Evidence for a role of the type III-iodothyronine deiodinase in the regulation of 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine content in the human central nervous system.

Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Pisa, Italy.
European Journal of Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 3.69). 07/2001; 144(6):577-83. DOI: 10.1530/eje.0.1440577
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Thyroid hormone is essential for maintaining normal neurological functions both during development and in adult life. Type III-iodothyronine deiodinase (D3) degrades thyroid hormones by converting thyroxine and 3,5,3'-triiodothyroinine (T3) to inactive metabolites. A regional expression of D3 activity has been observed in the human central nervous system (CNS), and a critical role for D3 has been suggested in the regulation of local T3 content in concert with other enzymes.
This study was undertaken to further characterize D3 activity in human CNS and to understand its role in the local regulation of T3 content.
Autoptic specimens from various areas of human CNS were obtained 6--27 h postmortem from 14 donors who died from cardiovascular accident, neoplastic disease or infectious disease. D3 was determined by measuring the conversion of T3 to 3,3'-diiodothyronine. The T3 content was measured by radioimmunoassay in ethanol extracts, using a specific antiserum.
High levels of D3 activity were observed in hippocampus and temporal cortex, lower levels being found in the thalamus, hypothalamus, midbrain cerebellum, parietal and frontal cortex, and brain stem. An inverse relationship between D3 activity and T3 content in these areas was demonstrated.
We have concluded that D3 contributes to the local regulation of T3 content in the human CNS.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Astrocyte cells clearly play a role in neural development, but nowadays their total action is seen as a far wider one. Recent findings consider them as stem cells, involved in the control of most facets of functional neural networks. Astrocytes play a central role in thyroid hormone metabolism in the brain, being the principal transporters of thyroxine from the blood, responsible for its conversion to 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine and hence supplying the neural tissues with the biologically active form of the hormone. Specific thyroid hormone transporters play an essential role in this regulatory system. The presence of thyroid hormone receptors has been demonstrated in cultured astrocytes. Furthermore, thyroid hormone regulates several aspects of astrocyte differentiation and maturation, including the production of extracellular matrix proteins and growth factors, and thus controls neuronal growth and neuritogenesis. Therefore, astrocytes are currently suggested as important mediators of thyroid hormone in neuronal development.
    Journal of Endocrinology 06/2006; 189(2):189-97. DOI:10.1677/joe.1.06680 · 3.59 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: N-TERA-2 cl/D1 (NT2) cells, a human embryonal cell line with characteristics of central nervous system precursor cells, were utilised to study thyroid hormone action during early neuronal growth and differentiation. Undifferentiated NT2 cells expressed mRNAs encoding thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) alpha1, alpha2 and beta1, iodothyronine deiodinases types 2 (D2) and 3 (D3) (which act as the pre-receptor regulators), and the thyroid hormone-responsive genes myelin basic protein (MBP) and neuroendocrine specific protein A (NSP-A). When terminally differentiated into post-mitotic neurons (hNT), TRalpha1 and TRbeta1 mRNA expression was decreased by 74% (P=0.05) and 95% (P<0.0001) respectively, while NSP-A mRNA increased 7-fold (P<0.05). However, mRNAs encoding TRalpha2, D2, D3 and MBP did not alter significantly upon neuronal differentiation and neither did activities of D2 and D3. With increasing 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T(3)) concentrations, TRbeta1 mRNA expression in cultured NT2 cells increased 2-fold at 10 nM T(3) and 1.3-fold at 100 nM T(3) (P<0.05) compared with that in T(3)-free media but no change was seen with T(3) treatment of hNT cells. D3 mRNA expression in NT2 cells also increased 3-fold at 10 nM T(3) (P=0.01) and 2.4-fold at 100 nM T(3) (P<0.05) compared with control, but there was no change in D3 enzyme activity. In contrast there was a 20% reduction in D3 mRNA expression in hNT cells at 10 nM T(3) (P<0.05) compared with control, with accompanying reductions in D3 activity with increasing T(3) concentrations (P<0.05). There was no significant change in the expression of the TRalpha isoforms, D2, MBP and NSP-A with increasing T(3) concentrations in either NT2 or hNT cells. Undifferentiated NT2 and differentiated hNT cells show differing patterns of T(3)-responsiveness, suggesting that there are different regulatory factors operating within these cell types.
    Journal of Endocrinology 08/2003; 178(1):159-67. · 3.59 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During the last few decades our understanding of the possible role of thyroid hormones during brain development has increased and contributed to resolve previously discordant hypotheses, although much remains to be clarified. Thyroid hormones of maternal origin are present in the fetal compartment, despite the very efficient uterine-placental ‘barrier’, necessary to avoid potentially toxic concentrations of free T4 and T3 from reaching fetal tissues before they are required for development. T3 remains low throughout pregnancy, whereas FT4 in fetal fluids increases rapidly to adult levels, and is determined by the maternal availability of T4. It is present in embryonic fluids 4 weeks after conception, with FT4 steadily increasing to biologically relevant values. T3, generated from T4 in the cerebral cortex, reaches adult values by mid-gestation and is partly bound to specific nuclear receptor isoforms. Iodothyronine deioidinases are important for the spatial and temporal regulation of T3 bioavailability, tailored to the differing and changing requirements of thyroid hormone-sensitive genes in different brain structures, but other regulatory mechanism(s) are likely to be involved. Maternal transfer constitutes a major fraction of fetal serum T4, even after onset of fetal thyroid secretion, and continues to have an important protective role in fetal neurodevelopment until birth.Prompt treatment of maternal hypothyroidism, identified by increased TSH, is being advocated to mitigate a negative effect on the woman and her child. However, even a moderate transient period of maternal hypothyroxinemia at the beginning of rat neurogenesis disrupts neuronal migration into cortical layers. These findings reinforce the epidemiological evidence that early maternal hypothyroxinemia—when neuronal migratory waves are starting—is potentially damaging for the child. Detection of an inappropiate first trimester FT4 surge that may not result in increased TSH, may be crucial for the prevention of learning disabilities in a significant number of unborn children.
    Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 06/2004; 18(2):225-248. DOI:10.1016/S1521-690X(04)00022-3 · 4.91 Impact Factor


Available from