Modulation of thyroidal radioiodine uptake by theophylline

J. M. Lee, R. L. Zemans, M. Hejazi, B. B. Chin, P. W. Ladenson, P. Caturegli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Diagnostic and therapeutic use of radioiodine in the management of thyroid disorders depends on the ability of thyroid cells to concentrate radioiodine, a process regulated by thyrotropin and dependent on the intracellular increase in cAMP. We tested the ability of theophylline, a drug known to increase intracellular cAMP via inhibition of phosphodiesterase, to modulate the thyroidal radioiodine uptake in FRTL-5 cells, in mice and in humans. In FRTL-5 cells, theophylline increased the uptake of radioactive iodine and intracellular cAMP only at low concentrations (1 μM). In mice, theophylline increased slightly the radioiodine uptake, although this increase varied from 1.5- to 6.6-fold. In humans, theophylline decreased slightly the radioiodine uptake, a decrease that became more pronounced with time after radioiodine administration. These studies suggest that theophylline modulates the radioiodine uptake in a dose-dependent fashion, although the modulation is mild and probably not applicable to the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • FRTL5 cell
  • Mouse thyroid
  • Radioiodine uptake
  • Theophylline
  • cAMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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