Urine Metabolomics by (1)H-NMR Spectroscopy Indicates Associations between Serum 3,5-T2 Concentrations and Intermediary Metabolism in Euthyroid Humans

Eur Thyroid J. 2015 Sep;4(Suppl 1):92-100. doi: 10.1159/000381308. Epub 2015 May 28.


Context: 3,5-Diiodo-L-thyronine (3,5-T2) is a thyroid hormone metabolite which exhibited versatile effects in rodent models, including the prevention of insulin resistance or hepatic steatosis typically forced by a high-fat diet. With respect to euthyroid humans, we recently observed a putative link between serum 3,5-T2 and glucose but not lipid metabolism.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to widely screen the urine metabolome for associations with serum 3,5-T2 concentrations in healthy individuals.

Study design and methods: Urine metabolites of 715 euthyroid participants of the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-TREND) were analyzed by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. Multinomial logistic and multivariate linear regression models were used to detect associations between urine metabolites and serum 3,5-T2 concentrations.

Results: Serum 3,5-T2 concentrations were positively associated with urinary levels of trigonelline, pyroglutamate, acetone and hippurate. In detail, the odds for intermediate or suppressed serum 3,5-T2 concentrations doubled owing to a 1-standard deviation (SD) decrease in urine trigonelline levels, or increased by 29-50% in relation to a 1-SD decrease in urine pyroglutamate, acetone and hippurate levels.

Conclusion: Our findings in humans confirmed the metabolic effects of circulating 3,5-T2 on glucose and lipid metabolism, oxidative stress and enhanced drug metabolism as postulated before based on interventional pharmacological studies in rodents. Of note, 3,5-T2 exhibited a unique urinary metabolic profile distinct from previously published results for the classical thyroid hormones.

Keywords: 3,5-Diiodothyronine; NMR spectroscopy; Thyroid hormone; Trigonelline; Urine metabolome.