Thyroid and Antithyroidal Drugs

  • John A. Thomas
  • Edward J. Keenan


Simple goiter has been recognized for centuries. In 1526, Paracelsus described goitrous cretinism. During the 1800s, several investigators described not only some of the clinical manifestations of hypothyroidal states, but surgical removal of the thyroid gland in laboratory animals led to further insight into hormone-deficient conditions. By the late 1800s, Bettancourt and Serrano reported on the relief of myxedematous symptoms in humans with the administration of sheep thyroid. Several other investigators established the usefulness of substitution therapy in the management of hypothyroidism during the latter part of the 1800s and the early 1900s. In 1896, Baumann discovered the presence of iodine in thyroid and identified diiodotyrosine. The efforts of Kendall in 1915 led to the isolation and crystallization of thyroid hormone. A decade later, Harrington and Barger actually determined the structure of thyroxin. A number of investigators, including Richter, Astwood, and McKenzie discovered chemicals that eventually became the first effective antithyroidal drugs to be used in the treatment of thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyroidism. While thyroxine was identified and characterized between 1915 and 1927, it was not until 1952 that Gross and Pitt-Rivers discovered triiodothyronine. The chemical structural requirements necessary for thyroidal activity were initially defined by Jorgensen in the 1960s, and subsequent groups of investigators, including Psychoyos and Pittman and their co-workers examined certain analogues and molecular configurations of this hormone.


Thyroid Hormone Thyroid Gland Congenital Hypothyroidism Antithyroid Drug Potassium Perchlorate 
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Recommended Readings

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Edward J. Keenan
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
  1. 1.Corporate ResearchTravenol Laboratories, Inc.Round LakeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyNorthwestern University School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of UrologyNorthwestern University School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyWest Virginia School of MedicineMorgantownUSA
  5. 5.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Illinois School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Department of PharmacologyRush-Presbyterian School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  7. 7.Hormone Receptor Laboratory, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  8. 8.Department of Surgery, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  9. 9.Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  10. 10.Department of Medicine (Medical Oncology), School of MedicineThe Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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