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Peter N Taylor, Vijay Panicker, Adrian Sayers, Beverley Shields, Ahmed Iqbal, Alexandra P Bremner, John P Beilby, Peter J Leedman, Andrew T Hattersley, Bijay Vaidya, Timothy Frayling, Jonathan Evans, Jonathan H Tobias, Nicholas J Timpson, John P Walsh and Colin M Dayan


Common variants in PDE8B are associated with TSH but apparently without any effect on thyroid hormone levels that is difficult to explain. Furthermore, the stability of the association has not been examined in longitudinal studies or in patients on levothyroxine (l-T4).


Totally, four cohorts were used (n=2557): the Busselton Health Study (thyroid function measured on two occasions), DEPTH, EFSOCH (selective cohorts), and WATTS (individuals on l-T4).


Meta-analysis to clarify associations between the rs4704397 single nucleotide polymorphism in PDE8B on TSH, tri-iodothyronine (T3), and T4 levels.


Meta-analysis confirmed that genetic variation in PDE8B was associated with TSH (P=1.64×10−10 0.20 s.d./allele, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.142, 0.267) and identified a possible new association with free T4 (P=0.023, −0.07 s.d./allele, 95% CI −0.137, −0.01), no association was seen with free T3 (P=0.218). The association between PDE8B and TSH was similar in 1981 (0.14 s.d./allele, 95% CI 0.04, 0.238) and 1994 (0.20 s.d./allele, 95% CI 0.102, 0.300) and even more consistent between PDE8B and free T4 in 1981 (−0.068 s.d./allele, 95% CI −0.167, 0.031) and 1994 (−0.07 s.d./allele, 95% CI −0.170, 0.030). No associations were seen between PDE8B and thyroid hormone parameters in individuals on l-T4.


Common genetic variation in PDE8B is associated with reciprocal changes in TSH and free T4 levels that are consistent over time and lost in individuals on l-T4. These findings identify a possible genetic marker reflecting variation in thyroid hormone output that will be of value in epidemiological studies and provides additional evidence that PDE8B is involved in TSH signaling in the thyroid.