UMMS Affiliation

Department of Physiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Flavonoids; Iodide Peroxidase; Male; Pituitary Gland; Prealbumin; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Salicylic Acid; Salicylic Acids; Thyrotropin; Thyroxine; Triiodothyronine




TSH secretion is decreased by both T4 and T3. This negative feedback control of TSH secretion has been correlated with an increase in pituitary nuclear T3 content, and it is not clear whether T4 exerts its effect directly on the thyrotroph or after its deiodination to T3. However, levels of the pituitary enzyme catalyzing T4 to T3 conversion, 5'D-II, are decreased in the presence of an increased amount of T4. Thus, it is unclear why the thyrotroph would have a mechanism for modulating the production of T3, if T3 is, in fact, the sole bioactive signal providing negative feedback inhibition. To examine this apparent paradox, we administered EMD 21388, a compound which inhibits the binding of T4 to transthyretin resulting in a rapid increase in circulating free T4 levels, to rats pretreated with radiolabeled T4 and T3. We observed increases in pituitary and liver T4 content of greater than 150%, without increases in the respective tissue T3 contents. The EMD 21388-treated rats also exhibited a 25% decrease in pituitary 5'D-II activity (103.8 +/- 15.8 fmol 125I protein-1.h-1, vs. control, 137.4 +/- 15.9, mean +/- SE), as did rats treated with sodium salicylate, another compound that inhibits T4-TTR binding (100.8 +/- 7.1). TSH levels significantly decreased 2 h after the administration of EMD 21388. These data demonstrate that despite a T4-mediated decrease in pituitary 5'D-II activity, an increase in T4 independently decreases TSH secretion.

DOI of Published Version



J Clin Invest. 1991 Sep;88(3):898-903. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of clinical investigation

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Included in

Physiology Commons



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