Effects of combined iodine and selenium deficiency on thyroid hormone metabolism in rats

Geoffery J Beckett, Fergus Nicol, Peter WH Rae, Stuart Beech, Yuming Guo, John R Arthur

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90 Citations (Scopus)


This paper compares the effects of combined iodine and selenium deficiency, of single deficiencies of these trace elements, and of no deficiency on thyroid hormone metabolism in rats. In rats deficient in both trace elements, thyroidal triiodothyronine (T3), thyroidal thyroxin (T4), thyroidal total iodine, hepatic T4, and plasma T4 were significantly lower, and plasma thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid weight were significantly higher than in rats deficient in iodine alone. Plasma and hepatic T3 concentrations were similar in the dietary groups. Hepatic type I iodothyronine deiodinase (ID-I) activity was inhibited by selenium deficiency irrespective of the iodine status. Type II deiodinase (ID-II) activity in the brain was significantly higher and in pituitary, significantly lower in combined deficiency than in iodine deficiency alone. These data show that selenium can play an important role in determining the severity of the hypothyroidism associated with iodine deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240S-243S
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1993


  • selenium deficiency
  • iodine deficiency
  • iodothyronine deiodinase
  • thyroid hormones
  • glutathione peroxidase
  • I iodothyronine deiodinase
  • brown adipose-tissue
  • 5'-deiodinase activity
  • thyroxine
  • inhibition
  • cretinism
  • protein
  • enzyme
  • cold


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