Author(s): CostaeSousa RH, Hollenberg AN
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Abstract Thyroid hormone (TH) signaling plays an important role in development and adult life. Many organisms may have evolved under selective pressure of exogenous TH, suggesting that thyroid hormone signaling is phylogenetically older than the systems that regulate their synthesis. Therefore, the negative feedback system by TH itself was probably the first mechanism of regulation of circulating TH levels. In humans and other vertebrates, it is well known that TH negatively regulates its own production through central actions that modulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Indeed, primary hypothyroidism leads to the up-regulation of the genes encoding many key players in the HPT axis, such as TRH, type 2 deiodinase (dio2), pyroglutamyl peptidase II (PPII), TRH receptor 1 (TRHR1), and the TSH α- and β-subunits. However, in many physiological circumstances, the activity of the HPT axis is not always a function of circulating TH concentrations. Indeed, circadian changes in the HPT axis activity are not a consequence of oscillation in circulating TH levels. Similarly, during reduced food availability, several components of the HPT axis are down-regulated even in the presence of lower circulating TH levels, suggesting the presence of a regulatory pathway hierarchically higher than the feedback system. This minireview discusses the neural regulation of the HPT axis, focusing on both TH-dependent and -independent pathways and their potential integration.
This article was published in Endocrinology
and referenced in Journal of Thyroid Disorders & Therapy