Thyroid Hormone Metabolism: A Historical Perspective

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Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association


¬Abstract In this article, starting with the recognition that iodine is essential for normal thyroid function and is a component of the thyroid hormone (TH) molecules, we discuss the many seminal observations and discoveries that have led to the identification of the various pathways of TH metabolism, and their potential roles in TH economy and action. We then recount evidence that TH metabolism participates in maintaining the appropriate content of active hormone in a TH-responsive tissue or cell. Thus, the metabolism of the TH ¬is not merely a means by which they are degraded and eliminated from the body, but an essential component of an intricate system by which the thyroid exerts its multiple regulatory effects on almost all organs and tissues. The article ends with a summary of the current concepts and some outstanding questions that are awaiting answers.