The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 3–26 | Cite as

Neuroendocrine control of thyroid secretion in living systems: A feedback control system model

  • Joseph J. DisTeafanoIII
  • Edwin B. Stear


A model of the regulation of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream of living systems is formulated and analyzed. The portion of this model defined as theregulator includes components representing the thyroid, anterior pituitary and hypothalamic organs and their intercommunicating channels, that is, the peripheral plasma and hypophysial portal circulations and certain neuro-secretory connections. The loss of hormones from the plasma in the living system associated with physiological mechanisms within the peripheral tissue space and the excretory pathways is represented in the model by a lumpedload on the regulator. The model is reduced to a system of differential equations involving eleven parameters and variables, all of which are identified with certain physiological structures and states. Five of these are currently observable by available laboratory techniques and two others are computable explicity from the equations of the model; the remaining four can be computed in the same way to within a multiplicative constant. Procedires for carrying out ten of these measurements and calculations are suggested. On the basis of the equations and parameters of the model, a discussion of the normal behavior and the response of this system to certain types of disturbances is presented. A systematic effort has been made in the development of this model to include all relevant physiological data and relationships reported in the biological literature. A summary of this literature, reflecting the views and interpretations made by the authors of this paper, is included for completeness and ease of reference.


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Copyright information

© N. Rashevsky 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph J. DisTeafanoIII
    • 1
  • Edwin B. Stear
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles

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