Syndromes of Resistance to Thyroid Hormone Action

Luca Persani, Irene Campi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Thyroid hormone (TH) action is crucial for the development of several tissues.A number of syndromes are associated with reduced responsiveness to thyroid hormones, expanding the original definition of thyroid hormone resistance, firstly described by Refetoff and collaborators in 1967, which is characterized by elevated circulating levels of T4 and T3 with measurable serum TSH concentrations, as a consequence of mutations of thyroid hormone receptor beta (TRβ), recently named as RTHβ. More recently, another form of insensitivity to TH has been identified due to mutations in the thyroid hormone receptor alpha (TRα), named RTHα. In this chapter we will focus the discussion on the phenotype of RTHβ and RTHα. These diseases share the same pathogenic mechanism caused by dominant negative mutations in TH receptor genes that reduce T3 binding or affect the recruitment of cofactors. As a consequence, thyroid hormone actions are impaired at the tissue level. The phenotypic manifestations of RTHβ and RTHα are to some extent correlated with the degree of disruption and the tissue distribution of the TRs being characterized by variable coexistence of hypothyroid or thyrotoxic manifestations in RTHβ or by a congenital hypothyroid features in RTHα despite normal TSH and borderline low free T4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-84
Number of pages30
JournalExperientia supplementum (2012)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Mental retardation
  • Metabolic disorder
  • Resistance to thyroid hormone
  • RTHα
  • RTHβ
  • THRA
  • THRB
  • Thyroid hormone action
  • Thyroid hormone receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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