and 123 healthy controls. Serum OPN, B-cell activating factor (BAFF), and interferon (IFN)-α levels were quantified. GD patients with high thyroid function at the time of sample collection were defined as having active GD, while the other patients were defined as having inactive GD. RESULTS: Serum OPN levels were higher in active GD than in inactive GD and the control groups (p = 0.001 and p = 0.018, respectively). In GD, significant associations of OPN levels with thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TSHRAb) levels were observed in women (r = -0.344, p = 0.002, and r = 0.440, p = 0.004, respectively) but not in men. OPN levels were associated with BAFF levels only in women with GD or HT (r = 0.506, p < 0.001 and r = 0.430, p = 0.025, respectively), but not in men with GD or HT. CONCLUSIONS: Serum OPN levels were upregulated in active GD, and serum OPN levels were associated with thyroid function and TSHRAb levels in GD. Additionally, OPN levels were correlated with BAFF levels in GD and HT. The associations of OPN levels with clinical phenotypes of GD and BAFF levels showed a dimorphic pattern. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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