Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1995 Feb;80(2):473-9.

Potent thyrotropic activity of human chorionic gonadotropin variants in terms of 125I incorporation and de novo synthesized thyroid hormone release in human thyroid follicles.

Author information

Kanaji Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Using a highly sensitive bioassay for TSH, in which human thyroid follicles incorporate 125I and release de novo synthesized thyroid hormone into the culture medium, the thyrotropic activities of various hCG preparations were studied. Under the culture conditions employed, bovine TSH (bTSH) was approximately 6- to 9-fold more active than human TSH (hTSH). Highly purified hCG prepared from urine of normal pregnant women (CR 127) had only a trivial thyrotropic activity equipotent to 0.00022 microU bTSH/U hCG or 0.0013 microU hTSH/U hCG (19.7 microU hTSH/mg hCG). Hybrid hCG (AB1ER) also elicited low thyrotropic activity (14.0 microU hTSH/mg), whereas crude hCG had moderate thyrotropic activity (0.041 hTSH microU/U hCG or 127 microU/mg protein). Deglycosylated hCG, a very weak LH/hCG receptor agonist, was the most potent agonist in thyroid follicles (588 microU hTSH/mg protein). hCGs purified from urine of patients with trophoblastic tumors had greater TSH-like activity (37-84 microU hTSH/mg protein) than purified hCG. Asialo-hCG purified from a patient with choriocarcinoma had very potent TSH-like activity (468 microU hTSH/mg). Submaximal doses of bTSH and hCG variants produced additive stimulation of thyroid function. Furthermore, the thyrotropic effect of hCG was inhibited by anti-TSH receptor antibody obtained from patients with myxedema. These in vitro findings suggest that although hCG is reported to exert potent cAMP-stimulating activity on rat thyroid-like cells (FRTL-5) and Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with hTSH receptor complementary DNA (0.092-0.72 microU hTSH/U hCG), the thyrotropic activity induced by authentic hCG in human thyroid follicles is too weak to cause hyperthyroidism in normal pregnancy. However, hCG produced by some trophoblastic tumors, particularly asialo-hCG, has potent thyrotropic activity sufficient to cause clinically overt hyperthyroidism when produced excessively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center