New Approaches to Thyroid Hormones and Purinergic Signaling

New Approaches to Thyroid Hormones and Purinergic Signaling

I guess that many others reading that title will wonder, as I did, "What is purinergic signalling?" - and will ask what has it got to do with thyroid. Well, this time, the Wiki articles are brief and difficult to understand:

We are familiar with the idea that thyroid hormone affects every cell of the body. Many of us think that individual molecules of thyroid hormone enter our cells, get attached to a thyroid hormone receptor, and do whatever they do. This purinergic signalling suggests a whole other mechanism by which inappropriate amounts of thyroid hormone could cause some of the symptoms we know so well - of both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

This paper is, I suspect, just a start to discovering far more about how thyroid hormones actually work. I am also hopeful that some of these effects might result in measurable things which could, in time, give rise to whole new order of thyroid testing which starts from asking whether a person is showing the effects of too much or too little thyroid hormone - rather than measuring against a chemistry laboratory benchmark of actual hormone levels.

Happily, the whole paper is available - the link at the end takes you to the abstract from where you can to choose to download/view as a PDF, as a web page or as an ebook.

Review Article

New Approaches to Thyroid Hormones and Purinergic Signaling

Gabriel Fernandes Silveira,1 Andréia Buffon,2 and Alessandra Nejar Bruno1

1Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre (IFRS-POA),

Rua Ramiro Barcelos 2777, 90.035-007 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

2Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS),

Avenida Ipiranga 2752, 90610-000 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 29 March 2013; Accepted 20 June 2013

Academic Editor: Noriyuki Koibuchi

Copyright © 2013 Gabriel Fernandes Silveira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is known that thyroid hormones influence a wide variety of events at the molecular, cellular, and functional levels. Thyroid hormones (TH) play pivotal roles in growth, cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, development, and metabolic homeostasis via thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) by controlling the expression of TR target genes. Most of these effects result in pathological and physiological events and are already well described in the literature. Even so, many recent studies have been devoted to bringing new information on problems in controlling the synthesis and release of these hormones and to elucidating mechanisms of the action of these hormones unconventionally. The purinergic system was recently linked to thyroid diseases, including enzymes, receptors, and enzyme products related to neurotransmitter release, nociception, behavior, and other vascular systems. Thus, throughout this text we intend to relate the relationship between the TH in physiological and pathological situations with the purinergic signaling.


Image is from the actual paper.

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2 Replies

  • Rod thanks for posting this article - I am at work so have only read the abstract and overview so far _ whilst looking up terms with which I am unfamiliar - my biochemistry is quite rusty. A valuable insight into TH action will read more later !

  • Yes - very interesting. Thanks for posting.

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