Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis in a Cynomolgus Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)

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Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis characterized by multifocal follicular lymphoid cell infiltrates with germinal centers, thyroid acinar atrophy and pituitary cell hyperplasia/hypertrophy of the adenohypophysis was detected in a vehicle control, 4-year-old female Cynomolgus macaque in a routine toxicology study. Lymphoid cells of germinal centers were positive for the B-cell marker CD20 by immunohistochemistry (IHC), while remaining lymphocytes were positive for the T-cell marker CD3. Hypertrophied/hyperplastic pituitary cells were positive for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) by IHC, consistent with an adaptive response due to removal of hormonal negative feedback from the diseased thyroid gland. Features of this case are similar to chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis in humans, an autoimmune disorder also known as Hashimoto's disease. Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis with compensatory pituitary changes may occur spontaneously in young, clinically normal cynomolgus macaques and its presence in drug treated animals should be interpreted with caution.

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