Human longevity is characterised by high thyroid stimulating hormone secretion without altered energy metabolism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • S W Jansen
  • A A Akintola
  • F Roelfsema
  • E van der Spoel
  • C M Cobbaert
  • B E Ballieux
  • P Egri
  • Z Kvarta-Papp
  • B Gereben
  • C Fekete
  • P E Slagboom
  • J van der Grond
  • B A Demeneix
  • H Pijl
  • Westendorp, Rudi GJ
  • D van Heemst

Few studies have included subjects with the propensity to reach old age in good health, with the aim to disentangle mechanisms contributing to staying healthier for longer. The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis maintains circulating levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormone (TH) in an inverse relationship. Greater longevity has been associated with higher TSH and lower TH levels, but mechanisms underlying TSH/TH differences and longevity remain unknown. The HPT axis plays a pivotal role in growth, development and energy metabolism. We report that offspring of nonagenarians with at least one nonagenarian sibling have increased TSH secretion but similar bioactivity of TSH and similar TH levels compared to controls. Healthy offspring and spousal controls had similar resting metabolic rate and core body temperature. We propose that pleiotropic effects of the HPT axis may favour longevity without altering energy metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11525
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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