Developmental Changes in Ionic Composition of the Brain in Hypo and Hyperthyroidism

  • Theony Valcana
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 8)


Disturbances in the levels of thyroid hormones are known to affect the normal function of the central nervous system (CNS), manifested most dramatically when they occur during development. Lack of thyroid hormones at critical stages of CNS maturation can result in an irreversible condition, which, when not diagnosed and treated early, leads to severe mental retardation. With specific reference to the developing CNS, not only is the basic mode of action of thyroid hormones not known, but the particular alteration(s) that characterizes the cretinoid condition also remains to be established, despite reported findings from many laboratories that numerous biochemical parameters important to brain growth and differentiation are altered in hypothyroidism (see Geel and Timiras, 1970; Balázs et al., 1971; Hamburgh et al., 1971). One parameter of special significance to normal CNS growth and function is that of its ionic composition; maturational disturbances in the levels of various ions would be expected to have their repercussions on the development of specialized CNS functions. In the present study, the ionic composition of the “hypothyroid brain” is described and, in order to distinguish those alterations that are specific to neural tissue, ionic changes in other body tissues are presented in parallel and related to corresponding observations reported by others. The effects of exogenous thyroxine administration also are presented in order to ascertain the influence of the hormone on normal brain development and on the alterations induced by hypothyroidism.


Thyroid Hormone ATPase Activity Ionic Composition Biochemical Development Ionic Change 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theony Valcana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology-AnatomyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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