In this study, we have investigated in vivo the time-dependent effects of TSH on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production in patients monitored for thyroid carcinoma. Serum VEGF, thyroglobulin (Tg), and TSH levels were assayed at baseline and 6, 24, 30, 48, 72, and 96 h and 1 wk after administration of recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) in 45 thyroidectomized patients affected by differentiated thyroid carcinoma. At baseline, the patients with metastasis (18 cases) showed serum Tg and VEGF values significantly higher than those seen in the cured patients (27 cases). During rhTSH stimulation, the mean VEGF levels decreased significantly in both patient groups. In 60% of patients with metastasis, VEGF nadir occurred at the same time as serum TSH reached the highest values, whereas in 85.7% of the cured patients VEGF decreased after the TSH peak (P = 0.003). In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that short-term administration of rhTSH in patients monitored for differentiated thyroid carcinoma induces a significant reduction in serum VEGF values even in the absence of thyroid tissue. This result would suggest that TSH may be able in vivo to regulate VEGF production from tissues other than the thyroid gland.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism