Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 107–111 | Cite as

Effects of diabetes, β-hydroxybutyric acid and metabolic acidosis on the pituitary-thyroid axis in the rat

  • R. Boado
  • O. Colombo
  • A. A. Zaninovich


Previous studies demonstrated alterations of thyroidal economy in untreated diabetes mellitus both in man and experimental animals. To test the role of β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB) and acidosis in generating such changes, we studied the pituitary-thyroid axis of streptozotocin-diabetic rats, BHB or ammonium chloride (NH4CI)-treated normal rats. Serum TSH, pituitary content and pituitary concentration of TSH, serum T4, T3 and free T4 (FT4), were all measured by RIA. In short term (2 days) diabetic rats the pituitary content of TSH was normal whereas the concentration (per mg of protein) was elevated (p< 0.05 versus control group). Serum TSH (p< 0.05), serum T4 (p< 0.05), serum T3 (p<0.01) and serum FT4 (p<0.05) were all significantly decreased. In long term (30 days) untreated diabetic rats serum changes were similar to the short term diabetic group, though the pituitary content of TSH was significantly decreased (p< 0.05). Animals treated with NH4Cl had no variations from controls. However, rats treated with BHB displayed a significant decrease in pituitary content of TSH (p< 0.05), pituitary concentration of TSH (p< 0.05) and in plasmaTSH (p< 0.01 ), and normal thyroid hormones in serum. No significant changes were seen in theTSH response toTRH in 2 or 30 days untreated diabetic and in BHB — treated animals. The data suggest that BHB, although not NH4CI acidosis, may be capable of inducing a moderate depression of pituitary and plasma TSH of a lesser magnitude of that accompanying the full, long term diabetic state in the rat.


Pituitary-thyroid axis diabetes β-hydroxybutyric acid metabolic acidosis 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Boado
    • 1
    • 2
  • O. Colombo
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. A. Zaninovich
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Investigaciones Endocrinologicas, CONICET, Hospital de Clinicas José de San MartinUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Centra de Medicina Nuclear, Hospital de Clinicas José de San MartinUniversidad de Buenos AiresArgentina

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