Human thyroid cells in monolayer responded to acute stimulation by TSH with an increase in the secretion of T3. This process appeared to be dependent on a rise in the cytosolic calcium concentration since the antagonist of intraceliular calcium mobilization, TMB-8, was found to inhibit the release of T3 in response to TSH. The importance of intracellular calcium was further shown using the agent veratridine which increases the free calcium level within cells; veratridine potentiated the stimulation of T3 secretion by TSH and itself stimulated the release of T3 to a level higher than that seen in the presence of TSH alone. The calcium ionophore A23197 produced a biphasic effect on T3 secretion from human thyroid monolayers; at low concentrations, A23187 caused a decrease in both unstimulated and TSH-stimulated T3 secretion but above a concentration of 1 μM, T3 secretion was increased. The calmodulin antagonist W7 was found to inhibit T3 release in response to TSH, indicating a role for calmodulin in mediating the effects of intracellular calcium on T3 secretion.

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