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S. Iossa, G. Liverini and A. Barletta

ABSTRACT

We have examined the relationship between the changes in resting metabolic rate (RMR) and those in hepatic metabolism induced by hyperthyroidism and fasting for 24 h. We found that hyperthyroidism induced a significant increase in RMR, while fasting for 24 h reduced RMR in euthyroid but not in hyperthyroid rats. We have also measured oxygen consumption in isolated hepatocytes from euthyroid and hyperthyroid rats, fed or fasted for 24 h. Hyperthyroidism induced an increase in oxygen consumption in rat liver cells; fasting for 24 h increased respiratory rates in isolated liver cells from euthyroid but not from hyperthyroid rats.

The findings showed that hyperthyroidism and fasting for 24 h have opposite effects on RMR but similar effects on hepatic metabolism. The results also indicated that the increase in RMR found in hyperthyroid rats is partly due to an increase in hepatic metabolism, while no correlation exists between variations in resting and hepatic metabolism induced by 24-h fasting.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 135, 45–51

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S G Watson, A D Radford, A Kipar, P Ibarrola and L Blackwood

Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrinopathy in cats, and is both clinically and histopathologically very similar to human toxic nodular goitre (TNG). Molecular studies on human TNG have revealed the presence of mis-sense mutations in the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) gene, most frequently in exon 10. Our hypothesis was that similar mutations exist in hyperthyroid cats. Genomic DNA was extracted from 134 hyperplastic/ adenomatous nodules (from 50 hyperthyroid cats), and analysed for the presence of mutations in exon 10 of the TSHR gene. 11 different mutations were detected, one silent and 10 mis-sense, of which nine were somatic mutations. 28 of the 50 cats (67/134 nodules) had at least one mis-sense mutation. The mis-sense mutations were Met-452→Thr in 17 cats (35 nodules), Ser-504→Arg (two different mutational forms) in two cats (two nodules), Val-508→Arg in one cat (three nodules), Arg-530→Gln in one cat (two nodules), Val-557→Leu in 13 cats (36 nodules), Thr-631→Ala or Thr-631→Phe (each mutation seen in one nodule of one cat), Asp-632→Tyr in six cats (10 nodules) and Asp-632→His in one cat (one nodule). Five of these mutations have been associated previously with human hyperthyroidism. Of the 41 cats for which more than one nodule was available, 14 had nodules with different mutations. The identification of a potential genetic basis for feline hyperthyroidism is novel, increases our understanding of the pathogenesis of this significant feline disease, and confirms its similarity to TNG.

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S. Iossa, G. Liverini and A. Barletta

ABSTRACT

The effects of thyroid state on liver mitochondrial protein mass was investigated in rats at 24 and 4 °C, as was oxidative phosphorylation using substrates which represent the final catabolic products of the metabolic fuels.

In rats at 24 °C, a significant increase in mitochondrial protein mass (about +40%) was observed only in hyperthyroid animals, while a significant increase due to cold exposure was found in hypothyroid (+ 45%) and euthyroid (+ 35%) rats.

In rats at 24 °C, hypothyroidism significantly decreased the oxidation of glutamate and palmitoyl carnitine but not of pyruvate, while hyperthyroidism only increased the oxidation of palmitoyl carnitine. On the other hand, exposure to cold significantly increased the oxidation of glutamate and pyruvate only in the presence of tri-iodothyronine.

Our results underline not only the fact that a simple and single hypothesis for thyroid effects cannot be adopted, but also that any study concerning oxidative metabolism should be carried out using different substrates and involving different pathways of oxidation.

Journal of Endocrinology (1991) 131, 67–73

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ST Chen, JD Lin and KH Lin

The expression of TSH receptor (TSHR) gene is frequently lost in thyroid cancers during the process of dedifferentiation that involves perturbation of several nuclear transcription factors. We have established that thyroid hormone receptor beta1 (TRbeta1) is associated with the loss of TSHR gene expression in an anaplastic human thyroid cancer cell line, ARO. To demonstrate that TRbeta1 regulates TSHR gene expression, we performed electrophoresis mobility shift and 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) transactivation assays. As expected, TRbeta1 bound the synthesized oligomer containing TSHR promoter sequence by heterodimerizing with retinoid X receptor. When a chimeric reporter pTRCAT5'-146 enclosing the minimal TSHR promoter was applied for T3 transactivation assay, two TRbeta1-overexpressing transfectants of ARO cells (ARO1 and ARO2) demonstrated higher basal activity than their parental cells. Consequentially, T3 suppressed the reporter gene activity only in ARO1 and ARO2, but not in ARO cells. A point mutation creating a cAMP response element (CRE) in the reporter pTRCAT5'-146 CRE led to T3-induced suppression of the reporter gene in ARO cells without changing the basal or T3-induced activities in ARO1 and ARO2 cells. We conclude that the regulatory effect of T3 on TSHR gene expression is TR- and promoter DNA sequence-determined.

