To the extent possible under law, AOP-Wiki has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to KE:425

Event: 425

Key Event Title

The KE title should describe a discrete biological change that can be measured. It should generally define the biological object or process being measured and whether it is increased, decreased, or otherwise definably altered relative to a control state. For example “enzyme activity, decreased”, “hormone concentration, increased”, or “growth rate, decreased”, where the specific enzyme or hormone being measured is defined. More help

Decrease of Thyroidal iodide

Short name
The KE short name should be a reasonable abbreviation of the KE title and is used in labelling this object throughout the AOP-Wiki. The short name should be less than 80 characters in length. More help
Thyroidal Iodide, Decreased

Biological Context

Structured terms, selected from a drop-down menu, are used to identify the level of biological organization for each KE. Note, KEs should be defined within a particular level of biological organization. Only KERs should be used to transition from one level of organization to another. Selection of the level of biological organization defines which structured terms will be available to select when defining the Event Components (below). More help
Level of Biological Organization

Cell term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help
Cell term
thyroid follicular cell

Organ term

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.The biological context describes the location/biological environment in which the event takes place.  For molecular/cellular events this would include the cellular context (if known), organ context, and species/life stage/sex for which the event is relevant. For tissue/organ events cellular context is not applicable.  For individual/population events, the organ context is not applicable. More help
Organ term
thyroid gland

Key Event Components

Further information on Event Components and Biological Context may be viewed on the attached pdf.Because one of the aims of the AOP-KB is to facilitate de facto construction of AOP networks through the use of shared KE and KER elements, authors are also asked to define their KEs using a set of structured ontology terms (Event Components). In the absence of structured terms, the same KE can readily be defined using a number of synonymous titles (read by a computer as character strings). In order to make these synonymous KEs more machine-readable, KEs should also be defined by one or more “event components” consisting of a biological process, object, and action with each term originating from one of 22 biological ontologies (Ives, et al., 2017; See List). Biological process describes dynamics of the underlying biological system (e.g., receptor signalling). The biological object is the subject of the perturbation (e.g., a specific biological receptor that is activated or inhibited). Action represents the direction of perturbation of this system (generally increased or decreased; e.g., ‘decreased’ in the case of a receptor that is inhibited to indicate a decrease in the signalling by that receptor).Note that when editing Event Components, clicking an existing Event Component from the Suggestions menu will autopopulate these fields, along with their source ID and description. To clear any fields before submitting the event component, use the 'Clear process,' 'Clear object,' or 'Clear action' buttons. If a desired term does not exist, a new term request may be made via Term Requests. Event components may not be edited; to edit an event component, remove the existing event component and create a new one using the terms that you wish to add. More help
Process Object Action
iodide transport iodide decreased

Key Event Overview

AOPs Including This Key Event

All of the AOPs that are linked to this KE will automatically be listed in this subsection. This table can be particularly useful for derivation of AOP networks including the KE. Clicking on the name of the AOP will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Role of event in AOP Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
NIS inhibition and learning and memory impairment KeyEvent Anna Price (send email) Open for citation & comment TFHA/WNT Endorsed
NIS and Cognitive Dysfunction KeyEvent Mary Gilbert (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome
NIS inhib alters metamorphosis KeyEvent Jonathan Haselman (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome
IYD inhib alters metamorphosis KeyEvent Jonathan Haselman (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome


This is a structured field used to identify specific agents (generally chemicals) that can trigger the KE. Stressors identified in this field will be linked to the KE in a machine-readable manner, such that, for example, a stressor search would identify this as an event the stressor can trigger. NOTE: intermediate or downstream KEs in one AOP may function as MIEs in other AOPs, meaning that stressor information may be added to the KE description, even if it is a downstream KE in the pathway currently under development.Information concerning the stressors that may trigger an MIE can be defined using a combination of structured and unstructured (free-text) fields. For example, structured fields may be used to indicate specific chemicals for which there is evidence of an interaction relevant to this MIE. By linking the KE description to a structured chemical name, it will be increasingly possible to link the MIE to other sources of chemical data and information, enhancing searchability and inter-operability among different data-sources and knowledgebases. The free-text section “Evidence for perturbation of this MIE by stressor” can be used both to identify the supporting evidence for specific stressors triggering the MIE as well as to define broad chemical categories or other properties that classify the stressors able to trigger the MIE for which specific structured terms may not exist. More help

