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The effect of d-thyroxine on the metabolism of cholesterol in familial hyperbetalipoproteinaemia

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      Abstract

      The effect of d-thyroxine plus propranolol on cholesterol metabolism was investigated in three patients with familial hyperbetalipoproteinaemia whose plasma cholesterol was labelled with [14C]cholesterol. In each patient the treatment caused a fall in plasma cholesterol concentration and a temporary increase in faecal excretion of endogenous steroids, due to increased output of neutral steroids in two patients and to increased output of bile acids in the third patient. The cumulative increase in output of endogenous steroids during treatment was greater than the amount of cholesterol lost from the plasma. Since the specific radioactivity curve of the plasma cholesterol did not indicate increased synthesis of cholesterol during the treatment, it was concluded that cholesterol mobilized from the tissues, as well as plasma cholesterol, contributed to the increase in faecal excretion of endogenous steroids.

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