AIM: This study evaluated the protective effects of y-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a non-protein amino acid and anti-oxidant, against fluoride-induced hypothyroidism in mice.
MAIN METHODS: light microscope sample preparation technique and TEM sample preparation technique were used to assay thyroid microstructure and ultrastructure; enzyme immunoassay method was used to assay hormone and protein levels; immunohistochemical staining method was used to assay apoptosis of thyroid follicular epithelium cells.
KEY FINDINGS: Subacute injection of sodium fluoride (NaF) decreased blood T4, T3 and thyroid hormone-binding globulin (TBG) levels to 33.98 ug/L, 3 2.8 ng/ml and 11.67 ng/ml, respectively. In addition, fluoride intoxication induced structural abnormalities in thyroid follicles. Our results showed that treatment of fluoride-exposed mice with GABA appreciably decreased metabolic toxicity induced by fluoride and restored the microstructural and ultrastructural organisation of the thyroid gland towards normalcy. Compared with the negative control group, GABA treatment groups showed significantly upregulated T4, T3 and TBG levels (42.34 ug/L, 6.54 ng/ml and 18.78 ng/ml, respectively; P < 0.05), properly increased TSH level and apoptosis inhibition in thyroid follicular epithelial cells.
SIGNIFICANCE: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to establish the therapeutic efficacy of GABA as a natural antioxidant in inducing thyroprotection against fluoride-induced toxicity.