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Eur J Endocrinol. 2005 Nov;153(5):643-9.

Thyroid hormone increases mannan-binding lectin levels.

Author information

1
Medical Department M, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. anne.lene.riis@ki.au.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent studies have indicated the existence of causal links between the endocrine and immune systems and cardiovascular disease. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), a protein of the innate immune system, may constitute a connection between these fields.

METHODS:

To test whether thyroid hormone regulates MBL levels, we studied eight patients with Graves' hyperthyroidism before and after methimazole therapy, eight healthy subjects before and after short-term experimental hyperthyroidism, and eight hypothyroid patients with chronic auto-immune thyroiditis before and after L-thyroxine substitution.

RESULTS:

In all hyperthyroid patients, MBL levels were increased--median (range), 1886 ng/ml (1478-7344) --before treatment and decreased to 954 ng/ml (312-3222) after treatment (P = 0.01, paired comparison: Wilcoxon's signed ranks test). The healthy subjects had MBL levels of 1081 ng/ml (312-1578). Administration of thyroid hormones to these persons induced mild hyperthyroidism and increased MBL levels significantly to 1714 ng/ml (356-2488) (P = 0.01). Two of the eight hypothyroid patients had undetectably low levels of MBL both before and after L-thyroxine substitution. The other six hypothyroid patients had decreased levels of MBL of 145 ng/ml (20-457) compared with 979 ng/ml (214-1533) after L-thyroxine substitution (P = 0.03, paired comparison: Wilcoxon's signed ranks test).

CONCLUSION:

Our data show that thyroid hormone increases levels of MBL. MBL is part of the inflammatory complement system, and this modulation of complement activation may play a role in the pathogenesis of a number of key components of thyroid diseases.

PMID:
16260422
DOI:
10.1530/eje.1.02013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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