Journal Article

Effect of Microsomal Enzyme Inducers on the Biliary Excretion of Triiodothyronine (T<sub>3</sub>) and Its Metabolites

Nichole R. Vansell and Curtis D. Klaassen

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 65, issue 2, pages 184-191
Published in print February 2002 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online February 2002 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Effect of Microsomal Enzyme Inducers on the Biliary Excretion of Triiodothyronine (T3) and Its Metabolites

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Medical Toxicology
  • Toxicology (Non-medical)


Show Summary Details


It has been postulated that inducers of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) decrease circulating thyroid hormone concentrations by increasing their biliary excretion. The inducers pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile (PCN), 3-methylcholanthrene (3MC), and Aroclor 1254 (PCB) are each effective at reducing serum thyroxine concentrations. However, only PCN treatment produces a marked increase in serum levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), whereas 3MC and PCB cause little to no increase in TSH. Excessive TSH elevation is considered the primary stimulus for thyroid tumor development in rats, yet the mechanism by which enzyme induction leads to TSH elevation is not fully understood. Whereas PCN, 3MC, and PCB all increase microsomal UGT activity toward T4, only PCN causes an increase in T3-UGT activity in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine whether PCN, which increases serum TSH, causes an increase in the glucuronidation and biliary excretion of T3 in vivo. Male rats were fed control diet or diet containing PCN (1000 ppm), 3MC (250 ppm), or PCB (100 ppm) for 7 days. Animals were then given [125I]-T3, iv, and bile was collected for 2 h. Radiolabeled metabolites in bile were analyzed by reverse-phase HPLC with γ-detection. The biliary excretion of total radioactivity was increased up to 75% by PCN, but not by 3MC or PCB. Of the T3 excreted into bile, approximately 75% was recovered as T3-glucuronide, with remaining amounts represented as T3-sulfate, T2-sulfate, T3, and T2. Biliary excretion of T3-glucuronide was increased up to 66% by PCN, while neither 3MC nor PCB altered T3-glucuronide excretion. These findings indicate that PCN increases the glucuronidation and biliary excretion of T3 in vivo, and suggest that enhanced elimination of T3 may be the mechanism responsible for the increases in serum TSH caused by PCN.

Keywords: triiodothyronine (T3); pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile (PCN); 3-methylchloranthrene (3MC); polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB); glucuronidation; bile; rat; thyroid

Journal Article.  6290 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.