In a previous study we found a night surge in serum free T3 varying in parallel with that of serum TSH. In order to evaluate whether diurnal alterations in peripheral iodothyronine monodeiodination may be involved we have measured two products of peripheral deiodination, 3,3',5'-T3 (rT3) and 3,3'-T2 in serum samples obtained at short intervals during a 24-h period in 5 normal male subjects. Serum rT3 was rather stable during the period albeit with a trend towards lower levels during the night when the subjects were in bed. In order to obtain a measure of free rT3 a free rT3 index was calculated using the combined variations in per cent free T4 and free T3. Night and day levels of this rT3 index were found identical, suggesting a lack of diurnal variation in serum free rT3. Likewise serum 3,3'-T2 levels were identical during the day and night periods.
The results suggest that variations in peripheral iodothyronine deiodinations are not involved in the night increase in serum free T3.