Mónica M Belinchón

Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, United States

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Publications (3)14.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormones regulate brain development and function through the control of gene expression, mediated by binding of T(3) to nuclear receptors. Brain T(3) concentration is tightly controlled by homeostatic mechanisms regulating transport and metabolism of T(4) and T(3). We have examined the role of the inactivating enzyme type 3 deiodinase (D3) in the regulation of 43 thyroid hormone-dependent genes in the cerebral cortex of 30-d-old mice. D3 inactivation increased slightly the expression of two of 22 positively regulated genes and significantly decreased the expression of seven of 21 negatively regulated genes. Administration of high doses of T(3) led to significant changes in the expression of 12 positive genes and three negative genes in wild-type mice. The response to T(3) treatment was enhanced in D3-deficient mice, both in the number of genes and in the amplitude of the response, demonstrating the role of D3 in modulating T(3) action. Comparison of the effects on gene expression observed in D3 deficiency with those in hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and type 2 deiodinase (D2) deficiency revealed that the negative genes are more sensitive to D2 and D3 deficiencies than the positive genes. This observation indicates that, in normal physiological conditions, D2 and D3 play critical roles in maintaining local T(3) concentrations within a very narrow range. It also suggests that negatively and positively regulated genes do not have the same physiological significance or that their regulation by thyroid hormone obeys different paradigms at the molecular or cellular levels.
    Endocrinology 04/2012; 153(6):2919-28. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormones influence brain development through regulation of gene expression mediated by nuclear receptors. Nuclear receptor concentration increases rapidly in the human fetus during the second trimester, a period of high sensitivity of the brain to thyroid hormones. In the rat, the equivalent period is the last quarter of pregnancy. However, little is known about thyroid hormone action in the fetal brain, and in rodents, most thyroid hormone-regulated genes have been identified during the postnatal period. To identify potential targets of thyroid hormone in the fetal brain, we induced maternal and fetal hypothyroidism by maternal thyroidectomy followed by antithyroid drug (2-mercapto-1-methylimidazole) treatment. Microarray analysis identified differentially expressed genes in the cerebral cortex of hypothyroid fetuses on d 21 after conception. Gene function analysis revealed genes involved in the biogenesis of the cytoskeleton, neuronal migration and growth, and branching of neurites. Twenty percent of the differentially expressed genes were related to each other centered on the Ca(2+) and calmodulin-activated kinase (Camk4) pathway. Camk4 was regulated directly by T(3) in primary cultured neurons from fetal cortex, and the Camk4 protein was also induced by thyroid hormone. No differentially expressed genes were recovered when euthyroid fetuses from hypothyroid mothers were compared with fetuses from normal mothers. Although the results do not rule out a specific contribution from the mother, especially at earlier stages of pregnancy, they indicate that the main regulators of thyroid hormone-dependent, fetal brain gene expression near term are the fetal thyroid hormones.
    Endocrinology 02/2010; 151(2):810-20. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations of the gene expressing plasma membrane transporter for thyroid hormones MCT8 (SLC16A2) in humans lead to altered thyroid hormone levels and a severe neurodevelopmental disorder. Genetically engineered defect of the Mct8 gene in mice leads to similar thyroid hormone abnormalities but no obvious impairment of brain development or function. In this work we studied the relative role of the blood-brain barrier and the neuronal plasma cell membrane in the restricted access of T(3) to the target neurons. To this end we compared the effects of low doses of T(4) and T(3) on cerebellar structure and gene expression in wild-type (Wt) and Mct8 null male mice [Mct8-/y, knockout (KO)] made hypothyroid during the neonatal period. We found that compared with Wt animals, T(4) was considerably more potent than T(3) in the Mct8KO mice, indicating a restricted access of T(3), but not T(4), to neurons after systemic administration in vivo. In contrast, T(3) action in cultured cerebellar neurons was similar in Wt cells as in Mct8KO cells. The results suggest that the main restriction for T(3) entry into the neural target cells of the mouse deficient in Mct8 is at the blood-brain barrier.
    Endocrinology 02/2009; 150(5):2491-6. · 4.72 Impact Factor