Advertisement

Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 31–41 | Cite as

Selenium, zinc, and thyroid hormones in healthy subjects

Low T3/T4 ratio in the elderly is related to impaired selenium status
  • Oliviero Olivieri
  • Domenico Girelli
  • Anna Maria Stanzial
  • Luigi Rossi
  • Antonella Bassi
  • Roberto Corrocher
Article

Abstract

Iodothyronine 5′ deiodinase, which is mainly responsible for peripheral T3 production, has recently been demonstrated to be a selenium (Se)-containing enzyme. The structure of nuclear thyroid hormone receptors contains Zinc (Zn) ions, crucial for the functional properties of the protein. In the elderly, reduced peripheral conversion of T4 to T3 with a lower T3/T4 ratio and overt hypothyroidism are frequently observed. We measured serum Se and RBC GSH-Px (as indices of Se status), circulating and RBC Zinc (as indices of Zn status), thyroid hormones and TSH in 109 healthy euthyroid subjects (52 women, 57 men), carefully selected to avoid abnormally low thyroid hormone levels induced by acute or chronic diseases or calorie restriction. The subjects were subdivided into three age groups. To avoid under- or malnutrition conditions, dietary records were obtained for a sample of 24 subjects, randomly selected and representative of the whole population for age and sex. Low T3/T4 ratios and reduced Se and RBC GSH-Px activity were observed only in the older group. A highly significant linear correlation between the T3/T4 ratio and indices of Se status was observed in the older group of subjects (r=0.54;p<0.002, for Se;r=0.50;p<0.002, for RBC GSH-Px). Indices of Zn status did not correlate with thyroid hormones, but RBC Zn was decreased in older as compared with younger subjects. We concluded that reduced peripheral T4 conversion is related to impaired Se status in the elderly.

