To clarify the different roles of free radical scavenging systems in various thyroid disorders, we measured the levels of α-, β-, and γ- tocopherols and coenzyme Q in the thyroid tissues of patients with thyroid tumors and Graves' disease using high-performance liquid chromatography. The levels of α-tocopherols and γ-tocopherols in the thyroid tissue of patients with papillary carcinoma and the level of γ-tocopherol in the thyroid tissue of patients with malignant lymphoma were elevated compared with those in normal thyroid tissues. The level of coenzyme Q was reduced in the thyroid tissue of patients with Graves' disease and follicular and papillary thyroid carcinomas. These findings imply that vitamin E and coenzyme Q as scavengers play some role in thyroid follicular cell hyperfunction or dysfunction.
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