Thyroid hormones were demonstrated to upregulate the synthesis of epidermal growth factor (EGF) mRNA and proEGF in the kidneys in vivo. This prospective study was performed to examine the extent of the hypothyroid state in modulating EGF excretion in the urine (U-EGF; n = 23). Patients with thyroid cancer were serially followed up from the euthyroid status, which was retained by thyroxine supplement after thyroidectomy, to the hypothyroidism in preparing for 131I whole body scanning. Paired thyroid function panel, including triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and U-EGF levels were measured on a weekly basis. Logarithmically transformed values of U-EGF were inversely correlated with TSH serum levels (p = 0.0000), but positively associated with T4 levels (p = 0.0005). No apparent correlation was observed with the T3 serum content, age and gender of the patients (p > 0.1, respectively). If the interval of measurement was taken into consideration, serum TSH was the most significant factor in association with U-EGF (p = 0.0003). Our data indicate that excretion of EGF in human urine depends substantially upon thyroid hormone support.
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