Veratridine, a sodium channel agonist, depolarized cultured thyroid cells and increased the secretion of radioiodine from the organically bound pool. These effects were similar to those of TSH. Depolarization of the cells by increasing the potassium concentration of the medium failed to promote secretion, indicating that the sodium influx, rather than the depolarization itself, mediated the response. Veratridine, like TSH, also acutely reduced the cells' iodide uptake and inhibited the iodide transport pump. Unlike TSH, however, veratridine reduced, rather than increased, the fractional exit rate of iodide anion from the unbound pool. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that a sodium influx mediates some but not all of the actions of TSH on the thyroid gland, including the stimulation of secretion of thyroid hormones.
J. Endocr. (1986) 110, 459–466