Regulation of conversion of thyroxine to triiodothyronine in perfused rat kidney

D. C. Ferguson, A. S. Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The factors regulating the renal uptake of thyroxine (T4), its conversion to 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3), and the urinary iodothyronine excretion were studied in the perfused rat kidney. Increasing the perfusate free T4 (FT4) concentration from 1 to 11.5 times that of euthyroid rat serum resulted in a linear increase in T4 uptake and T3 production that was not saturated at the highest dose. When FT4 concentrations were increased by decreasing the perfusate albumin concentration from 7.5 to 2.5 g/dl, T4 uptake and T3 production increased in proportion to the FT4 concentration. Propylthiouracil (PTU), a 5'-deiodinase inhibitor, decreased renal T3 production by 60.5% without affecting tissue T4 uptake. In the absence of glomerular filtration, T4 uptake and T3 production were unchanged, indicating that T4 is extracted by the contraluminal surface of the renal tubule. However, probenecid, an inhibitor of contraluminal organic acid uptake, did not decrease but increased T4 uptake and T3 production by increasing the perfusate FT4 fraction in the perfusate. There was no net renal 3,3,5'-triiodothyronine (rT3) production from T4, and degradation and urinary excretion of T3 were negligible. The urinary excretion of T4 and T3 correlated closely with the degree of proteinuria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E220-E229
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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