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Effects of norethandrolone on the transport and peripheral metabolism of thyroxine in patients lacking thyroxine-binding globulin. Observations on the physiological role of thyroxine-binding prealbumin


, : Effects of norethandrolone on the transport and peripheral metabolism of thyroxine in patients lacking thyroxine-binding globulin. Observations on the physiological role of thyroxine-binding prealbumin. Journal of Clinical Investigation 50(8): 1644-1649

Studies of the effect of norethandrolone on the transport and peripheral metabolism of thyroxine were carried out in four patients lacking thyroxine-binding globulin. Before norethandrolone administration, values for serum protein-bound iodine (PBI) were decreased (1.8 +/-0.5 mug/100 ml) and the proportion of free thyroxine increased (0.036 +/-0.008%). As a result, values for the absolute concentration of free thyroxine iodine were at the lower end of the normal range (0.63 +/-0.12 mmug/100 ml). During the control thyroxine-turnover study, the thyroxine distribution space was strikingly increased (18.2 +/-7.9 liters) and the fractional rate of thyroxine turnover moderately increased (17.1 +/-11.3%/day), as compared to the expected mean values for normal subjects. Therefore, calculated values for the daily rate of thyroxine clearance were increased even more, ranging between 255 and 500% of normal values. However, owing to the low PBI in these patients, the daily disposal of thyroxine iodine was similar to that expected in normals on the basis of age and weight. During the administration of norethandrolone, the thyroxine-binding capacity of the thyroxine-binding prealbumin increased strikingly in all patients, values averaging 162% of those found during the control period. This increase was associated with a highly significant increase in PBI (133% of control values) and a small but significant decrease in the proportion of free thyroxine, resulting in no significant change in the absolute concentration of free thyroxine iodine. In all four patients, administration of norethandrolone was associated with a pronounced decrease in the thyroxine distribution space to values which averaged 69% of those found during the control period. Values for the fractional rate of thyroxine turnover increased slightly. As a result, thyroxine-clearance rate decreased in all patients. Owing to the reciprocal changes in clearance rate and PBI, no significant change in total daily thyroxine disposal was observed. The present studies reveal that when the thyroxine-binding prealbumin is increased in patients lacking thyroxine-binding globulin, several indices of peripheral thyroxine transport and metabolism are altered. However, these changes were small, even in the absence of thyroxine-binding globulin. It is suggested, therefore, that the effect of changes in thyroxine-binding prealbumin would be even smaller in individuals in whom thyroxine-binding globulin is present.

US$19.90

PMID: 4106461

DOI: 10.1172/JCI106653


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