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) can be selected from an ontology. In many cases, individual species identified in these structured fields will be those for which the strongest evidence used in constructing the AOP was available in relation to this KE. More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
rat Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
mouse Mus musculus High NCBI
Pig Pig High NCBI
human Homo sapiens High NCBI
zebra fish Danio rerio High NCBI
Xenopus (Silurana) n. sp. tetraploid-1 Xenopus (Silurana) sp. new tetraploid 1 Moderate NCBI
African clawed frog Xenopus laevis NCBI

Life Stages

The structured ontology terms for life-stage are more comprehensive than those for taxa, but may still require further description/development and explanation in the free text section. More help
Life stage Evidence
Birth to < 1 month Moderate
Pregnancy Moderate
During brain development Moderate

Sex Applicability

No help message More help
Term Evidence
Mixed Moderate

Key Event Description

A description of the biological state being observed or measured, the biological compartment in which it is measured, and its general role in the biology should be provided. For example, the biological state being measured could be the activity of an enzyme, the expression of a gene or abundance of an mRNA transcript, the concentration of a hormone or protein, neuronal activity, heart rate, etc. The biological compartment may be a particular cell type, tissue, organ, fluid (e.g., plasma, cerebrospinal fluid), etc. The role in the biology could describe the reaction that an enzyme catalyses and the role of that reaction within a given metabolic pathway; the protein that a gene or mRNA transcript codes for and the function of that protein; the function of a hormone in a given target tissue, physiological function of an organ, etc. Careful attention should be taken to avoid reference to other KEs, KERs or AOPs. Only describe this KE as a single isolated measurable event/state. This will ensure that the KE is modular and can be used by other AOPs, thereby facilitating construction of AOP networks. More help

Biological state: Iodine (I2) is a non-metallic chemical element which is required for the normal cellular metabolism. It is one of the essential components of the TH, comprising 65% and 58% of T4's and T3's weight, respectively and therefore it is crucial for the normal thyroid function. It is a trace element and a healthy human body contains 15-20 mg of iodine, most of which is concentrated in the thyroid gland (Dunn, 1998). Iodide (I-) that enters the thyroid gland remains in the free state only briefly and subsequently it bounds to the tyrosine residues of thyroglobulin to form the precursors of the thyroid hormones mono-iodinated tyrosine (MIT) or di-iodinated tyrosine (DIT) (Berson and Yalow, 1955). The bounding rate of iodide is 50-100% of the intra-thyroidal iodide pool, meaning that only a very small proportion of this element is free in the thyroid and this comes mainly by the deiodination of MIT and DIT.

The body is not able to produce or make iodine, thus the diet is the only source of this element. Iodine is found in nature in various forms, such as inorganic sodium and potassium salts (iodides and iodates), inorganic diatomic iodine and organic monoatomic iodine (Patrick, 2008). Thus, it is widely distributed in the environment but in many regions of the world the soil's iodine has been depleted due to different environmental phenomena. In these regions, the incidence of iodine deficiency is greatly increased (Ahad and Ganie, 2010).

The daily iodine intake of adult humans varies greatly due to the different dietary habits between the different regions on earth (Dunn, 1993). In any case, the ingested iodine is absorbed through the intestine and transported into the plasma to reach the thyroid gland. However, thyroid is not the only organ of the body that concentrates iodide. It has been shown that other tissues have also the ability of iodide concentration, such as the salivary glands, the gastric mucosa, the mammary glands and the choroid plexus, all of which express NIS, the iodine transporter protein (Jhiang et al., 1998; Cho et al., 2000).

Biological compartments: A sodium-iodide (Na/I) symporter pumps iodide (IO) actively into the cell, which previously has crossed the endothelium by largely unknown mechanisms. This iodide enters the follicular lumen from the cytoplasm by the transporter pendrin, in a purportedly passive manner. In the colloid, iodide (I−) is oxidized to iodine (I0) by an enzyme called thyroid peroxidase (TPO). IO is very reactive and iodinates the thyroglobulin at tyrosyl residues in its protein chain. In conjugation, adjacent tyrosyl residues are paired together. Thyroglobulin binds the megalin receptor for endocytosis back into the follicular cell. Proteolysis by various proteases liberates thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine molecules (T3), which enter the bloodstream where they are bound to thyroid hormone binding proteins, mainly thyroxin binding globulin (TBG) which accounts for about 75% of the bound hormone. The adult thyroid absorbs 60-80 μg of iodide per day to maintain the thyroid homeostasis (Degroot, 1966). Inadequate amount of iodide results to deficient production of thyroid hormones, which consequently leads to an increase of TSH secretion and goiter, as compensating effect (Delange, 2000). On the other hand, excess iodide could also inhibit TH synthesis (Wolff and Chaikoff, 1948). The proposed mechanism for this latter effect is the possible formation of 2-iodohexadecanal that inhibits the generation of H2O2 and the subsequent oxidation of iodide in the thyroid follicular cells. The lack of oxidized free radicals of iodide affects the reaction with the tyrosine residues of Thyroglobulin (Tg) (Panneels et al., 1994). During pregnancy, the organism of the mother is also supporting the needs of the foetus and therefore the iodide requirements are greatly increased (Glinoer, 1997). Additionally, small iodine concentrations have been found to have significant antioxidant effects that resembles to ascorbic acid (Smyth, 2003).