Index Entries

Selenium glutathione peroxidase zinc aging thyroid hormones TSH 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    J. H. Oppenheimer, D. Koerner, H. L. Schwartz, and M. I. Surks, Specific nuclear triodothyronine binding sites in rat liver and kidney,J. Clin. Endocrinol. 35, 330–333 (1972).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. A. Brent, D. D. Moore, and P. R. Larsen, Thyroid hormone regulation of gene expression,Annu. Rev. Physiol. 53, 17–35 (1991).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    T. Miyamoto, A. Sakurai, and L. De Groot, Effects of zinc and other divalent metals on deoxyribonucleic acid binding and hormone-binding activity of human α1 thyroid hormone receptor expressed in Escherichia coli,Endocrinology 129, 3027–3033 (1991).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. C. Freake, Molecular biological approaches to studying trace minerals: why should clinicians care?,J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 12, 294–302 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Kohrle, R. D. Hesch, and J. L. Leonard, Intracellular pathways of iodothyronine metabolism, inThe Thyroid, L. E. Braverman and R. D. Utiger, eds., Lippincott, Philadelphia, pp. 144–189 (1991).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. Behne, A. Kyriakopoulos, H. Meinhold, and J. Kohrle, Identification of type-I iodothyronine 5′-deiodinase as a selenoenzyme,Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 173, 1143–1149 (1990).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    M. J. Berry, L. Banu, and P. R. Larsen, Type-I iodothyronine deiodinase is a selenocysteine-containing enzyme.Nature 349, 438–440 (1991).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    G. J. Beckett, S. E. Beddows, P. C. Morrice, F. Nicol, and J. R. Arthur, Inhibition of hepatic deiodination of thyroxine is caused by selenium deficiency in rats,Biochem J. 248, 443–447 (1987).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    G. J. Beckett, D. A. MacDougall, F. Nicol, and J. R. Arthur, Inhibition of type I and type II deiodinase activity in rat liver, kidney and brain produced by selenium deficiency,Biochem J. 259, 887–892 (1989).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    B. Contempré, J. E. Dumont, B. Ngo, C. H. Thilly, A. T. Diplock, and J. Vanderpas, Effects of selenium supplementation in hypothyroid subjects of an iodine and selenium deficient area: the possible danger of indiscriminate supplementation of iodine-deficient subjects with selenium,J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 73, 213–215 (1991).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    B. Contempré, N. L. Duale, J. E. Dumont, B. Ngo, A. T. Diplock, and J. Vanderpas, Effect of selenium supplementation on thyroid hormone metabolism in an iodine and selenium deficient population,Clin. Endocrinol. 36, 579–583 (1992).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    E. Roti, R. Minelli, E. Gardini, L. Bianconi, A. Ronchi, A. Gatti, and C. Minoia, Selenium administration does not cause thyroid insufficiency in subjects with mild iodine deficiency and sufficient selenium intake.J. Endocrinol. Invest. 16, 481–484 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    P. Rae, J. Farrar, G. Beckett, and A. Toft, Assesment of thyroid status in elderly people,Br. Med. J. 307, 177–180 (1993).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    S. H. Ingbar, The thyroid gland, inTextbook of Endocrinology, J. D. Wilson and D. W. Foster, eds., Saunders, Philadelphia, pp. 682–815 (1985).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    G. Lockitch, Selenium: clinical significance and analytical concepts,Crit. Rev Clin. Lab. Sci. 27, 483–541 (1989).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    G. C. Zucchelli, A. Pilo, S. Masini, M. R. Chiesa, and C. Prontera, A new chemiluminescence immunoassay for triiodothyronine and thyroxine: evaluation using quality control sera assayed in an interlaboratory survey.J. Clin. Chem. Clin. Biochem.,28, 193–197 (1990).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    D. Girelli, O. Olivieri, A. M. Stanzial, M. Azzini, A. Lupo, P. Bernich C. Menini, L. Gammaro, and R. Corrocher, Low platelet glutathione peroxidase and serum selenium in chronic renal failure patients: relations to dialysis treatments, diet and cardiovascular complications,Clin. Sci. 84, 611–617 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    N. W. Solomons, On the assessment of zinc and copper nutriture in man,Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32, 856–871 (1979).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    J. Reglinski, W. E. Smith, R. Wilson, D. J. Halls, J. H. McKillop, and J. A. Thomson, Selenium in Graves’ disease (letter),Clin. Chim. Acta 211, 189–190 (1992).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    J. R. Arthur, F. Nicol, and G. J. Beckett, Selenium deficiency, thyroid hormone metabolism, and thyroid hormone deiodinases,Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 57(2 suppl.), 236S-239S (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    G. J. Beckett, F. Nicol, P. W. H Rae, S. Beech, Y. Guo, and J. R. Arthur, Effects of combined iodine and selenium deficiency on thyroid hormone metabolism in rats,Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 57(2 suppl), 240S-243S (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    S. Vadhanavikit and H. E. Ganther, Selenium requirements of rats for normal hepatic and thyroidal 5′-deiodinase (type I) activities,J. Nutr. 123, 1124–1128 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    J. Chanoine, L. E. Braverman, A. P. Farwell, M. Safran, S. Alex, S. Dubord, and J. L. Leonard, The thyroid gland is a major source of circulating T3 in the rat,J. Clin. Invest. 91, 2709–2713 (1993).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    W. Terwolbeck, D. Behne, H. Meinhold, H. Menzel, and I. Lombeck, Increased plasma T4-levels in children with low selenium state due to reduced type I iodothyronine 5′-deiodinase activity,J. Trace Elem. Electrolytes Health. Dis. 7, 53–55 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    M. J. Berry, D. Grieco, B. A. Taylor, A. L. Maia, J. D. Kieffer, W. Beamer, E. Glover, A. Poland, and P. R. Larsen, Physiological and genetic analyses of inbred mouse strains with a type I iodothyronine 5′-deiodinase deficiency,J. Clin. Invest. 92, 1517–1528 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    D. Hartman, The aging process,Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 78, 7124–7128 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliviero Olivieri
    • 1
  • Domenico Girelli
    • 1
  • Anna Maria Stanzial
    • 1
  • Luigi Rossi
    • 2
  • Antonella Bassi
    • 2
  • Roberto Corrocher
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Pathology, Chair of Internal MedicineUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Clinical ChemistryUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

Personalised recommendations