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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 351864, 29 pages
Review Article

TSH and Thyrotropic Agonists: Key Actors in Thyroid Homeostasis

1Lab XU44, Medical Hospital I, Bergmannsheil University Hospitals, Ruhr University of Bochum (UK RUB), Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44789 Bochum, NRW, Germany
2Klinik für Allgemein- und Visceralchirurgie, Agaplesion Bethesda Krankenhaus Wuppertal gGmbH, Hainstraße 35, 42109 Wuppertal, NRW, Germany

Received 8 October 2012; Accepted 21 November 2012

Academic Editor: Rudolf Hoermann

Copyright © 2012 Johannes W. Dietrich et al. 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.


This paper provides the reader with an overview of our current knowledge of hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid feedback from a cybernetic standpoint. Over the past decades we have gained a plethora of information from biochemical, clinical, and epidemiological investigation, especially on the role of TSH and other thyrotropic agonists as critical components of this complex relationship. Integrating these data into a systems perspective delivers new insights into static and dynamic behaviour of thyroid homeostasis. Explicit usage of this information with mathematical methods promises to deliver a better understanding of thyrotropic feedback control and new options for personalised diagnosis of thyroid dysfunction and targeted therapy, also by permitting a new perspective on the conundrum of the TSH reference range.