• Triiodothyronine;
  • Insulin;
  • Digoxin;
  • Immune system;
  • Thyroid;
  • White blood cells;
  • Mast cells


The presence or absence of four biologically active hormone or hormone-like molecules was studied in rat immune cells using specific antibodies with flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) was not demonstrable at all, digoxin was present only in blood lymphocytes, and insulin was found in the monocyte-macrophage-granulocyte group in peritoneal fluid and thymic lymphocytes. Immunologically demonstrable triiodothyronine (T3) was present in all cells studied (lymphocytes, mast cells and monocyte-macrophage-granulocytes in peritoneal fluid and blood, and thymic lymphocytes). While there is no explanation of the presence of digoxin and insulin, it is assumed that T3 is an extrathyroidal source of the hormone that is needed for maintaining cell proliferation and normal status in the immune system, particularly as it is absent in the case of transitional or durable thyroid deficiency.