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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1995 Jan;80(1):276-9.

A potential novel mechanism for precocious puberty in juvenile hypothyroidism.

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Developmental Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Some children with juvenile hypothyroidism exhibit unexplained precocious puberty. Interaction of TSH with the human FSH receptor (hFSH-R) is a possible pathophysiological mechanism for this syndrome that has not been explored due to the lack of hFSH-free TSH preparations and the scarcity of a suitable hFSH-R-based assay system. To devise an in vitro FSH bioassay suitable for exploring this mechanism, we expressed hFSH-R complementary DNA in COS-7 cells and stimulated them with recombinant hTSH (rec-hTSH). Rec-hTSH elicited a dose-dependent cAMP response in the in vitro hFSH-R bioassay; however, the concentration of rec-hTSH required for half-maximal stimulation was several logs greater than that of hFSH. Rec-hTSH acted as a competitive inhibitor of hFSH at the hFSH-R, indicating that hTSH and hFSH are acting through the same receptor, namely the hFSH-R. This provides a potential novel mechanism for the precocious puberty of juvenile hypothyroidism.

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