Role of transthyretin in the transport of thyroxine from the blood to the choroid plexus, the cerebrospinal fluid, and the brain

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Blood-Brain Barrier; Brain; Choroid Plexus; Female; Flavonoids; Humans; Iodide Peroxidase; Iodine Radioisotopes; Prealbumin; Rats; Rats, Inbred Strains; Serum Albumin; Thyroxine


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


T4 is bound to transthyretin (TTR; 75%) and albumin (Alb; 25%) in rat serum and only to TTR in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In addition to the liver, TTR is synthesized in large amounts in the choroid plexus and then secreted into the CSF, suggesting that serum T4 could be transported to the CSF and brain via the choroid plexus. We determined whether serum T4 bound to TTR is transported into the choroid plexus and CSF. N-Bromoacetyl-L-[125I]T4, a derivative of T4 that binds covalently to TTR, was used as the affinity label for the T4-binding site on TTR. Rats were injected with [125I]T4, acetyl-[125I]T4 covalently bound to human TTR ([125I]T4Ac.human hTTR), or acetyl-[125I]T4 covalently bound to human Alb ([125I]T4Ac.hAlb). The quantities of [125I]T4Ac.hTTR and [125I]T4Ac.hAlb present in the choroid plexus, CSF, and brain 90 min later were barely detectable. In contrast, [125I]T4 injected as the unbound form accumulated in the choroid plexus and CSF to levels 6-11 times higher than with [125I]T4Ac.hTTR (P less than 0.005). We then used a synthetic flavonoid (EMD) that competitively inhibits binding of T4 to serum TTR and transiently increases serum free T4 to determine the role of choroid plexus TTR and CSF TTR in the transport of T4 from serum to brain. Rats were given 110 microCi [125I]T4 15 min after the injection of vehicle, a low (0.3 mumol/100 g BW) or high dose of EMD (2.0 mumol/100 g BW). Rats were killed 60 min later. In serum, the percentage of [125I]T4 bound to TTR decreased and free T4 increased similarly in the low and high dose EMD-treated rats. In contrast, the percentage of [125I]T4 bound to TTR in choroid plexus and, subsequently, CSF was significantly decreased in rats given the high dose of EMD, but was not affected by the low dose of EMD, suggesting that in high doses, EMD crossed from serum to choroid plexus and CSF and occupied TTR-binding sites for T4. There was a significant decrease (P less than 0.05) in the percentage of injected [125I]T4 in the high dose vs. the low dose EMD-treated rats in total choroid plexus (61%), 1 ml CSF (94%), and 1 g cerebral cortex (46%) and cerebellum (46%).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)


Endocrinology. 1992 Feb;130(2):933-8.

Journal/Book/Conference Title


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID