Thyroxine: MIFfed about sepsis

A U.S. research team has shown that d-thyroxine, an old hyperlipidemia drug from Abbott Laboratories,promotes survival in mouse models of sepsis by inhibiting the proinflammatory cytokine MIF.1 The team is planning a clinical trial of the drug to treat sepsis, but a better approach may be to develop thyroxine analogs.

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) plays a key role in sepsis pathogenesis, and high serum levels of MIF in severe sepsis are associated with poor outcomes.2 Additionally, sepsis patients often have low serum levels of the thyroid hormone l-thyroxine (levothyroxine; T4), and these low levels are associated with severe disease and poor prognosis.3

Based on those two observations, a team led by Yousef

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