Thyroid Hormone Transporters in Pregnancy and Fetal Development

Zhongli Chen, Marcel E. Meima, Robin P. Peeters, W. Edward Visser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


Thyroid hormone is essential for fetal (brain) development. Plasma membrane transporters control the intracellular bioavailability of thyroid hormone. In the past few decades, 15 human thyroid hormone transporters have been identified, and among them, mutations in monocarboxylate transporter (MCT)8 and organic anion transporting peptide (OATP)1C1 are associated with clinical phenotypes. Different animal and human models have been employed to unravel the (patho)-physiological role of thyroid hormone transporters. However, most studies on thyroid hormone transporters focus on postnatal development. This review summarizes the research on the thyroid hormone transporters in pregnancy and fetal development, including their substrate preference, expression and tissue distribution, and physiological and pathophysiological role in thyroid homeostasis and clinical disorders. As the fetus depends on the maternal thyroid hormone supply, especially during the first half of pregnancy, the review also elaborates on thyroid hormone transport across the human placental barrier. Future studies may reveal how the different transporters contribute to thyroid hormone homeostasis in fetal tissues to properly facilitate development. Employing state-of-the-art human models will enable a better understanding of their roles in thyroid hormone homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15113
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors.


Dive into the research topics of 'Thyroid Hormone Transporters in Pregnancy and Fetal Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this