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J Thyroid Res. 2011;2011:875125. doi: 10.4061/2011/875125. Epub 2011 May 4.

Role of estrogen in thyroid function and growth regulation.

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Postgraduation Program in Medicine and Medical Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


Thyroid diseases are more prevalent in women, particularly between puberty and menopause. It is wellknown that estrogen (E) has indirect effects on the thyroid economy. Direct effects of this steroid hormone on thyroid cells have been described more recently; so, the aim of the present paper was to review the evidences of these effects on thyroid function and growth regulation, and its mechanisms. The expression and ratios of the two E receptors, α and β, that mediate the genomic effects of E on normal and abnormal thyroid tissue were also reviewed, as well as nongenomic, distinct molecular pathways. Several evidences support the hypothesis that E has a direct role in thyroid follicular cells; understanding its influence on the growth and function of the thyroid in normal and abnormal conditions can potentially provide new targets for the treatment of thyroid diseases.

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