Thyroid Hormone Production
The Thyroid gland produces Thyroid hormones and Calcitonin. Thyroid hormones are critical in maintaining the metabolic processes of the body. Calcitonin is involved in regulation of Calcium metabolism.
A transverse cut section of the Thyroid, shows Follicles and Para follicular cells (Figure 1).
The Follicular cells surround the Colloid (gel like substance) which has Thyroglobulin (a protein). Thyroglobulin has Tyrosine which is the backbone of the Thyroid hormones T4 and T3. Tyrosine is the same amino acid that produces Adrenaline & Noradrenaline (Catecholamine’s).
The Hypothalamus secretes T.R.H (Thyrotropin releasing hormone) which stimulates the Pituitary (Master Endocrine gland) to release T.S.H (Thyroid Stimulating hormone)
T.S.H promotes Iodide trapping from the blood, by stimulating the Thyroperoxidase (TPO) enzyme which converts Iodide to Iodine
Iodine attaches to the Tyrosine within the Thyroglobulin to form MIT (Mono-Iodo Tyrosine) and DIT (Di-Iodo Tyrosine)
T4 (Has 4 Iodine molecules) is formed by the attachment of Two (2) DIT molecules
T3 (Has 3 Iodine molecules) is formed by the attachment of One DIT and one MIT molecule (Figure 2)
When the Thyroid gland releases T4 & T3 into the bloodstream, 93% is in the form of T4. Only 7% is in the form of T3 (Active Hormone) which can be immediately used by cells.
Amount of secretion of T4 is 100 mcg/day and T3 is 5 mcg/day. The half-life of T4 is 7 days. The half-life of T3 is 1 day. T3 is 4 times as potent as T4
TSH has NO metabolic activity on the cells. T4 is the Inactive precursor to T3. ONLY T3 is the Active hormone that is responsible for the metabolic activities of the cells.
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