Karl Bauer

Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute, Jena, Thuringia, Germany

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Publications (58)222.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In patients, inactivating mutations in the gene encoding the thyroid hormone-transporting monocarboxylate transporter 8 (Mct8) are associated with severe mental and neurological deficits and disturbed thyroid hormone levels. The latter phenotype characterized by high T3 and low T4 serum concentrations is replicated in Mct8 knockout (ko) mice, indicating that MCT8 deficiency interferes with thyroid hormone production and/or metabolism. Our studies of Mct8 ko mice indeed revealed increased thyroidal T3 and T4 concentrations without overt signs of a hyperactive thyroid gland. However, upon TSH stimulation Mct8 ko mice showed decreased T4 and increased T3 secretion compared with wild-type littermates. Moreover, similar changes in the thyroid hormone secretion pattern were observed in Mct8/Trhr1 double-ko mice, which are characterized by normal serum T3 levels and normal hepatic and renal D1 expression in the presence of very low T4 serum concentrations. These data strongly indicate that absence of Mct8 in the thyroid gland affects thyroid hormone efflux by shifting the ratio of the secreted hormones toward T3. To test this hypothesis, we generated Mct8/Pax8 double-mutant mice, which in addition to Mct8 lack a functional thyroid gland and are therefore completely athyroid. Following the injection of these animals with either T4 or T3, serum analysis revealed T3 concentrations similar to those observed in Pax8 ko mice under thyroid hormone replacement, indicating that indeed increased thyroidal T3 secretion in Mct8 ko mice represents an important pathogenic mechanism leading to the high serum T3 levels.
    Endocrinology 10/2010; 151(10):5053-62. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients carrying inactivating mutations in the gene encoding the thyroid hormone transporting monocarboxylate transporter (MCT)-8 suffer from a severe form of psychomotor retardation and exhibit abnormal serum thyroid hormone levels. The thyroidal phenotype characterized by high-serum T(3) and low-serum T(4) levels is also found in mice mutants deficient in MCT8 although the cause of these abnormalities is still unknown. Here we describe the consequences of MCT8 deficiency for renal thyroid hormone transport, metabolism, and function by studying MCT8 null mice and wild-type littermates. Whereas serum and urinary parameters do not indicate a strongly altered renal function, a pronounced induction of iodothyronine deiodinase type 1 expression together with increased renal T(3) and T(4) content point to a general hyperthyroid state of the kidneys in the absence of MCT8. Surprisingly, accumulation of peripherally injected T(4) and T(3) into the kidneys was found to be enhanced in the absence of MCT8, indicating that MCT8 deficiency either directly interferes with the renal efflux of thyroid hormones or activates indirectly other renal thyroid hormone transporters that preferentially mediate the renal uptake of thyroid hormones. Our findings indicate that the enhanced uptake and accumulation of T(4) in the kidneys of MCT8 null mice together with the increased renal conversion of T(4) into T(3) by increased renal deiodinase type 1 activities contributes to the generation of the low-serum T(4) and the increase in circulating T(3) levels, a hallmark of MCT8 deficiency.
    Endocrinology 12/2009; 151(2):802-9. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormone is important for pituitary development and maintenance. We previously reported that in the Pax8(-/-) mouse model of congenital hypothyroidism, lactotrophs are almost undetectable, whereas the thyrotrophs exhibit hyperplasia and hypertrophy. Because the latter might be caused by an overstimulation of thyrotrophs with TRH, we analyzed TRH-R1(-/-)Pax8(-/-) double-knockout mice, which miss a functional thyroid gland and the TRH transducing receptor-1 at pituitary target sites. Interestingly, in these double mutants, the hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the thyrotrophs still persist, suggesting that the phenotype is rather a direct consequence of the athyroidism of the animals. The increased expression of TSH in the Pax8(-/-) mice was paralleled by a strongly up-regulated expression of deiodinase type 2 (Dio2) in thyrotrophic cells. Moreover, coexpression of TSH and Dio2 could also be demonstrated in the pituitary of wild-type mice, underlining the important role of this enzyme in the negative feedback regulation of TSH by thyroid hormone. As another consequence of the athyroidism in the mutant mice, tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA expression was found to be also highly up-regulated in thyrotrophic cells of the pituitaries from Pax8(-/-) mice, whereas the transcript levels in the hypothalamus were not affected. Accordingly, tyrosine hydroxylase protein levels, enzyme activities, and ultimately dopamine concentrations were found to be strongly increased in the pituitaries of Pax8(-/-) mice compared with wild-type animals. These findings may explain in part the reduced number of lactotrophs found in the pituitary of athyroid Pax8(-/-) mice and suggest a novel paracrine regulatory mechanism of lactotroph activity.
