Transcriptomic Characteristics Associated With Aging in the Thyroid Gland

Chien Liang Liu, Ming Nan Chien, Yi Chiung Hsu, Shih Ping Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The aging thyroid is associated with a plethora of morphological and functional changes. Limited studies have addressed the gene expression signature in the aging thyroid, except for sporadic reports using data from postmortem samples in the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project. In this investigation, we analyzed the RNA sequencing data of 58 samples of normal-appearing counterpart thyroid tissues from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Aging-correlated genes were identified by determining the Spearman rank-order correlation between patient age and gene expression level. Additionally, we performed gene set enrichment analysis and conducted a weighted correlation network analysis. The results were compared with those analyzed using the GTEx data. The over-represented protein class of aging-correlated genes is mainly metabolite interconversion enzymes. Our analyses identified alterations in immune and inflammatory responses, mitochondrial functions, cytoskeletal proteins, as well as amino acid and cytochrome P450 metabolism. There was no significant association between thyroid differentiation and age. Our findings may shed molecular light on thyroid disorders in the geriatric population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number859702
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - 25 May 2022


  • aging
  • cytoskeletal proteins
  • immune response
  • mitochondria
  • thyroid gland


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