Differently from most hormones, which commonly are specialized molecules able to influence other cells, tissues and systems, thyroid hormones (TH) are pleiotropic peptides, whose primordial function is difficult to identify. The complex action of TH on human economy can be easily witnessed by examining the diverse consequences of TH excess and deficiency during development and after maturity. In particular, different manifestations in bone modeling and remodeling reflect the circumstantial consequences of thyroid disturbances, which are age dependent. While hyperthyroidism during childhood enhances bone mineralization and accelerates epiphyseal maturation, in adults it induces bone loss by predominant activation of osteoclast activity. Furthermore, the syndrome of TH resistance is a multifaceted condition in which different sites exhibit signs of hormone excess or deficiency depending on the configuration of the TH receptor isoform. The investigation of the impact of TH resistance on the skeleton still remains to be elucidated. We present here a thorough review of the action of TH on bone and of the impact of thyroid disorders, including hyper- and hypothyroidism and the syndrome of TH resistance, on the skeleton.
Thyroid hormones; osteoporosis; thyrotoxicosis; hypothyroidism; thyroid hormone resistance