    Endocrinology 06/2009; 150(9):4443-9. · 4.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Due to their property to bind to phospholipids in a Ca(2)(+)-dependent manner, proteins of the annexin superfamily are involved in many membrane-related events and thus in various forms of physiological and pathological processes. We were therefore interested in analyzing the mRNA expression of the annexins in the severely disorganized pituitaries of the athyroid Pax8(-/-) mice in comparison with that of control animals. In neither condition was mRNA expression of the annexins A3, A7, A8, A9, A11, and A13 detectable. The annexins A2, A4, and A6 were equally expressed in wild-type and Pax8(-/-) mice. Transcript levels of A1 and A10 were highly increased and those of A5 were significantly decreased in the athyroid mutants compared with controls. Treatment of Pax8(-/-) mice with physiological doses of thyroxine for 3 days normalized the mRNA expression of A1, A5, and A10 indicating that the expression of these annexins is directly regulated by thyroid hormone (TH). Since A5 exhibits by far the highest transcript levels of all annexins in the pituitary and its regulation by TH could be also confirmed at the protein level, we analyzed the mRNA expression of pituitary hormones in A5(-/-) mice. In these mutants, only the beta-FSH mRNA expression was found to be significantly reduced, while the mRNA expression levels of the other pituitary hormones were not altered. These results support the concept that annexins might serve important albeit redundant functions as modulators of pituitary hormone secretion.
    Journal of Endocrinology 01/2008; 195(3):385-92. · 3.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1) is a pleiotropic cytokine with potent neurotrophic and immunosuppressive properties that is upregulated after injury, but also expressed in the normal nervous system. In the current study, we examined the regulation of TGFbeta1 and the effects of TGFbeta1 deletion on cellular response in the uninjured adult brain and in the injured and regenerating facial motor nucleus. To avoid lethal autoimmune inflammation within 3 weeks after birth in TGFbeta1-deficient mice, this study was performed on a T- and B-cell-deficient RAG2-/- background. Compared with wild-type siblings, homozygous deletion of TGFbeta1 resulted in an extensive inflammatory response in otherwise uninjured brain parenchyma. Astrocytes increased in GFAP and CD44 immunoreactivity; microglia showed proliferative activity, expression of phagocytosis-associated markers [alphaXbeta2, B7.2, and MHC1 (major histocompatibility complex type 1)], and reduced branching. Ultrastructural analysis revealed focal blockade of axonal transport, perinodal damming of axonal organelles, focal demyelination, and myelin debris in granule-rich, phagocytic microglia. After facial axotomy, absence of TGFbeta1 led to a fourfold increase in neuronal cell death (52 vs 13%), decreased central axonal sprouting, and significant delay in functional recovery. It also interfered with the microglial response, resulting in a diminished expression of early activation markers [ICAM1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1), alpha6beta1, and alphaMbeta2] and reduced proliferation. In line with axonal and glial findings in the otherwise uninjured CNS, absence of endogenous TGFbeta1 also caused an approximately 10% reduction in the number of normal motoneurons, pointing to an ongoing and potent trophic role of this anti-inflammatory cytokine in the normal as well as in the injured brain.
