Direct effects of thyroid hormones on hepatic lipid metabolism.
It has been known for a long time that thyroid hormones have prominent effects on hepatic fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis and metabolism. Indeed, hypothyroidism has been associated with increased serum levels of triglycerides and cholesterol as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Advances in areas such as cell imaging, autophagy and metabolomics have generated a more detailed and comprehensive picture of thyroid-hormone-mediated regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism at the molecular level. In this Review, we describe and summarize the key features of direct thyroid hormone regulation of lipogenesis, fatty acid β-oxidation, cholesterol synthesis and the reverse cholesterol transport pathway in normal and altered thyroid hormone states. Thyroid hormone mediates these effects at the transcriptional and post-translational levels and via autophagy. Given these potentially beneficial effects on lipid metabolism, it is possible that thyroid hormone analogues and/or mimetics might be useful for the treatment of metabolic diseases involving the liver, such as hypercholesterolaemia and NAFLD.
Sinha, RA; Singh, BK; Yen, PM
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