General role in biology: The most important role of iodine is the formation of the thyroid hormones (T4 and T3). The thyroid actively concentrates the circulating iodide through the basolateral membrane of the thyrocytes by the sodium/iodide symporter protein (NIS). The concentrated thyroid-iodine is oxidized in the follicular cells of the gland and consequently binds to tyrosines to form mono- or di-iodotyrosines (MIT and DIT respectively), being incorporated into thyroglobulin. This newly formed iodothyroglobulin forms one of the most important constituents of the colloid material, present in the follicle of the thyroid unit. If two di-iodotyrosine molecules couple together, the result is the formation of thyroxin (T4). If a di-iodotyrosine and a mono-iodotyrosine are coupled together, the result is the formation of tri-iodothyronine (T3). From the perspective of the formation of thyroid hormone, the major coupling reaction is the di-iodotyrosine coupling to produce T4.

How It Is Measured or Detected

One of the primary considerations in evaluating AOPs is the relevance and reliability of the methods with which the KEs can be measured. The aim of this section of the KE description is not to provide detailed protocols, but rather to capture, in a sentence or two, per method, the type(s) of measurements that can be employed to evaluate the KE and the relative level of scientific confidence in those measurements. Methods that can be used to detect or measure the biological state represented in the KE should be briefly described and/or cited. These can range from citation of specific validated test guidelines, citation of specific methods published in the peer reviewed literature, or outlines of a general protocol or approach (e.g., a protein may be measured by ELISA).Key considerations regarding scientific confidence in the measurement approach include whether the assay is fit for purpose, whether it provides a direct or indirect measure of the biological state in question, whether it is repeatable and reproducible, and the extent to which it is accepted in the scientific and/or regulatory community. Information can be obtained from the OECD Test Guidelines website and the EURL ECVAM Database Service on Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation (DB-ALM). ?

The radioactive iodine uptake test, or RAIU test, is a type of scan used in the diagnosis of thyroid gland dysfunction (; Kwee, et al., 2007). The patient swallows radioactive iodine in the form of capsule or fluid, and its absorption by the thyroid is studied after 4–6 hours and after 24 hours with the aid of a gamma scintillation counter. The percentage of RAIU 24 hours after the administration of radioiodide is the most useful, since this is the time when the thyroid gland has reached the plateau of isotope accumulation, and because it has been shown that at this time, the best separation between high, normal, and low uptake is obtained. The test does not measure hormone production and release but merely the avidity of the thyroid gland for iodide and its rate of clearance relative to the kidney.

Domain of Applicability

This free text section should be used to elaborate on the scientific basis for the indicated domains of applicability and the WoE calls (if provided). While structured terms may be selected to define the taxonomic, life stage and sex applicability (see structured applicability terms, above) of the KE, the structured terms may not adequately reflect or capture the overall biological applicability domain (particularly with regard to taxa). Likewise, the structured terms do not provide an explanation or rationale for the selection. The free-text section on evidence for taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability can be used to elaborate on why the specific structured terms were selected, and provide supporting references and background information.  More help

Various species express functional NIS  encoded by the following genes: Human SLC5A5 (6528), Mouse Slc5a5 (114479), Rat Slc5a5 (114613), Zebrafish slc5a5 (561445), chicken SLC5A5 (431544), domestic cat SLC5A5 (101092587), dog SLC5A5 (484830), domestic guinea pig Slc5a5 (100714457), naked mole-rat Slc5a5 (101701995), cow SLC5A5 (505310), sheep SLC5A5 (101112315). The encoded protein is responsible for the uptake of iodine in tissues such as the thyroid and lactating breast tissue. The iodine taken up by the thyroid is incorporated into the metabolic regulators triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4). Mutations in this gene are associated with thyroid dyshormonogenesis that significantly influences phenotypic expressions such as severity of hypothyroidism, goiter rates, and familial clustering demonstrating essentiality of NIS function to maintain TH status (Bakker et al., 2000; Spitzweg and Morris, 2010; Ramesh et al., 2016) . Animal studies have also proven that iodine normalizes elevated adrenal corticosteroid hormone secretion and has the ability to reverse the effects of hypothyroidism in the ovaries, testicles and thymus in thyroidectomized rats (Nolan et al., 2000).


