Clinical Research Papers:
Effect of subclinical hypothyroidism on the skeletal system and improvement with short-term thyroxine therapy
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Cuixia Gao1, Yu Wang2, Tingting Li2, Jing Huang2 and Limin Tian2
1Department of Ultrasonic Diagnosis, Gansu Provincial Hospital, Lanzhou, China
2Department of Endocrinology, Gansu Provincial Hospital, Lanzhou, China
Limin Tian, email: [email protected]
Keywords: subclinical hypothyroidism, bone, L-thyroxine
Received: March 28, 2017 Accepted: July 19, 2017 Published: July 26, 2017
The purpose of the study was to observe changes in the skeletal system of rats with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) and to determine whether L-thyroxine (L-T4) administration suppresses those changes. Sixty male Wistar rats were randomly divided into control, SCH, and SCH+T4 groups. SCH was induced in rats by administration of methimazole (MMI), and rats in the SCH+T4 group were treated with L-T4 after 45 days of MMI administration. The SCH group had higher thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level than the control and SCH+T4 groups. There were no differences in serum thyroid hormone (FT4 and FT3) levels among the three groups. Bone mineral density; serum levels of BALP and TRACP-5b, two bone metabolic markers; and the biomechanical properties of the femurs were lower in the SCH group than in the control group. After L-T4 treatment, serum BALP and TRACP-5b levels and the femur biomechanical properties were higher in the SCH+T4 than the SCH group. Histopathological examination revealed damage to the structure of the femur trabecular bone network in rats with SCH, and L-T4 treatment improved this condition to some extent. These findings demonstrate that L-T4 treatment ameliorates the destructive effects of SCH on the skeletal system in rats.
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