    Journal of Neuroscience 11/2007; 27(42):11201-13. · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) displays multiple CNS-mediated actions that have long been recognized to have therapeutic potential in treating a wide range of neurological disorders. Investigations of CNS functions and clinical use of TRH are hindered, however, due to its rapid degradation by TRH-degrading ectoenzyme (TRH-DE). We now report the discovery of a set of first-in-class compounds that display unique ability to both potently inhibit TRH-DE and bind to central TRH receptors with unparalleled affinity. This dual pharmacological activity within one molecular entity was found through selective manipulation of peptide stereochemistry. Notably, the lead compound of this set, L-pyroglutamyl-L-asparaginyl-L-prolyl-D-tyrosyl-D-tryptophan amide (Glp-Asn-Pro-D-Tyr-D-TrpNH(2)), is effective in vivo at producing and potentiating central actions of TRH without evoking release of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Specifically, this peptide displayed high plasma stability and combined potent inhibition of TRH-DE (K(i) 151 nM) with high affinity binding to central TRH receptors (K(i) 6.8 nM). Moreover, intraperitoneal injection of this peptide mimicked and augmented the effects of TRH on behavioural activity in rat. Analogous to TRH, it also antagonized pentobarbital-induced narcosis when administered intravenously. This discovery provides new opportunities for probing the role of TRH actions in the CNS and a basis for development of novel TRH-based neurotherapeutics.
    Neuropharmacology 07/2007; 52(7):1472-81. · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In humans, inactivating mutations in the gene of the thyroid hormone transporter monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8; SLC16A2) lead to severe forms of psychomotor retardation combined with imbalanced thyroid hormone serum levels. The MCT8-null mice described here, however, developed without overt deficits but also exhibited distorted 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) serum levels, resulting in increased hepatic activity of type 1 deiodinase (D1). In the mutants' brains, entry of T4 was not affected, but uptake of T3 was diminished. Moreover, the T4 and T3 content in the brain of MCT8-null mice was decreased, the activity of D2 was increased, and D3 activity was decreased, indicating the hypothyroid state of this tissue. In the CNS, analysis of T3 target genes revealed that in the mutants, the neuronal T3 uptake was impaired in an area-specific manner, with strongly elevated thyrotropin-releasing hormone transcript levels in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and slightly decreased RC3 mRNA expression in striatal neurons; however, cerebellar Purkinje cells appeared unaffected, since they did not exhibit dendritic outgrowth defects and responded normally to T3 treatment in vitro. In conclusion, the circulating thyroid hormone levels of MCT8-null mice closely resemble those of humans with MCT8 mutations, yet in the mice, CNS development is only partially affected.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 04/2007; 117(3):627-35. · 13.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Absence of the Pax8 gene results in congenital hypothyroidism in mice, and mutations of the Pax8 gene have been associated with thyroid hypoplasia in humans. As in humans, treatment of congenital hypothyroid Pax8 null mice with thyroxine normalizes the known deficits. However, we report here that thyroxine-substituted female Pax8(-/-) mice are infertile because they lack a functional uterus revealing only remnants of myometrial tissue. In addition, the vaginal opening is absent. Interestingly, oviduct, cervix, and upper parts of the vagina are not affected, although Pax8 expression has been described in the entire Müllerian duct before. Because the natural outflow of the oviduct is impaired, a hydrosalpinx develops frequently. Folliculogenesis, ovarian hormone production, and transcription of pituitary hormones are in a normal range. Thus, infertility in Pax8(-/-) mice seems to be due to a defect in development of the Müllerian duct rather than to hormonal imbalance, pointing to a direct morphogenic role for Pax8 in uterine development. Because we demonstrated Pax8 expression not only in the uterine epithelium of mice but also in the human endometrium, it remains to be elucidated whether adequate development of the uterus may also be affected in congenital hypothyroid female patients with mutations in the Pax8 gene.
