BACKGROUND: Many natural substances and drugs have long been known to cause goiter or thyroid dysfunction. More recently, several environmental pollutants, such as pesticides and industrial compounds, have been investigated for their thyroid-disrupting activity and related adverse effects on human health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of styrene on the thyroid axis in occupationally exposed workers. METHODS: Thirty-eight exposed (E) and 123 nonexposed (NE) male workers (controls) were assessed. Serum concentrations of thyrotropin (TSH; basal and after thyrotropin-releasing hormone [TRH] administration.), free thyroxine (FT(4)), free triiodothyronine (FT(3)), anti-thyroglobulin, thyroid peroxidase antibody, and calcitonin were measured. Thyroid ultrasound examination was also performed. In E workers, urinary creatinine, mandelic acid (MA), and phenylglyoxylic acid (PGA) were also measured. RESULTS: No significant differences between E and NE workers were demonstrated, as far as thyroid volume, nodularity, serum thyroid antibodies, and calcitonin were analyzed. However, in the E group a positive correlation between duration of exposure and thyroid volume was detected. After exclusion of subjects with nodular or autoimmune thyroid diseases, serum concentrations of FT(4), FT(3), and TSH did not differ between the two groups. In E workers there was a positive correlation between the urinary concentrations of styrene metabolites (MA plus PGA) and FT(4) or FT(4)/FT(3) ratio (p < 0.05; r = 0.45 and p < 0.005; r = 0.61, respectively), while no correlation was observed between urinary concentrations of MA plus PGA and serum TSH (either basal and stimulated). CONCLUSIONS: Chronic exposure to styrene is not associated with an increase in nodular or autoimmune thyroid diseases. However, styrene could interfere with peripheral metabolism of thyroid hormones by inhibiting T(4) to T(3) conversion. Whether this is a direct effect on iodothyronine deiodinases or a consequence of a general distress, such as in nonthyroidal illnesses, remains to be established. Further studies in a larger population of exposed workers are needed to confirm these preliminary observations.
|Autori:||SANTINI F; MANTOVANI A; CRISTAUDO A; RAGO T; MARSILI A; BUSELLI R; MIGNANI A; CECCARINI G; BASTILLO R; TADDEI D; RICCO I; VITTI P; PINCHERA A|
|Titolo:||THYROID FUNCTION AND EXPOSURE TO STYRENE|
|Anno del prodotto:||2008|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1089/thy|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|