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Propylthiouracil (PTU)-induced hypothyroidism is a well-established model for assessing hormonal and morphological changes in thyroid as well as other central and peripheral tissues. Somatostatin (SST) is known to regulate hormonal secretion and synthesis in endocrine tissues; however, nothing is currently known about the distribution of SST and its receptor in hypothyroidism. In the present study, the comparative immunohistochemical distribution of SST and somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) were analyzed in PTU-induced hypothyroid rats. Rats were treated with PTU for 15 days followed by a co-administration of levothyroxine (LVT) for 15 days. After PTU and LVT treatments (day 30), rats were further administered LVT alone for 15 more days (day 45). The subcellular distribution of SST and SSTR subtypes was determined by peroxidase immunohistochemistry in the thyroid gland collected from control and treated rats. SST and SSTR subtypes were found to be moderately expressed in control thyroid tissues. SST and SSTR subtypes like immunoreactivity increased significantly in follicular and parafollicular epithelial cells in the thyroid of PTU-treated rats. The PTU-induced changes in the expression of SST and SSTR subtypes were suppressed by the administration of the LVT. In addition to thyroid tissues, SST and SSTRs expression was also changed in non-follicular tissues including blood vessels, smooth muscle cells, and connective tissue following treatments. The present study revealed a distinct subcellular distribution of SST and SSTR subtypes in the thyroid and provides a new insight for the role of SST and SSTR subtypes in hypothyroidism in addition to its well-established role in negative regulation of hormonal secretion.


Sneha Singh, Rishi K Somvanshi, Vandana Panda, Ujendra Kumar. Comparative distribution of somatostatin and somatostatin receptors in PTU-induced hypothyroidism. Endocrine. 2020 Oct;70(1):92-106

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PMID: 32335798

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