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Journal of Clinical Investigation


Geisel School of Medicine


Alterations in thyroid hormone status and the administration of radiographic contrast agents can markedly influence iodothyronine metabolism and, in particular, the activity of type I 5'-deiodinase (5'DI). In the present studies, the mechanisms responsible for these effects have been reassessed. As previously reported, the addition of iopanoic acid (IOP) to broken cell preparations resulted in a competitive pattern of 5'DI inhibition. However, the in vivo administration to rats of IOP or 3,3',5'-triiodothyronine (rT3) resulted in a noncompetitive pattern of inhibition of 5'DI in the liver, kidney, and thyroid gland, whereby marked decreases in maximal enzyme velocity (V max) were noted, with no change in the value of the Michaelis-Menten constant. In rats rendered hyperthyroid by the injection of 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), 5'DI activity was significantly increased in the liver and the kidney. The administration of IOP to these thyrotoxic animals resulted in a rapid loss of enzyme activity characterized by an approximate 80% decrease in 5'DI V max values in both tissues. Furthermore, this inhibitory effect persisted for longer than 60 h after a single IOP injection. IOP administration also decreased 5'DI V max levels in the thyroid gland by 52%. In other experiments, treatment of intact Reuber FAO hepatoma cells with IOP or rT3 induced a rapid decrease in 5'DI V max levels. In cells treated with cycloheximide, these agents enhanced the rate of disappearance of enzyme activity by greater than 12-fold, indicating a predominant effect on accelerating the rate of enzyme inactivation and/or degradation. These studies demonstrate that iodothyronines and other iodinated compounds have complex regulatory effects on 5'DI that entail alterations in the rates of both enzyme activation and inactivation. The previously accepted concept that rT3 and IOP impair thyroxine (T4) to T3 conversion in vivo by acting as competitive inhibitors is an oversimplification. Rather, the clinically beneficial effects of administering these agents to patients with hyperthyroidism may result primarily from the rapid and prolonged inactivation of 5'DI which occurs in the thyroid gland and peripheral tissues.



Original Citation

St Germain DL. Dual mechanisms of regulation of type I iodothyronine 5'-deiodinase in the rat kidney, liver, and thyroid gland. Implications for the treatment of hyperthyroidism with radiographic contrast agents. J Clin Invest. 1988;81(5):1476-1484. doi:10.1172/JCI113479