Investigation of thyroid and parathyroid function

Investigation of thyroid and parathyroid function

The aim of this study is to identify genetic loci that are associated with levels of thyroid/parathyroid hormones and antibodies that will advance our understanding of the genetic basis of their function and thus provide additional knowledge relevant to clinical outcomes.

Investigation of thyroid and parathyroid function

 Istraživanje regulacije funkcije
štitne i doštitne žlijezde
Head of research group
  
 Prof Tatijana Zemunik 

Research
Thyroid diseases affect up to 10% of the general population creating an important public health problem. Parathyroid diseases are less frequent but not insignificant. Thyroid hormones act on every tissue regulating cellular development, differentiation and metabolism. Parathyroid hormones control the amount of calcium in the blood. The expression of thyroid and parathyroid hormones/antibodies is under polygenic control and influenced by environmental factors. The aim of this study is to identify genetic loci that are associated with levels of thyroid/parathyroid hormones and antibodies that will advance our understanding of the genetic basis of their function and thus provide additional knowledge relevant to clinical outcomes.
We will perform genome-wide association analysis of thyroid and parathyroid hormones/antibodies on 1,000 individuals from Split region (participants from the 10,001 Dalmatians project). The thyroid and parathyroid hormones/antibodies that are planned to be analysed are: free triiodothyronine, free thyroxine, thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroglobulin, thyroid microsomal antibody titer, thyroglobulin antibody titer and parathiroid hormone. In addition, detailed anamnestic data and phenotype measurements already taken from study participants will be used in realization of second and third project objectives: investigation of relevant gene-environment interactions and determination of phenotype-phenotype correlation. We plan to follow-up interesting findings in additional 2,000 individuals and in datasets sought through international collaboration.
Outcomes of such comprehensive approach will be generation of a new knowledge of genetic background, gene-environment interaction and phenotype-phenotype correlation associated with thyroid and parathyroid function that will lead to better understanding of biological pathways and clinically relevant disorders related to their function.

Projects
Lead researcher: prof. Tatijana Zemunik 
Funded by Croatian Science Foundation - HrZZ
Duration: sept 2014 - sept 2018
 
Group members
Prof Tatijana Zemunik, PhD, lead researcher  [CV]
Assist prof Maja Barbalić, associate  [CV]
Prof Ante Punda, associate  [CV
Dubravka Brdar, MD, associate  [CV]
Vesea Torlak, PhD, associate  [CV]
Assist prof Bernarda Lozić, associate [CV]
Caroline Hayward, PhD,  Senior scientist [CV]
Marijana Popović, PhD, postdoc. [CV]
Antonela Matana, MSc,  doctoral student [CV]
Future directions 
Enlargement of the list of environmental factors that may correlate with thyroid hormone / antibodies, analysis of their association with phenotype.

Selected publications and doctoral theses

Interests and topics: thyroid function, parathyroid function, genetic variants, polymorphisms, genome-wide study, gene-environmental interaction, complex phenotypes
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