Possible role of glial cells in the relationship between thyroid dysfunction and mental disorders

Mami Noda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


It is widely accepted that there is a close relationship between the endocrine system and the central nervous system (CNS). Among hormones closely related to the nervous system, thyroid hormones (THs) are critical for the development and function of the CNS; not only for neuronal cells but also for glial development and differentiation. Any impairment of TH supply to the developing CNS causes severe and irreversible changes in the overall architecture and function of the human brain, leading to various neurological dysfunctions. In the adult brain, impairment of THs, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can cause psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression. Although impact of hypothyroidism on synaptic transmission and plasticity is known, its effect on glial cells and related cellular mechanisms remain enigmatic. This mini-review article summarizes how THs are transported into the brain, metabolized in astrocytes and affect microglia and oligodendrocytes, demonstrating an example of glioendocrine system. Neuroglial effects may help to understand physiological and/or pathophysiological functions of THs in the CNS and how hypo- and hyper-thyroidism may cause mental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194
JournalFrontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Issue numberJUNE
Publication statusPublished - Jun 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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