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. 2017 Jun;27(6):846-851.
doi: 10.1089/thy.2016.0611. Epub 2017 May 22.

Iodine Storage and Metabolism of Mild to Moderate Iodine-Deficient Pregnant Rats

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Iodine Storage and Metabolism of Mild to Moderate Iodine-Deficient Pregnant Rats

Xin Sun et al. Thyroid. .

Abstract

Background: Severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy results in neurodevelopmental disorders in children, while the consequences of mild to moderate iodine deficiency (MMID) are uncertain. The concentration of iodine in the thyroid is the most accurate indicator of iodine nutrition. This study aimed to evaluate whether the iodine stores in the thyroid cover the needs of the mother and the fetus in iodine-sufficient and MMID conditions by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.

Methods: One hundred four-week-old female Wistar rats were randomly divided into MMID (low iodine intake [L]) and normal (normal iodine intake [N]) groups. The rats were fed for the next three months, and after pregnancy they were further divided into two subgroups, respectively: low iodine pregnancy (LP) and low iodine pregnancy with iodine supplement (LP+), and normal iodine intake pregnancy (NP) and normal iodine intake pregnancy with iodine supplement (NP+). The iodine intake of pregnant rats in the NP+ and LP+ groups was twice as much as in the NP and LP groups. The rats were sacrificed on gestational day 15 and postnatal day 7. The iodine concentration in the thyroid of the maternal and newborn rats, maternal serum, placenta, and amniotic fluid were determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.

Results: The concentration of iodine in the thyroid of the N group was significantly higher than that in the L group before pregnancy. The concentration of iodine in the maternal thyroids of the LP group decreased during pregnancy, whereas that of the NP group did not change significantly. There was no significant difference in the iodine concentration in the thyroid of mothers and offspring between the NP and NP+ groups, but it was significant between LP and LP+ groups. The concentration of iodine in amniotic fluid was significantly different between the four groups.

Conclusion: There is sufficient iodine storage in the thyroid of maternal rats with normal iodine intake during pregnancy, and there is no need for iodine supplementation. However, iodine stores are insufficient in rats with MMID. Iodine supplementation can increase the iodine concentration in the thyroid of maternal rats with MMID and their offspring, as well as in the amniotic fluid during pregnancy.

Keywords: iodine deficiency; iodine storage; pregnancy; thyroid.

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