1994 Volume 19 Issue 4 Pages 227-234
To examine changes in serum TSH and determine whether the sustained excess is necessary for the development and/or progression of thyroid tumors, male F344 rats were administered drinking water containing thiourea (TU), at 0.1 or 0.05%, or sulfadimethoxine (SM), at 0.025 or 0.0125%, for one week in Experiment I. All of the treated animals showed decreased serum levels of T3 and T4 and increased TSH. In Experiment II, male rats were given a s.c. injection of N-bis(2-hydroxypropyl) nitrosamine (DHPN:1500 mg/kg BW) and, starting one week later, received drinking water containing the same doses of TU or SM as in Experiment I for the following 20 weeks. Thyroid follicular proliferative lesions were induced in most rats treated with TU and SM. However, these treated animals did not demonstrate any consistent alterations in serum T3, T4 and TSH levels, except for the high dose TU group. The present studies thus suggest that thyroid tumors can grow even under conditions of fluctuating serum TSH levels during the progression phase, although TSH stimulation might be an absolute requirement in the early phase of tumor development.