Authors: Chandra AK, De N.

PMID: 23117228 DOI: 10.1007/s11010-012-1503-8


Catechins, the flavonoids found in abundance in green tea, have many beneficial health effects such as antioxidative, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, and hypotensive properties. However, flavonoids have antithyroid/goitrogenic effect, although less information is available about the effect of pure catechin on thyroid physiology. The present investigation has been undertaken to explore the effect of catechin administration on thyroid physiology in rat model. For the in vivo experiment catechin was injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) at doses of 10, 20 and 30 mg/kg body to male albino rats for 15 and 30 days, respectively, and thyroid activities were evaluated with respect to determination of serum levels of thyroid hormones, thyroid peroxidase, 5′-deiodinase I (5′-DI), and Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities that are involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormone. Catechin decreased the activities of thyroid peroxidase and thyroidal 5′-deiodinase I, while Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity significantly increased in dose-dependent manner; substantial decrease in serum T3 and T4 levels coupled with significant elevation of serum TSH were also noted. Histological examinations of the thyroid gland revealed marked hypertrophy and/or hyperplasia of the thyroid follicles with depleted colloid content. In in vitro study, short-term exposure of rat thyroid tissue to catechin at the concentrations of 0.10, 0.20, and 0.30 mg/ml leads to decrease in the activities of thyroid peroxidase and 5′-deiodinase I, while the activity of thyroidal Na(+), K(+)-ATPase remains unaltered even at high concentration of catechin treatment. The present study reinforces the concept that catechin, tea flavonoids possess potent antithyroid activity as evidenced from in vivo and in vitro studies.

Keywords: catechin, modulation, thyroid, hypothyroidism, enzymes

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