In the literature, data obtained in signal transduction from various species thyroids and cells lines are often integrated in a common model. We investigate qualitatively and systematically, using the same protocol, the control by TSH of the two main functions of the thyrocytes, the synthesis and the secretion of thyroid hormones. In all species investigated, the TSH receptor activates both. In some species, including humans, rats and mice, the TSH receptor activates both the cAMP and phospholipase C-PIP2 cascades, in others (e.g. dog) it only stimulates the first. The cAMP pathway activates the limiting step in thyroid hormones synthesis, the generation of H(2)O(2), in dog, rat and mice but not in human, pig, horse and beef. Thus although the physiological result of TSH action is the same in all species, the signaling pathways used are different. Other distinctions in signaling are observed such as the relative effects of one cascade on the other.
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