, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 399–407 | Cite as

High dose of radioactive iodine per se has no effect on glucose metabolism in thyroidectomized rats

  • Roghaieh Samadi
  • Mahboubeh Ghanbari
  • Babak Shafiei
  • Sevda Gheibi
  • Fereidoun Azizi
  • Asghar Ghasemi
Original Article



Thyroid concentrates radioactive iodine by sodium-iodide symporter; this is used for treating hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. Pancreas expresses NIS and radioactive iodine uptake may damage pancreatic beta-cells and predispose patients to type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine whether radioactive iodine is associated with glucose metabolism in thyroidectomized rats.


Forty male Wistar rats were divided into four groups (n = 10/each); control, thyroidectomized, thyroidectomized-treated with 131-I (TX+I), and thyroidectomized-treated with 131-I and l-thyroxine (TX+I+T4). At the end of study, serum fasting glucose, insulin, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and free tetraiodothyronine were measured, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test was performed, and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance was calculated. In in vitro experiments, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic islets and sodium-iodide symporter mRNA expression in thyroid and islets were determined.


Compared to control group, free tetraiodothyronine was lower by 41 and 77% and thyroid-stimulating hormone was higher by 36 and 126% in thyroidectomized and TX+I groups, respectively. Compared to controls, rats in TX+I group had glucose intolerance as assessed using the area under curve of intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (12,376 ± 542 vs. 20,769 ± 1070, P < 0.001) and l-thyroxine replacement therapy restored the value (14,286 ± 328.24) to near normal. Fasting insulin and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance were comparable in all groups, however fasting glucose was higher in TX+I group. In in vitro experiments, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from islets did not differ between groups.


Radioactive iodine therapy per se had no effect on glucose metabolism, just intensified thyroid hormone deficiency and the alterations on glucose metabolism in thyroidectomized rats. l-thyroxine therapy restored the glucose intolerance observed in radioactive iodine-treated thyroidectomized rats.


Radioactive iodine Sodium-iodide symporter Glucose metabolism Thyroidectomy Rat 



The authors wish to thank Ms. Niloofar. Shiva for critical editing for English grammar and syntax of the manuscript. The proposal of this study was approved by the ethics committee of the Research Institute for Endocrine Science (RIES), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science. This study was supported by grant number No. 768 from the RIES.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roghaieh Samadi
    • 1
  • Mahboubeh Ghanbari
    • 1
  • Babak Shafiei
    • 2
  • Sevda Gheibi
    • 1
  • Fereidoun Azizi
    • 3
  • Asghar Ghasemi
    • 1
  1. 1.Endocrine Physiology Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine SciencesShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Taleghani HospitalShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Endocrine Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine SciencesShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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