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Wolff–Chaikoff effect

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Title: Wolff–Chaikoff effect  
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Subject: Iodine, Jod-Basedow phenomenon, Iodine deficiency, Endocrinology
Collection: Iodine
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Wolff–Chaikoff effect

The Wolff–Chaikoff effect (pronounced "woolf' cha'kof"),[1] discovered by Drs. Jan Wolff and Israel Lyon Chaikoff at the University of California, is a reduction in oxidation of iodide) in the thyroid gland.[3][4] Patients with Graves' disease are more sensitive than euthyroid patients,[5] and iodine has been used to manage Graves' disease.

The Wolff–Chaikoff effect is an autoregulatory phenomenon that inhibits organification in the sodium-iodide symporter (NIS) on the basolateral membrane of the thyroid follicular cell.

The Wolff–Chaikoff effect can be used as a treatment principle against hyperthyroidism (especially thyroid storm) by infusion of a large amount of iodine to suppress the thyroid gland. Iodide was used to treat hyperthyroidism before antithyroid drugs such as propylthiouracil and methimazole were developed. Hyperthyroid subjects given iodide may experience a decrease in basal metabolic rate that is comparable to that seen after thyroidectomy.[6] The Wolff–Chaikoff effect also explains the hypothyroidism produced in some patients by several iodine-containing drugs, including amiodarone. The Wolff–Chaikoff effect is also part of the mechanism for the use of potassium iodide in nuclear emergencies.[9][10][11]

See also


  1. ^ Dorland (2011). Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 2083.  
  2. ^ Physiology at MCG 5/5ch5/s5ch5_6
  3. ^ Panneels, V.; Juvenal, G.; Boeynaems, J.M.; Durmont, J.E.; Sande, J. Van (2009). "Iodide Effects on the Thyroid: Biochemical, Physiological, Pharmacological, and Clinical Effects of Iodide in the Thyroid". In Preedy, Victor R.; Burrow, Gerard N.; Watson, Ronald Ross. Comprehensive Handbook of Iodine: Nutritional, Biochemical, Pathological and Therapeutic Aspects. Academic Press. p. 304.  
  4. ^ Wolff J, Chaikoff IL (1948). "Plasma inorganic iodide as a homeostatic regulator of thyroid function". J Biol Chem 174 (2): 555–564. 
  5. ^ King; Tekoa, Mary Brucker (2010). Pharmacology for Women's Health. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 549.  
  6. ^ a b Goodman, Louis Sanford; Gilman, Alfred Goodman (1996). Goodman and Gilman's the pharmacological basis of therapeutics (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill. p. 1402.  
  7. ^ Markou, K (May 2001). "Iodine induced hypothyroidism". Thyroid 11 (5): 501–10.  
  8. ^ Eng P, Cardona G, Fang S, Previti M, Alex S, Carrasco N, Chin W, Braverman L (1999). "Escape from the acute Wolff-Chaikoff effect is associated with a decrease in thyroid sodium/iodide symporter messenger ribonucleic acid and protein". Endocrinology 140 (8): 3404–10.  
  9. ^ Sternthal E, Lipworth L, Stanley B, Abreau C, Fang SL, Braverman LE (1980). "Suppression of thyroid radioiodine uptake by various doses of stable iodide". N Engl J Med 303 (19): 1083–8.  
  10. ^ Becker DV (1983). "Physiological basis for the use of potassium iodide as a thyroid blocking agent logistic issues in its distribution". Bull N Y Acad Med 59 (10): 1003–8.  
  11. ^ Adelstein SJ (1991). " Intervention procedures for radionuclides." Anticarcinogenesis and Radiation Protection 2. Springer US. pp. 227-8. "'Cold' iodide is effective in four ways: (a) by diluting the entering iodide pool; (b) by saturating the iodide transport system; (c) by blocking organification of iodide and thus inhibiting thyroid hormone synthesis (the Wolff-Chaikoff effect); and (d) by promoting excretion and thus lowering the total body dose."
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