Thyronamines and Derivatives: Physiological Relevance, Pharmacological Actions, and Future Research Directions

Thyroid. 2016 Dec;26(12):1656-1673. doi: 10.1089/thy.2016.0178. Epub 2016 Nov 9.


Thyronamines (3-T1AM, T0AM) are endogenous compounds probably derived from L-thyroxine or its intermediate metabolites. Combined activities of intestinal deiodinases and ornithine decarboxylase generate 3-T1AM in vitro. Alternatively, 3-T1AM might be formed by the thyroid gland and secreted into the blood. 3-T1AM and T0AM concentrations have been determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis (LC-MS/MS) in tissues, serum, and cell lines. However, large variations of 3-T1AM concentrations in human serum were reported by LC-MS/MS compared with a monoclonal antibody-based immunoassay. These differences might be caused by strong binding of the highly hydrophobic 3-T1AM to apolipoprotein B100. Pharmacological administration of 3-T1AM results in dose-dependent reversible effects on body temperature, cardiac function, energy metabolism, and neurological functions. The physiological relevance of these actions is unclear, but may occur at tissue concentrations close to the estimated endogenous concentrations of 3-T1AM or its metabolites T0AM or thyroacetic acid (TA1). A number of putative receptors, binding sites, and cellular target molecules mediating actions of the multi-target ligand 3-T1AM have been proposed. Among those are members of the trace amine associated receptor family, the adrenergic receptor ADRα2a, and the thermosensitive transient receptor potential melastatin 8 channel. Preclinical studies employing various animal experimental models are in progress, and more stable receptor-selective agonistic and antagonistic analogues of 3-T1AM are now available for testing. The potent endogenous thyroid hormone-derived biogenic amine 3-T1AM exerts marked cryogenic, metabolic, cardiac and central actions and represents a valuable lead compound linking endocrine, metabolic, and neuroscience research to advance development of new drugs.

Keywords: 3-iodothyronamine; G protein-coupled receptors; biogenic amine; cardiac effects; thermogenic effects; thyroid hormone metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood
  • Thyroid Hormones / metabolism*
  • Thyronines / blood


  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Thyronines
  • thyronamine