T4 Raises ACTH And Cortisol


Jul 23, 2015
Spokane, Washington
Thyroid hormone action on ACTH secretion. - PubMed - NCBI

"Thyroid hormone effects on pituitary ACTH have not been well established. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were rendered hypo- and hyperthyroid while undergoing treatment with 6-Propylthiouracil (PTU) and L-Thyroxine (T4). At the time of decapitation, plasma values for T4 (micrograms/100 ml) were 3.9 +/- 0.4 in the control, 17.3 +/- 2.2 in the T4 and less than 2 in the PTU treated group; plasma T3 and TSH confirmed hyper- and hypothyroidism in the T4 and PTU treated groups respectively. Plasma immunoassayable ACTH and corticosterone were significantly increased in hyperthyroid and decreased in the PTU treated animals. Pituitaries were removed and incubated in DMEM. After 3 h incubation, ACTH content and secretion to the medium were significantly lower in the PTU group. As expected, pituitary TSH content and secretion were decreased in the T4 treated animals. These data indicate that thyroid hormones influence pituitary-adrenal function by increasing ACTH secretion and consequently corticosterone production."


Dec 17, 2015
In humans as well, although both of these studies refer to hyperthyroid states - not sure the effect in a euthyroid state.

Jives with @Noel Gallagher's experience

Thyroid hormone therapy modulates hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. - PubMed - NCBI

"To observe the influence of thyroid hormone therapy on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a group of 14 athyreotic women due to thyroid cancer treatment were studied before and after thyroid suppression therapy with thyroxine (T4). Changes in plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and cortisol levels in response to human corticotropin-releasing hormone (hCRH; 100µg, i.v.) were estimated under hypothyroid conditions and after T4 suppression therapy with 2.5µg/kg/day for two months (n=14). A group of seven healthy women was evaluated as a control group. A greater increase in ACTH levels by hCRH was observed in patient group both before and after suppression therapy compared than that of control group. Plasma cortisol levels after hCRH stimulation were also greater in patient group both before and after suppression therapy than that of control group. In conclusion, both hypothyroidism and subclinical hyperthyroidism with suppressive doses of thyroid hormone induced a hypersensitivity of ACTH to hCRH. Considering the role of thyroid hormone on HPA axis, the mechanisms of ACTH hypersensitivity may be different between these two conditions."


Thread starter
Jul 23, 2015
Spokane, Washington
Interesting. Peat says how initially, thyroid (T3 + T4?) can make one more sensitive to adrenaline. This problem may attenuate in the long-term, similar to the effects of caffeine. Although with caffeine, there still exists a significant rise in ACTH regardless of the timeframe and, for me personally, anxiety.


Jul 13, 2014
T4 also turns the inactive cortisone into cortisol via 11bHSD1 enzyme
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