    Endocrinology 03/2007; 148(2):719-25. · 4.64 Impact Factor
  • Journal of clinical investigation. 03/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: Severe forms of congenital hypothyroidism lead to serious clinical symptoms if thyroid hormone replacement therapy is not instituted immediately after birth. In this study, Pax8(-/-) mice that are born without a thyroid gland were used as an animal model to study the consequences of congenital hypothyroidism. As expected, adequate treatment of these animals with thyroxine restored the general deficits of congenital hypothyroidism; however, Pax8-deficient male mice were infertile. We report here that in these mice, the efferent ducts and epididymides are either absent or the efferent ducts exhibit a reduced lumen and extensive connective tissue, which appears to impair testicular drainage and subsequently leads to complete absence of spermatozoa from the epididymis. The results suggest that, starting with the onset of pubertal testicular fluid secretion, a backpressure is created in the testis by the absence of efferent ducts or constriction of their tubule lumen when present. This subsequently leads to secondary disorganization of the seminiferous epithelium that increases with age, resulting in mixed atrophy of the testis in the adult. Serum testosterone levels as well as mRNA expression of anterior pituitary hormones are in the normal range, indicating that the observed infertility is not due to hormonal imbalance, but rather to a developmental defect of the efferent ducts. The demonstration of Pax8 expression in the epithelia of the epididymis and the efferent ducts suggests a direct morphogenic role of Pax8 in the development of these organs. It remains to be elucidated whether congenital hypothyroid male patients with mutations in the Pax8 gene are similarly affected.
    Journal of Endocrinology 02/2007; 192(1):99-109. · 3.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The actions and the metabolism of thyroid hormone are intracellular events that require the transport of iodothyronines across the plasma membrane. It is increasingly clear that this process does not occur by simple diffusion, but is facilitated by transport proteins. Only recently have iodothyronine transporters been identified at the molecular level, of which organic anion transporting polypeptide 1C1 and monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8) deserve special mention, because of their high activity and specificity for iodothyronines. Organic anion transporting polypeptide 1C1 is almost exclusively expressed in brain capillaries, and may be crucial for the transport of the prohormone T4 across the blood-brain barrier. MCT8 is also expressed in the brain--in particular, in neurons--but also in other tissues. MCT8 seems to be especially important for the uptake of active hormone T3 into neurons, which is essential for optimal brain development. T3 is produced from T4 by type 2 deiodinase in neighboring astrocytes. Neurons express type 3 deiodinase, the enzyme that terminates T3 activity. The SLC16A2 (formerly MCT8) gene is located on chromosome Xq13.2 and has recently been associated with a syndrome combining severe, X-linked, psychomotor retardation and high serum T3 levels. In over 20 families, where affected males have developed this syndrome, several mutations in MCT8 have been identified. The disease mechanism is thought to involve a defect in the neuronal entry of T3 and, therefore, in the action and metabolism of T3 in these cells. This defect results in impaired neurological development and a decrease in T3 clearance.
    Nature Clinical Practice Endocrinology &#38 Metabolism 10/2006; 2(9):512-23. · 7.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormone (TH or T3) and TH-receptor beta (TRbeta) have been reported to be relevant for cochlear development and hearing function. Mutations in the TRbeta gene result in deafness associated with resistance to TH syndrome. The effect of TRalpha1 on neither hearing function nor cochlear T3 target genes has been described to date. It is also uncertain whether TRalpha1 and TRbeta can act simultaneously on different target genes within a single cell. We focused on two concomitantly expressed outer hair cell genes, the potassium channel Kcnq4 and the motor protein prestin Slc26a5. In outer hair cells, TH enhanced the expression of the prestin gene through TRbeta. Simultaneously Kcnq4 expression was activated in the same cells by derepression of TRalpha1 aporeceptors mediated by an identified THresponse element, which modulates KCNQ4 promoter activity. We show that T3 target genes can differ in their sensitivity to TH receptors having the ligand either bound (holoreceptors) or not bound (aporeceptors) within single cells, and suggest a role for TRalpha1 in final cell differentiation.
