Screening for New Markers to Assess Thyroid Hormone Action by OMICs Analysis of Human Samples
Determination of the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroid hormones (fTHs) is crucial for assessing thyroid function. However, as a result of inter-individual genetic variability and different environmental factors individual set points exist for TSH and fTHs and display considerable variation. Furthermore, under specific pathophysiological conditions like central hypothyroidism, TSH secreting pituitary tumors, or thyroid hormone resistance the established markers TSH and fTH fail to reliably predict thyroid function and adequate supply of TH to peripheral organs. Even in case of overt hyper- and hypothyroidism circulating fTH concentrations do not correlate with clinical symptoms. Therefore, there is a clear need for novel, more specific biomarkers to diagnose and monitor thyroid function. OMICs screening approaches allow parallel profiling of hundreds to thousands of molecules and thus comprehensive monitoring of molecular alterations in tissues and body fluids that might be associated with changes in thyroid function. These techniques thus constitute promising tools for the identification of urgently needed novel biomarkers. This mini review summarizes the findings of OMICs studies in thyroid research with a particular focus on population-based and patient studies as well as interventional approaches investigating the effects of thyroid hormone administration.