Chemicals Promote Hypothyroid as Well as Hyperthyroid States
The delivery of the appropriate thyroid hormones quantity to target tissues in euthyroidism is the result of unopposed synthesis, transport, metabolism, and excretion of these hormones. Thyroid hormones homeostasis depends on the maintenance of the circulating 'free' thyroid hormone reserves and on the development of a dynamic balance between the 'free' hormones reserves and those of the 'bound' hormones with the transport proteins. Disturbance of this hormone system, which is in constant interaction with other hormone systems, leads to an adaptational counter-response targeting to re-establish a new homeostatic equilibrium. An excessive disturbance is likely to result, however, in hypo- or hyper- thyroid clinical states. Endocrine disruptors are chemical substances forming part of 'natural' contaminating agents found in most ecosystems. There is abundant evidence that several key components of the thyroid hormones homeostasis are susceptible to the action of endocrine disruptors. These chemicals include some chlorinated organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, herbicides, and pharmaceutical agents. Intrauterine exposure to endocrine disruptors that either mimic or antagonize thyroid hormones can produce permanent developmental disorders in the structure and functioning of the brain, leading to behavioral changes. Steroid receptors are important determinants of the consequences of endocrine disruptors. Their interaction with thyroid hormones complicates the effect of endocrine disruptors.
Mastorakos G, Karoutsou EI, Mizamtsidi M, Creatsas G. The menace of endocrine disruptors on thyroid hormone physiology and their impact on intrauterine development. Endocrine. 2007 June Endocrine Unit, Second Department of Obstretics and Gynecology, Aretaieion Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Athens 10674, Greece