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Selenium and Iodine in Autoimmune Thyroiditis.

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Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


Selenium and iodine are essential for thyroid hormone synthesis and function. Selenium, in form of selenocysteine, is found either in the catalytic center of enzymes involved in the protection of the thyroid gland from free radicals originating during thyroid hormone synthesis, and in three different iodothyronine deiodinases catalyzing the activation and the inactivation of thyroid hormones. Iodine is an essential constituent of thyroid hormones and its deficiency causes different disorders that include goiter, hypothyroidism, reduced fertility and alteration in growth, physical and neurological development. These two micronutrients could be involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroid diseases, a spectrum of pathological conditions including Hashimoto's thryoiditis, post-partum thyroiditis, the so-called painless thyroiditis, Graves' disease and Graves' ophtalmopathy. Aim of this paper is to review the role played by selenium and iodine in autoimmune thyroiditis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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