There has long been the received wisdom that T3 does not cross the placenta. I am not aware this has been proved in any level of detail.
This paper appears to make that look wrong.
Indeed, it appears to identify specific pharmaceutical agents which directly and significantly affect T3 transport.
Silychristin is a constituent of Milk Thistle extract and its impact suggests that it should be avoided in pregnancy - and possibly other circumstances.
ThyroidVol. 32, No. 9 Thyroid Economy: Regulation, Cell Biology, and Thyroid Hormone Metabolism and ActionOpen AccessCreative Commons license
Thyroid Hormone Transporters in a Human Placental Cell Model
A.S. Elise van der Sman,
Linda Johanna de Rooij,
W. Edward Visser,
Robin P. Peeters, and
Marcel E. Meima
Published Online:14 Sep 2022 doi.org/10.1089/thy.2021.0503
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Background: Fetal brain development in the first half of pregnancy is dependent on maternal thyroid hormone (TH), highlighting the importance of trans-placental TH transport. It is yet unclear which transporters are involved in this process. We aimed to identify the major TH transporters in a human placental cell model (BeWo cells).
Methods: Messenger RNA expression of the known TH transporters (the monocarboxylate transporter [MCT]8, MCT10, the L-type amino acid transporter [LAT]1, LAT2, the organic anion transporting peptide [OATP]1A2 and OATP4A1) in BeWo cells and human placenta were determined by quantitative PCR. To determine the specificity and efficacy of transporter inhibitors, we first determined TH uptake at different inhibitor concentrations in African green monkey kidney fibroblast-like cells (COS1 cells) overexpressing TH transporters. We then tested TH uptake in BeWo cells in the presence or absence of the optimal inhibitor concentrations.
Results: All tested TH transporters were expressed in human term placentas, whereas MCT8 was absent in BeWo cells. Both 2-amino-2-norbornanecarboxylic acid (BCH) and L-tryptophan at 1 mM inhibited LATs, whereas at the highest concentration (10 mM) L-tryptophan also inhibited MCT10. Verapamil inhibited OATP1A2 and less efficiently both MCTs, but not LATs. Both rifampicin and naringin reduced OATP1A2 activity. Finally, silychristin inhibited MCT8 at submicromolar concentrations and OATP1A2 partially only at the highest concentration tested (10 μM). In BeWo cells, verapamil reduced triiodothyronine (T3) uptake by 24%, BCH by 31%, and 1 mM L-tryptophan by 41%. The combination of BCH and verapamil additively decreased T3 uptake by 53% and the combination of BCH and 10 mM L-tryptophan by 60%, suggesting a major role for MCT10 and LATs in placental T3 uptake. Indeed, transfection of BeWo cells with MCT10-specific small interfering RNA significantly reduced T3 uptake. Only the combination of BCH and verapamil significantly reduced thyroxine (T4) uptake in BeWo cells, by 32%.
Conclusions: Using pharmacological inhibitors, we show that MCT10 and LATs play a major role in T3 uptake in BeWo cells. T4 uptake appears independent of known TH transporters, suggesting the presence of, currently unknown, alternative transporter(s).
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