Mechanisms in endocrinology: The crosstalk between thyroid gland and adipose tissue: Signal integration in health and disease

Ferruccio Santini, Paolo Marzullo, Mario Rotondi, Giovanni Ceccarini, Loredana Pagano, Serena Ippolito, Luca Chiovato, Bernadette Biondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Obesity and thyroid diseases are common disorders in the general population and they frequently occur in single individuals. Alongside a chance association, a direct relationship between 'thyroid and obesity' has been hypothesized. Thyroid hormone is an important determinant of energy expenditure and contributes to appetite regulation, while hormones and cytokines from the adipose tissue act on the CNS to inform on the quantity of energy stores. A continuous interaction between the thyroid hormone and regulatory mechanisms localized in adipose tissue and brain is important for human body weight control and maintenance of optimal energy balance. Whether obesity has a pathogenic role in thyroid disease remains largely a matter of investigation. This review highlights the complexity in the identification of thyroid hormone deficiency in obese patients. Regardless of the importance of treating subclinical and overt hypothyroidism, at present there is no evidence to recommend pharmacological correction of the isolated hyperthyrotropinemia often encountered in obese patients. While thyroid hormones are not indicated as anti-obesity drugs, preclinical studies suggest that thyromimetic drugs, by targeting selected receptors, might be useful in the treatment of obesity and dyslipidemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R137-R152
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Volume171
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Medicine(all)

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