Thyroid Toxicity

Indexed in: EBSCO.

Thyroid hormones are involved in numerous physiological processes as regulators of metabolism, bone remodeling, cardiac function and mental status. Moreover, thyroid hormones are of special ...
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Metals and Thyroid Toxicity

Pp. 97-121 (25)

María Jesús Díaz, Javier Del Pino and María Teresa Frejo


The thyroid system, due to its complex histological structure and functions, is often the target of many endocrine toxins, including metals. In this regard, metals such as Cd, Pb, Cr, Mn, Hg and Cu are known to induce thyroid toxicity in man and animals. On the other hand, other metals are essential for the proper functioning of thyroid system such as Se, Zn, Fe among others, and their deficiency has been related to thyroid disruption. Metals could alter the thyroid system at many levels. In this regard, metals could reduce iodide uptake, alter production of thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH) at the pituitary level, alter thyroid hormones (THs) synthesis and release via many different mechanisms at the thyroid gland level and/or could induce histopathological alterations of the thyroid. In addition, metals could alter the metabolism of THs or action on their receptors. This chapter is focused on the main metals reported to induce thyroid toxicity, and the mechanisms through which their effects occur.


Endocrine disruption, metals, thyroid, toxicity.


Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.