Thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroid hormones, and bone loss

Mone Zaidi, Terry F. Davies, Alberta Zallone, Harry C. Blair, Jameel Iqbal, Surinder S. Moonga, Jeffrey Mechanick, Li Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


It has become accepted by virtue of rich anecdotal experience and clinical research that thyrotoxicosis is associated with high-turnover osteoporosis. The bone loss, primarily due to accelerated resorption that is not compensated by a coupled increase in bone formation, has been attributed solely to elevated thyroid hormone levels. Evidence using mice lacking the thyroid hormone receptors α and β establishes a role for thyroid hormones in regulating bone remodeling but does not exclude an independent action of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), levels of which are low in hyperthyroid states, even when thyroid hormones are normal, as after thyroxine supplementation and in subclinical hyperthyroidism. We show that TSH directly suppresses bone remodeling and that TSH receptor null mice have profound bone loss, suggesting that reduced TSH signaling contributes to hyperthyroid osteoporosis. TSH and its receptor could become valuable drug targets in treating bone loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Osteoporosis Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


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