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Acta Med Austriaca. 1996;23(1-2):47-51.

Evidence that iodolactones are the mediators of growth inhibition by iodine on the thyroid.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Klinikum Innenstadt, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.


Different iodolipids have been identified within the last decades in thyroid cells exposed to iodine in vitro as well as in vivo. Iodolipids have been supposed to be involved in thyroid autoregulation, but no specific compounds could be found. A new approach was stimulated by the finding that rat thyroid lobes were able to iodinate arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acids in vitro. Meanwhile 6-iodo-5 hydroxy-eicosatrienoic acid (delta-iodolactone) has been identified in human thyroid tissue, but only after treating the patients with high doses of iodine before thyroidectomy, whereas in untreated endemic goiter this delta-iodolactone could not be found. In rats treated with iodolactones, methimazole induced goiter formation could be prevented. In human and porcine thyroid cells in vitro, delta-iodolactone inhibited epidermal growth factor (EGF) induced proliferation in 50-fold lower concentrations than iodide itself. Furthermore it could be demonstrated that only the IP3-, but not the cAMP generation in porcine thyroid cells could be inhibited by this compound. Also a structure specifity for delta-iodolactones for the biological activity could be shown. We will summarize and discuss these important new findings on the role of iodolactones on thyroid growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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