Effect of perinatal hypothyroidism on pituitary secretion of growth hormone and prolactin in rats

S. Kikuyama, H. Nagasawa, R. Yanai, K. Yamanouchi

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Female Sprague Dawley rats were fed 6 propyl 2 thiouracil (PTU) in their diet during late pregnancy and lactation. The growth and gonadal development of their pups were inhibited and in females the day of vaginal opening and onset of estrous cycles were delayed; thyroid glands were hypertrophied. Treatment of the pups with thyroxine largely reversed these changes. The effect on body weight persisted even after treatment with PTU had stopped. At 20 days of age, the anterior pituitary glands of the pups of PTU treated mothers contained significantly less growth hormone (GH) and prolactin than those of normal pups of both sexes. These changes persisted at 60 days of age. If the pups of PTU treated mothers were given thyroxine from day 1 to day 20 of age, pituitary GH and prolactin content on day 20 had returned towards normal values. Thyroid deficiency was found to suppress the synthesis and release of prolactin and the synthesis of GH by the pituitary in vitro. These findings suggest that thyroxine influenced the maturation of the pituitary directly and/or through the hypothalamus and that thyroxine deficiency in early life brought about persistent alteration of the pituitary secretion of GH and prolactin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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