Posted by Neill Abayon
Researchers say they have discovered how thyroid hormone affects
blood vessels to determine body temperature, potentially explaining why
people who have disorders of the thyroid gland have higher sensitivity
to environmental temperature.
An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause a person to feel too hot, while an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause a person to feel too cold.
The researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said that previous studies have attributed this to how thyroid hormone affects the metabolism within cells.
The thyroid produces hormones that are able to influence how much the blood vessels dilate. In turn, this affects how much heat can escape the body.
For the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers studied mice with a mutated thyroid hormone receptor (receptor-mediated hypothyroidism). This particular mutation only affects one type of hormone receptor called TRalpha 1.