    Journal of Cell Science 08/2006; 119(Pt 14):2975-84. · 5.33 Impact Factor
  • Karl Bauer
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    ABSTRACT: Carnosine (beta-alanyl-histidine) and homocarnosine (gamma-aminobutyryl-histidine) are major constituents of excitable tissues, brain and skeletal muscles, but their physiological functions are yet unknown. Using primary cell culture systems, synthesis and uptake of carnosine exclusively by glial cells could be demonstrated. Uptake of carnosine was found to be mediated by a high affinity, energy-dependent dipeptide transport system, subsequently identified as the peptide transporter PepT2. With the synthesis of beta-Ala-Lys-Nepsilon-AMCA as a fluorescent reporter molecule, accumulation of this dipeptide derivative could be monitored under viable conditions not only in astroglia cells but also in folliculostellate cells of the anterior pituitary and in gonadal resident macrophages. This reporter dipeptide provided a most valuable tool to identify an intrapituitary communication system by tracing folliculostellate cells in acute slice preparation. Moreover, this substance could also be used to prepare pituitary cell cultures enriched with or depleted of folliculostellate cells that are needed for further studies.
    Neurochemical Research 11/2005; 30(10):1339-45. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibitors of PPII (pyroglutamyl-peptidase II) (EC have potential applications as investigative and therapeutic agents. The rational design of inhibitors is hindered, however, by the lack of an experimental structure for PPII. Previous studies have demonstrated that replacement of histidine in TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) with asparagine produces a competitive PPII inhibitor (Ki 17.5 microM). To gain further insight into which functional groups are significant for inhibitory activity, we investigated the effects on inhibition of structural modifications to Glp-Asn-ProNH2 (pyroglutamyl-asparaginyl-prolineamide). Synthesis and kinetic analysis of a diverse series of carboxamide and C-terminally extended Glp-Asn-ProNH2 analogues were undertaken. Extensive quantitative structure-activity relationships were generated, which indicated that key functionalities in the basic molecular structure of the inhibitors combine in a unique way to cause PPII inhibition. Data from kinetic and molecular modelling studies suggest that hydrogen bonding between the asparagine side chain and PPII may provide a basis for the inhibitory properties of the asparagine-containing peptides. Prolineamide appeared to be important for interaction with the S2' subsite, but some modifications were tolerated. Extension of Glp-Asn-ProNH2 with hydrophobic amino acids at the C-terminus led to a novel set of PPII inhibitors active in vitro at nanomolar concentrations. Such inhibitors were shown to enhance recovery of TRH released from rat brain slices. Glp-Asn-Pro-Tyr-Trp-Trp-7-amido-4-methylcoumarin displayed a Ki of 1 nM, making it the most potent competitive PPII inhibitor described to date. PPII inhibitors with this level of potency should find application in exploring the biological functions of TRH and PPII, and potentially provide a basis for development of novel therapeutics.
    Biochemical Journal 08/2005; 389(Pt 2):569-76. · 4.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Pax8(-/-) mouse provides an ideal animal model to study the consequences of congenital hypothyroidism, because its only known defect is the absence of thyroid follicular cells. Pax8(-/-) mice are, therefore, completely athyroid in postnatal life and die around weaning unless they are substituted with thyroid hormones. As reported recently, Pax8(-/-) mice can also be rescued and survive to adulthood by the additional elimination of the entire thyroid hormone receptor alpha (TRalpha) gene, yielding Pax8(-/-)TRalpha(o/o) double-knockout animals. This observation has led to the hypothesis that unliganded TRalpha1 might be responsible for the lethal phenotype observed in Pax8(-/-) animals. In this study we report the generation of Pax8(-/-)TRalpha1(-/-) double-knockout mice that still express the non-T(3)-binding TR isoforms alpha2 and Deltaalpha2. These animals closely resemble the phenotype of Pax8(-/-) mice, including growth retardation and a completely distorted appearance of the pituitary with thyrotroph hyperplasia and hypertrophy, extremely high TSH mRNA levels, reduced GH mRNA expression, and the almost complete absence of lactotrophs. Like Pax8(-/-) mice, Pax8(-/-)TRalpha1(-/-) compound mutants die around weaning unless they are substituted with thyroid hormones. These findings do not support the previous interpretation that the short life span of Pax8(-/-) mice is due to the negative effects of the TRalpha1 aporeceptor, but, rather, suggest a more complex mechanism involving TRalpha2 and an unliganded TR isoform.
