Changes in Plasma Concentrations of Osteoprotegerin Before and After Levothyroxine Replacement Therapy in Hypothyroid Patients

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Oct;90(10):5765-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-0562. Epub 2005 Jul 26.


Context: Recent study has shown that overt hypothyroidism (oHT) is associated with increased plasma osteoprotegerin (OPG) levels.

Objective: Our objective was to examine the plasma OPG level alteration before and after levothyroxine (L-T4) treatment in oHT and subclinical hypothyroidism (sHT).

Patients: The study subjects included oHT and sHT patients and healthy individuals (20 subjects in each group).

Methods: All patients were given L-T4 therapy to maintain a euthyroid state. Plasma OPG concentration was measured in duplicate by a sandwich ELISA.

Results: Plasma OPG levels in oHT and sHT before treatment were significantly higher than levels in controls (P < 0.01). After normalization of thyroid function, OPG levels in both groups decreased markedly (P < 0.01). The absolute changes in OPG showed a significant positive correlation with the changes in TSH (P < 0.05) and negative correlation with the changes in endothelium-dependent arterial dilation (P < 0.01) in hypothyroid patients during the course of treatment.

Conclusion: OPG may be involved in the development of vascular dysfunction in hypothyroid patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / blood*
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / blood*
  • Hypothyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / blood*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / blood*
  • Thyrotropin / metabolism
  • Thyroxine / therapeutic use*
  • Vasodilation / physiology


  • Glycoproteins
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • TNFRSF11B protein, human
  • Thyrotropin
  • Cholesterol
  • Thyroxine