Thyroid hormones and methylmercury toxicity

Offie P. Soldin, Daniel M. O'Mara, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Thyroid hormones are essential for cellular metabolism, growth, and development. In particular, an adequate supply of thyroid hormones is critical for fetal neurodevelopment. Thyroid hormone tissue activation and inactivation in brain, liver, and other tissues is controlled by the deiodinases through the removal of iodine atoms. Selenium, an essential element critical for deiodinase activity, is sensitive to mercury and, therefore, when its availability is reduced, brain development might be altered. This review addresses the possibility that high exposures to the organometal, methylmercury (MeHg), may perturb neurodevelopmental processes by selectively affecting thyroid hormone homeostasis and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Deiodinase
  • Mercury
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Pathophysiology
  • Selenium
  • Selenoenzymes
  • Thyroxine
  • Triiodothyronine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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