By Christopher D. Richardson
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By liver deiodinases) and excreted. Metabolism of thyroid hormones can take several routes. The most common pathway involves deiodination to biologically inactive forms by deiodinases in the liver and in target tissues. Some thyroid hormones are conjugated to sulfates or glucuronides like the steroids. Others are directly metabolized to inactive molecules Introduction to Endocrinology 23 such as tetraiodoacetic acid from T4. As is the case for some of the steroids, T4 may be converted by a selective deiodinase to T3 in target cells before binding with thyroid receptors, supporting further the notion that T4 is a sort of prohormone.
Shown in figure 2-2 are total binding, NSB, and specific binding. The points of particular interest are the Kd and the Bmax. The Kd, indicated by the arrow pointing to the x-axis, is found on the steepest part of the slope and is the molar concentration of radioligand that occupies 50% of receptors. The Bmax is estimated from the curve as the point at which receptors are fully occupied and is generally normalized to protein content or cell number. The accurate determination of NSB is one of the key problems in radioligand binding assays.
Catecholamines may simply diffuse to their targets across a synaptic space and function as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators, diffuse through intercellular fluids as cytocrines, or they may be transported as hormones or neurohormones in the blood. In the latter case, these hormones bind reversibly to plasma proteins. Each catecholamine binds to special receptors on target cells, although there is some overlap in their affinities for other catecholamine receptors. There are multiple types of receptors for DA (dopaminergic receptor), NE (a-adrenergic receptor), and E (β-adrenergic receptor) with a number of subtypes in each category.