Transport of thyroxine (T(4)) into the liver is inhibited in fasting and by bilirubin, a compound often accumulating in the serum of critically ill patients. We tested the effects of chronic and acute energy deprivation, bilirubin and its precursor biliverdin on the 15-min uptake of [(125)I]tri-iodothyronine ([(125)I]T(3)) and [(125)I]T(4) and on TSH release in rat anterior pituitary cells maintained in primary culture for 3 days. When cells were cultured and incubated in medium without glucose and glutamine to induce chronic energy deprivation, the ATP content was reduced by 45% (P<0. 05) and [(125)I]T(3) uptake by 13% (NS), but TSH release was unaltered. Preincubation (30 min) and incubation (15 min) with 10 microM oligomycin reduced ATP content by 51% (P<0.05) and 53% (P<0. 05) under energy-rich and energy-poor culture conditions respectively; [(125)I]T(3) uptake was reduced by 66% (P<0.05) and 64% (P<0.05). Neither bilirubin nor biliverdin (both 1-200 microM) affected uptake of [(125)I]T(3) or [(125)I]T(4). Bilirubin (1-50 microM) did not alter basal or TRH-induced TSH release. In conclusion, the absence of inhibitory effects of chronic energy deprivation and bilirubin on thyroid hormone uptake by pituitary cells supports the view that the transport is regulated differently than that in the liver.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Journal of Endocrinology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wassen, F., Moerings, E., van Toor, H., Hennemann, G., & Everts, M. (2000). Thyroid hormone uptake in cultured rat anterior pituitary cells: effects of energy status and bilirubin. Journal of Endocrinology. Retrieved from