A multicompartmental model for iodide, thyroxine, and triiodothyronine metabolism in normal and spontaneously hyperthyroid cats

Hays M.T., Broome M.R. and Turrel J.M.

Endocrinology, 1988. 122(6): p.2444-61.


A comprehensive multicompartmental kinetic model was developed to account for the distribution and metabolism of simultaneously injected radioactive iodide (iodide*), T3 (T3*), and T4 (T4*) in six normal and seven spontaneously hyperthyroid cats. Data from plasma samples (analyzed by HPLC), urine, feces, and thyroid accumulation were incorporated into the model. The submodels for iodide*, T3*, and T4* all included both a fast and a slow exchange compartment connecting with the plasma compartment. The best-fit iodide* model also included a delay compartment, presumed to be pooling of gastrosalivary secretions. This delay was 62% longer in the hyperthyroid cats than in the euthyroid cats. Unexpectedly, all of the exchange parameters for both T4 and T3 were significantly slowed in hyperthyroidism, possibly because the hyperthyroid cats were older. None of the plasma equivalent volumes of the exchange compartments of iodide*, T3*, or T4* was significantly different in the hyperthyroid cats, although the plasma equivalent volume of the fast T4 exchange compartments were reduced. Secretion of recycled T4* from the thyroid into the plasma T4* compartment was essential to model fit, but its quantity could not be uniquely identified in the absence of multiple thyroid data points. Thyroid secretion of T3* was not detectable. Comparing the fast and slow compartments, there was a shift of T4* deiodination into the fast exchange compartment in hyperthyroidism. Total body mean residence times (MRTs) of iodide* and T3* were not affected by hyperthyroidism, but mean T4* MRT was decreased 23%. Total fractional T4 to T3 conversion was unchanged in hyperthyroidism, although the amount of T3 produced by this route was increased nearly 5-fold because of higher concentrations of donor stable T4. Analysis of the data indicates that the increased overall T4* turnover (decreased MRT) in hyperthyroidism is due to increased losses through pathways other than T3 formation. Conjugation, with subsequent deiodination, is proposed as one possibly important pathway. Results of this multicompartmental analysis are compared with those of noncompartmental analysis of the same data and with results of similar model analyses in other species.