The effect of 6-propyl-2-thiouracil (PTU), and 1-methyl-2-mercaptoimidazole (MMI) on thyroglobulin (Tg) biosynthesis has been studied in vivo and in vitro. In vivo experiments were performed in rats treated for 20 days with PTU or MMI. analyzing soluble and particulate, cold and 125I-labelled, Tg. Thyroglobulin biosynthesis was also investigated by in vitro experiments, incubating thyroid tissue with labelled amino acid and carbohydrate in the presence of antithyroid compounds.
It has been found that in vivo antithyroid agents decrease the amount of soluble Tg and increase the proportion of particulate Tg. Tg from treated animals is poorly iodinated being mainly represented by its 12S subunit.
In vitro studies demonstrate that PTU and MMI inhibit Tg biosynthesis which is impaired in the polypeptide synthesis as wellas in carbohydrate chains addition.
Thus the inhibition of the hormonogenetic processes induced by antithyroid treatment leading to a depressed iodinating activity also appears to be related to a significant impairment of the production of the Tg molecule, the specific iodine acceptor.