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Thyroid. 2005 Aug;15(8):841-53.

Selenium and the control of thyroid hormone metabolism.

Author information

1
Institut für Experimentelle Endokrinologie und Endokrinologisches Forschungs-Centrum der Charité EnForCé, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany. josef.koehrle@charite.de

Abstract

Thyroid hormone synthesis, metabolism and action require adequate availability of the essential trace elements iodine and selenium, which affect homeostasis of thyroid hormone-dependent metabolic pathways. The three selenocysteine-containing iodothyronine deiodinases constitute a novel gene family. Selenium is retained and deiodinase expression is maintained at almost normal levels in the thyroid gland, the brain and several other endocrine tissues during selenium deficiency, thus guaranteeing adequate local and systemic levels of the active thyroid hormone T(3). Due to their low tissue concentrations and their mRNA SECIS elements deiodinases rank high in the cellular and tissue-specific hierarchy of selenium distribution among various selenoproteins. While systemic selenium status and expression of abundant selenoproteins (glutathione peroxidase or selenoprotein P) is already impaired in patients with cancer, disturbed gastrointestinal resorption, unbalanced nutrition or patients requiring intensive care treatment, selenium-dependent deiodinase function might still be adequate. However, disease-associated alterations in proinflammatory cytokines, growth factors, hormones and pharmaceuticals modulate deiodinase isoenzyme expression independent from altered selenium status and might thus pretend causal relationships between systemic selenium status and altered thyroid hormone metabolism. Limited or inadequate supply of both trace elements, iodine and selenium, leads to complex rearrangements of thyroid hormone metabolism enabling adaptation to unfavorable conditions.

PMID:
16131327
DOI:
10.1089/thy.2005.15.841
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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