    Endocrinology 08/2005; 146(7):3179-84. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent genetic analysis in several patients presenting a severe form of X-linked psychomotor retardation combined with abnormal thyroid hormone (TH) levels have revealed mutations or deletions in the gene of the monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8). Because in vitro MCT8 functions as a TH transporter, the complex clinical picture of these patients indicated an important role for MCT8 in TH-dependent processes of brain development. To provide a clue to the cellular function of MCT8 in brain, we studied the expression of MCT8 mRNA in the murine central nervous system by in situ hybridization histochemistry. In addition to the choroid plexus structures, the highest transcript levels were found in neo- and allocortical regions (e.g. olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and amygdala), moderate signal intensities in striatum and cerebellum, and low levels in a few neuroendocrine nuclei. Colocalization studies revealed that MCT8 is predominantly expressed in neurons. Together with the spatiotemporal expression pattern of MCT8 during the perinatal period, these results strongly indicate that MCT8 plays an important role for proper central nervous system development by transporting TH into neurons as its main target cells.
    Endocrinology 05/2005; 146(4):1701-6. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is a well-known fibroblast mitogen and angiogenic factor that plays an important role in bone formation during embryogenesis. In the adult, CTGF is involved in wound healing as well as fibrotic and vascular disease. However, little is known about its physiological functions under non-pathological conditions in the adult organism. Here, we describe the cellular site of the CTGF mRNA expression in adult male and female mice as revealed by in situ hybridization histochemistry. Strong and persistent CTGF gene expression was particularly prominent in the mesenchyme of the cardiovascular system (aorta, auricular tissue, renal glomeruli), the mesenchyme surrounding the ovarian follicles or the testicular tubes in the gonadal tissue, and the subcapsular mesenchyme bordering densely innervated parts of whisker hair vibrissae. CTGF hybridization signals were not observed in the mesenchyme of many other organs including gut, muscle, liver or most parts of the lymphatic tissue. Strong expression was also present in the primary (early) ovarian follicles, the epithelium of the deep uterine glands and on myenteric ganglia neurons. These data suggest a selective and continuous mesenchymal function in the gonads and those tissues attracting very strong vascular supply or peripheral innervation. CTGF may also be involved in the cyclical proliferation of the uterine gland epithelium and in the early stages of follicular maturation, as well as in the neuropeptide regulation in the gut, cardiovascular and renal systems.
    Growth Factors 04/2005; 23(1):43-53. · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To provide an animal model of central hypothyroidism, mice deficient in the TRH-receptor 1 (TRH-R1) gene were generated by homologous recombination. The pituitaries of TRH-R1-/- mice are devoid of any TRH-binding capacity, demonstrating that TRH-R1 is the only receptor localized on TRH target cells of the pituitary. With the exception of some retardation in growth rate, TRH-R1-/- mice appear normal, but compared with control animals they exhibit a considerable decrease in serum T(3), T(4), and prolactin (PRL) levels but not in serum TSH levels. In situ hybridization histochemistry and real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that in adult TRH-R1-/- animals TSHbeta-mRNA expression is not impaired whereas PRL mRNA and GH mRNA levels are considerably reduced compared with control mice. The numbers of thyrotropes, somatotropes, and lactotropes, however, are not affected by the deletion of the TRH-R1 gene. The mutant mice are fertile, and the dams nourish their pups well, indicating that TRH is not a decisive factor for suckling-induced PRL release. In situ hybridization and quantitative RT-PCR analysis, furthermore, revealed that, as in control animals, pituitary PRL-mRNA expression in TRH-R1-/- is considerably increased during lactation, albeit strongly reduced as compared with lactating control animals.
