Thyroid hormone depresses antioxidant enzyme maturation in fetal rat lung

I. R.S. Sosenko, L. Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The surfactant system and antioxidant enzyme system of the lung have chronologically similar developmental patterns, and the maturation of both systems is accelerated by glucocorticoid hormones. To investigate whether thyroid hormone might also stimulate the development of the antioxidant enzyme system as well as the surfactant system, we injected pregnant rats with triiodothyronine (T3) or diluent. Fetal T3 offspring demonstrated significantly elevated T3 levels, had significantly increased lung tissue disaturated phosphatidylcholine (DSPC) and total phospholipid content, yet had significantly decreased activities of three lung antioxidant enzymes (AOE) (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase). When dexamethasone was administered in combination with T3, fetuses demonstrated increases in lung DSPC content but decreases in AOE of magnitude equivalent to or greater than that seen with T3 alone. These findings indicate that thyroid hormone affects surfactant and AOE development in opposite ways and may have potentially harmful as well as beneficial effects on different aspects of lung development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22/4
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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