Testosterone and estradiol differentially regulate thyroid growth in Wistar rats from immature to adult age. Academic Article uri icon


  • Experimental and clinical data from cancerous thyroid tissue suggest gender as one of the major factors influencing thyroid growth. However, there is not much information on the effect of sex steroids on the normal development and growth of the thyroid. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of sex steroids on thyroid growth, serum TSH and TSH receptors in the thyroid, at various stages of sexual maturation. Normal Wistar male and female rats from immature to adult age (day 21, 30, 45, 60 and 160 post partum (PP)) were used in the present study. One group of rats was gonadectomized (GDX) (Group II); another 2 groups of GDX rats (Groups III and IV) were treated with replacement doses (i.e. physiological amounts) of either testosterone or estradiol. Thyroid growth indices (thyroid weight, concentration of DNA, mitotic index and numerical density of thyrocytes), serum TSH and concentration of TSH receptors in the thyroid were assessed. It is concluded from the present study that (i) sex steroids influence thyroid growth by interfering with the secretion of TSH and regulating its receptor number in the thyroid (ii) while testosterone facilitates the mitogenic activity of the thyroid gland of rats irrespective of sex and age, estradiol plays a gender-specific stimulatory role on thyroid growth.

published proceedings

  • Endocr Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Banu, S. K., Arosh, J. A., Govindarajulu, P., & Aruldhas, M. M.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Banu, SK||Arosh, JA||Govindarajulu, P||Aruldhas, MM

publication date

  • January 2001