    Molecular Endocrinology 07/2004; 18(6):1450-60. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Signaling mechanisms in pituitary morphogenesis as well as pituitary cell fate determination during early embryonic development are relatively well characterized. In contrast, the cues that determine the progression of the various anterior pituitary cell types during postnatal periods are poorly defined. Pax8-/- mice, which are born without a thyroid gland, were used to study the influence of thyroid hormones on the expression of pituitary hormones during early postnatal life. Serum pituitary hormones were determined by RIAs, and the pituitaries were analyzed by Northern blotting, in situ hybridization histochemistry, and immunocytochemistry. In 21-d-old Pax8-/- mice, the cellular composition of the anterior pituitary was dramatically distorted. Thyrotropes exhibited hypertrophy and hyperplasia, the number of detectable somatotropes was drastically reduced, and lactotropes were almost undetectable. Expression of LH and FSH was also reduced, but ACTH and proopiomelanocortin expression was not significantly different. Serum pituitary hormone levels were changed correspondingly. T(4) replacement therapy for variable time periods normalized TSH and GH mRNA expression within 3 d but not prolactin expression, not even when T(4) was administered for 6 d in combination with estradiol. These findings reveal the importance of thyroid hormones in developing the appropriate proportions of anterior pituitary cell types, especially with regard to lactotropes.
    Endocrinology 04/2004; 145(3):1276-83. · 4.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pax8-/- mice do not develop thyroid follicular structures and thus provide an ideal animal model to study the consequences of congenital hypothyroidism. Despite their athyroidism, Pax8-/- mice survive up to postnatal day 21 (P21). No auditory brain stem responses (ABR) to sound could be recorded in these animals at 130 dB SPL, even at P21, when hearing reaches adult sensitivity in control mice. Abnormalities in the outer and middle ear structures were found in a considerable percentage of Pax8-/- animals. Maturation of the inner ear appeared delayed by about 1 week with respect to euthyroid controls. Hearing of adult Pax8-/- mice could be nearly normalized by early postnatal substitution with thyroxine (T(4)), but structural and functional restoration of hearing was incomplete. Even when T(4) substitution was initiated at P1, ABR thresholds, measured at 6 weeks of age or more, were increased by about 20 dB, and each day of delay in the start of T(4) substitution resulted in an additional threshold loss of about 4 dB. The most prominent structural deficit in Pax8-/- animals in which T(4) substitution was started at P8 or later was an abnormally thick tectorial membrane. In these late-substituted animals, disarray of stereovilli from inner and outer hair cells was observed and also outer hair cell loss was found, predominantly in the basal part of the cochlea. The degree of structural disorder increased the later T(4) substitution was initiated. The structural and functional consequences of postnatal athyroidism observed in Pax8-/- mice are largely in agreement with and extend those data obtained from hypothyroid animal models in which hypothyroidism was induced by goitrogenic agents (methimazole, propylthiouracil) or animal models with disrupted genes for the TSH receptor or the thyroid hormone receptors. The hearing loss and also the recovery effect by T(4) substitution in Pax8-/- mice is larger than that in the other models. Although Pax8-/- mice are born by euthyroid Pax8+/- dams, the Pax8-/- phenotype could not be completely restored by immediate postnatal T(4) substitution, indicating that some deficits are the consequence of prenatal T(4) deficiency of the offspring.
    Audiology and Neurotology 01/2004; 9(2):88-106. · 1.85 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
222.97 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2010
    • Leibniz Institute for Age Research - Fritz Lipmann Institute
      Jena, Thuringia, Germany
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Universitätsklinikum Münster
      • Centrum für Reproduktionsmedizin und Andrologie
      Muenster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2008–2009
    • Karolinska Institutet
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2005
    • Max Planck Society
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1995–2005
    • Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine
      Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1999–2000
    • Trinity College Dublin
      • Biochemistry
      Dublin, L, Ireland
  • 1995–2000
    • University of Wuerzburg
      • Department of Internal Medicine II
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany