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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 875125, 7 pages
Review Article

Role of Estrogen in Thyroid Function and Growth Regulation

1Postgraduation Program in Medicine and Medical Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
2Divisão de Medicina Interna, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcellos 2350/700, 90035-903 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 14 January 2011; Accepted 24 February 2011

Academic Editor: Guillermo Juvenal

Copyright © 2011 Ana Paula Santin and Tania Weber Furlanetto. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thyroid diseases are more prevalent in women, particularly between puberty and menopause. It is wellknown that estrogen (E) has indirect effects on the thyroid economy. Direct effects of this steroid hormone on thyroid cells have been described more recently; so, the aim of the present paper was to review the evidences of these effects on thyroid function and growth regulation, and its mechanisms. The expression and ratios of the two E receptors, α and β, that mediate the genomic effects of E on normal and abnormal thyroid tissue were also reviewed, as well as nongenomic, distinct molecular pathways. Several evidences support the hypothesis that E has a direct role in thyroid follicular cells; understanding its influence on the growth and function of the thyroid in normal and abnormal conditions can potentially provide new targets for the treatment of thyroid diseases.