The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism

Endoplasmic reticulum stress as a novel mechanism in amiodarone-induced destructive thyroiditis.

PMID 25295624


Amiodarone (AMIO) is one of the most effective antiarrhythmic drugs available; however, its use is limited by a serious side effect profile, including thyroiditis. The mechanisms underlying AMIO thyroid toxicity have been elusive; thus, identification of novel approaches in order to prevent thyroiditis is essential in patients treated with AMIO. Our aim was to evaluate whether AMIO treatment could induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in human thyroid cells and the possible implications of this effect in AMIO-induced destructive thyroiditis. Here we report that AMIO, but not iodine, significantly induced the expression of ER stress markers including Ig heavy chain-binding protein (BiP), phosphoeukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) and spliced X-box binding protein-1 (XBP-1) in human thyroid ML-1 cells and human primary thyrocytes. In both experimental systems AMIO down-regulated thyroglobulin (Tg) protein but had little effect on Tg mRNA levels, suggesting a mechanism involving Tg protein degradation. Indeed, pretreatment with the specific proteasome inhibitor MG132 reversed AMIO-induced down-regulation of Tg protein levels, confirming a proteasome-dependent degradation of Tg protein. Corroborating our findings, pretreatment of ML-1 cells and human primary thyrocytes with the chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyric acid completely prevented the effect of AMIO on both ER stress induction and Tg down-regulation. We identified ER stress as a novel mechanism contributing to AMIO-induced destructive thyroiditis. Our data establish that AMIO-induced ER stress impairs Tg expression via proteasome activation, providing a valuable therapeutic avenue for the treatment of AMIO-induced destructive thyroiditis.