High salt intake does not exacerbate murine autoimmune thyroiditis

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Recent studies have shown that high salt (HS) intake exacerbates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and have raised the possibility that a HS diet may comprise a risk factor for autoimmune diseases in general. In this report, we have examined whether a HS diet regimen could exacerbate murine autoimmune thyroiditis, including spontaneous autoimmune thyroiditis (SAT) in non-obese diabetic (NOD.H2h4) mice, experimental autoimmune thyroiditis (EAT) in C57BL/6J mice challenged with thyroglobulin (Tg) and EAT in CBA/J mice challenged with the Tg peptide (2549–2560). The physiological impact of HS intake was confirmed by enhanced water consumption and suppressed aldosterone levels in all strains. However, the HS treatment failed to significantly affect the incidence and severity of SAT or EAT or Tg-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G levels, relative to control mice maintained on a normal salt diet. In three experimental models, these data demonstrate that HS intake does not exacerbate autoimmune thyroiditis, indicating that a HS diet is not a risk factor for all autoimmune diseases.

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