List of the literature that was cited for this KE description. Ideally, the list of references, should conform, to the extent possible, with the OECD Style Guide ( (OECD, 2015). More help

Ahad F, Ganie SA. (2010). Iodine, iodine metabolism and iodine deficiency disorders revisited. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 14: 13-17.

Bakker B, Bikker H, Vulsma T, de Randamie JS, Wiedijk BM, De Vijlder JJ. 2000. Two decades of screening for congenital hypothyroidism in The Netherlands: TPO gene mutations in total iodide organification defects (an update). The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. Oct;85:3708-3712.

Berson SA, Yalow RS. (1955). The iodide trapping and binding functions of the thyroid. J Clin Invest. 34: 186-204.

Cho JY, Leveille R, Kao R, Rousset B, Parlow AF, Burak WE Jr, Mazzaferri EL, Jhiang SM.(2000). Hormonal regulation of radioiodide uptake activity and Na+/I- symporter expression in mammary glands. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 85:2936-2943.

Degroot LJ.(1966). Kinetic analysis of iodine metabolism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 26: 149-173.

Delange F. (2000). Iodine deficiency. In: Braverman L, Utiger R, editors. Werner and Ingbar's the thyroid: a fundamental and clinical text. Philadelphia: JD Lippincott. pp 295-316.

Dunn JT. (1993). Sources of dietary iodine in industrialized countries. In: Delange F, Dunn JT, Glinoer D, editors. Iodine deficiency in Europe. A continuing concern. New York: Plenum press. pp 17-21.

Dunn JT. (1998). What's happening to our iodine? J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 83: 3398-3400. Glinoer D. (1997). The regulation of thyroid function in pregnancy: pathways of endocrine adaptation from physiology to pathology. Endocr Rev. 18: 404-433. Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association, Inc.,Radioactive Iodine (RAI)

Jhiang SM, Cho JY, Ryu KY, DeYoung BR, Smanik PA, McGaughy VR, Fischer AH, Mazzaferri EL.(1998). An immunohistochemical study of Na+/I- symporter in human thyroid tissues and salivary gland tissues. Endocrinology. 139:4416-4419.

Kwee, Sandi A.; Coel, Marc N.; Fitz-Patrick, David (2007). Eary, Janet F.; Brenner, Winfried, eds. "Iodine-131 Radiotherapy for Benign Thyroid Disease". Nuclear Medicine Therapy. CRC Press: 172. ISBN 978-0-8247-2876-2.

Nolan LA, Windle RJ, Wood SA, Kershaw YM, Lunness HR, Lightman SL, Ingram CD, Levy A. (2000). Chronic iodine deprivation attenuates stress-induced and diurnal variation in corticosterone secretion in female Wistar rats. J Neuroendocrinol. 12:1149-1159.

Panneels V, Van den Bergen H, Jacoby C, Braekman JC, Van Sande J, Dumont JE, Boeynaems JM. (1994). Inhibition of H2O2 production by iodoaldehydes in cultured dog thyroid cells. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 102:167-176.

Patrick L. (2008).Iodine:Deficiency and therapeutic considerations. Altern MedRev. 13:166-127.

Ramesh BG, Bhargav PR, Rajesh BG, Devi NV, Vijayaraghavan R, Varma BA.(2016). Genotype‑phenotype correlations of dyshormonogenetic goiter in children and adolescents from South India . I J Endocrinol and Metab. 20: 816-824.

Smyth PA. (2003). Role of iodine in antioxidant defense in thyroid and breast disease. Biofactors. 19:121-130.

Spitzweg C, Morris JC. 2010. Genetics and phenomics of hypothyroidism and goiter due to NIS mutations. Molecular and cellular endocrinology. Jun 30;322:56-63.

Wolff J, Chaikoff IL. (1948). Plasma inorganic iodide as a homeostatic regulator of thyroid function. J Biol Chem. 174: 555-564.