Thyronamines--past, present, and future

Endocr Rev. 2011 Feb;32(1):64-80. doi: 10.1210/er.2009-0040. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Thyronamines (TAMs) are a newly identified class of endogenous signaling compounds. Their structure is identical to that of thyroid hormone and deiodinated thyroid hormone derivatives, except that TAMs do not possess a carboxylate group. Despite some initial publications dating back to the 1950s, TAMs did not develop into an independent area of research until 2004, when they were rediscovered as potential ligands to a class of G protein-coupled receptors called trace-amine associated receptors. Since this discovery, two representatives of TAMs, namely 3-iodothyronamine (3-T(1)AM) and thyronamine (T(0)AM), have been detected in vivo. Intraperitoneal or central injection of 3-T(1)AM or T(0)AM into mice, rats, or Djungarian hamsters caused various prompt effects, such as metabolic depression, hypothermia, negative chronotropy, negative inotropy, hyperglycemia, reduction of the respiratory quotient, ketonuria, and reduction of fat mass. Although their physiological function remains elusive, 3-T(1)AM and T(0)AM have already revealed promising therapeutic potential because they represent the only endogenous compounds inducing hypothermia as a prophylactic or acute treatment of stroke and might thus be expected to cause fewer side effects than synthetic compounds. This review article summarizes the still somewhat scattered data on TAMs obtained both recently and more than 20 yr ago to yield a complete and updated picture of the current state of TAM research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypothermia / chemically induced
  • Hypothermia / metabolism
  • Ketosis / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Thyronines / analysis
  • Thyronines / metabolism
  • Thyronines / pharmacology
  • Thyronines / therapeutic use


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • Thyronines
  • thyronamine