Context: Despite the well-recognized clinical features resulting from insufficient or excessive thyroid hormone (TH) levels in humans, it is largely unknown which genes are regulated by TH in human tissues. Objective: To study the effect of TH on human gene expression profiles in whole blood, mainly consisting of T3 receptor (TR) a-expressing cells. Methods: We performed next-generation RNA sequencing on whole blood samples from eight athyroid patients (four females) on and after 4 weeks off levothyroxine replacement. Gene expression changes were analyzed through paired differential expression analysis and confirmed in a validation cohort. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) was applied to identify thyroid state-related networks. Results: We detected 486 differentially expressed genes (fold-change .1.5; multiple testing corrected P value, 0.05), of which 76% were positively and 24% were negatively regulated. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis revealed that three biological processes were significantly overrepresented, of which the process translational elongation showed the highest fold enrichment (7.3-fold, P = 1.8 3 1026). WGCNA analysis independently identified various gene clusters that correlated with thyroid state. Further GO analysis suggested that thyroid state affects platelet function. Conclusions: Changes in thyroid state regulate numerous genes in human whole blood, predominantly TRa-expressing leukocytes. In addition, TH may regulate gene transcripts in platelets.,
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Internal Medicine

Massolt, E.T, Meima, M.E, Swagemakers, S.M.A, Leeuwenburgh, S, Van Den Hout-Van Vroonhoven, M.C.G.M. (Mirjam C. G. M.), Brigante, G. (Giulia), … Edward Visser, W. (2018). Thyroid state regulates gene expression in human whole blood. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 103(1), 169–178. doi:10.1210/jc.2017-01144