Hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid feedback control: implications of mathematical modeling and consequences for thyrotropin (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT4) reference ranges
SourceBulletin of Mathematical Biology, 76, 6, (2014), pp. 1270-1287
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Bulletin of Mathematical Biology
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
The components of thyrotropic feedback control are well established in mainstream physiology and endocrinology, but their relation to the whole system's integrated behavior remains only partly understood. Most modeling research seeks to derive a generalized model for universal application across all individuals. We show how parameterizable models, based on the principles of control theory, tailored to the individual, can fill these gaps. We develop a system network describing the closed-loop behavior of the hypothalamus-pituitary (HP)-thyroid interaction and the set point targeted by the control system at equilibrium. The stability of this system is defined by using loop gain conditions. Defined points of homeostasis of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) feedback loop found at the intersections of the HP and thyroid transfer functions at the boundaries of normal reference ranges were evaluated by loop gain calculations. At equilibrium, the feedback control approaches a point defined in both dimensions by a [TSH]-[FT4] coordinate for which the loop gain is greater than unity. This model describes the emergence of homeostasis of the HPT axis from characteristic curves of HP and thyroid, thus supporting the validity of the translation between physiological knowledge and clinical reference ranges.
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