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C Voigt, HP Holzapfel, S Meyer and R Paschke

G-protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of human diseases such as arterial hypertension, heart failure and rheumatoid arthritis. While G-protein-coupled receptor kinases 2 and 5 have been shown to be involved in the desensitization of the rat thyrotropin receptor (TSHR), their role in the pathophysiology of hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules (HTNs) is unknown. Therefore, we analyzed the expression pattern of the known GRKs in human thyroid tissue and investigated their function in the pathology of HTNs. The expression of different GRKs in human thyroid and HTNs was measured by Western blotting. The influence of GRK expression on TSHR function was analyzed by coexpression experiments in HEK 293 cells. We demonstrate that in addition to GRKs 2, 5 and 6, GRKs 3 and 4 are also expressed in the human thyroid. GRKs 2, 3, 5 and 6 are able to desensitize the TSHR in vitro. This GRK-induced desensitization is amplified by the additional over-expression of beta-arrestin 1 or 2. We did not find any mutations in the GRKs 2, 3 and 5 from 14 HTNs without TSHR mutations and Gsalpha mutations. The expression of GRKs 3 and 4 was increased in HTNs independently from the existence of TSHR mutations or Gsalpha mutations. In conclusion, the increased expression of GRK 3 in HTNs and the ability of GRK 3 to desensitize the TSHR in vitro, suggest a potential role for GRK 3 as a negative feedback regulator for the constitutively activated cAMP pathway in HTNs.

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Y Wang, L P Wu, J Fu, H J Lv, X Y Guan, L Xu, P Chen, C Q Gao, P Hou, M J Ji and B Y Shi

Graves' disease (GD) is a common organ-specific autoimmune disease with the prevalence between 0.5 and 2% in women. Several lines of evidence indicate that the shed A-subunit rather than the full-length thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) is the autoantigen that triggers autoimmunity and leads to hyperthyroidism. We have for the first time induced GD in female rhesus monkeys, which exhibit greater similarity to patients with GD than previous rodent models. After final immunization, the monkeys injected with adenovirus expressing the A-subunit of TSHR (A-sub-Ad) showed some characteristics of GD. When compared with controls, all the test monkeys had significantly higher TSHR antibody levels, half of them had increased total thyroxine (T4) and free T4, and 50% developed goiter. To better understand the underlying mechanisms, quantitative studies on subpopulations of CD4+T helper cells were carried out. The data indicated that this GD model involved a mixed Th1 and Th2 response. Declined Treg proportions and increased Th17:Treg ratio are also observed. Our rhesus monkey model successfully mimicked GD in humans in many aspects. It would be a useful tool for furthering our understanding of the pathogenesis of GD and would potentially shorten the distance toward the prevention and treatment of this disease in human.

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Feng Ye, Bingyin Shi, Xiaoyan Wu, Peng Hou, Lei Gao, Xiaodan Ma, Li Xu and Liping Wu

CD40 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of Graves' disease (GD). Inhibition of CD40 expression may be a promising treatment for GD. In this study, we used an animal model to investigate whether lentivirus expressing siRNA for CD40 (LV-CD40-siRNA) could be useful for the therapy of GD. BALB/c mice were injected with PBS alone (PBS group), negative lentivirus (control siRNA group), or LV-CD40-siRNA (CD40 siRNA group), 3 days before being treated with adenovirus expressing human TSHR A subunit (Ad-TSHR289) three times at 3-week intervals to induce GD model. Sera thyroxine (T4) levels were assayed by RIA. The expression of CD40 was detected at the mRNA level by real-time PCR and protein level by flow cytometry. The expression of CD40, CD80, and CD86 was significantly decreased in the CD40 siRNA group (P<0.05), while FOXP3 expression was increased compared to the control siRNA group (P=0.05). Mean T4 levels were decreased 14% in the CD40 siRNA group compared to the control siRNA group. The rate of disease induction was similar among the three groups injected with Ad-TSHR289. LV-CD40-siRNA is a useful tool to inhibit the expression of CD40 in vivo, but it cannot decrease the incidence of hyperthyroidism in a limited period of time.

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Ikuko Ueki, Norio Abiru, Kentaro Kawagoe and Yuji Nagayama

Experimental Graves'-like hyperthyroidism can be induced in susceptible mouse strains by repetitive immunizations with recombinant adenovirus expressing the human full-length TSH receptor (TSHR) or its A-subunit. Previous studies have shown that splenocytes from immunized mice produce interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL) 10 in response to antigen stimulation in an in vitro T cell recall assay. Although IFN-γ is now well known to be essential for disease induction, the role(s) played by IL10 are unknown. Therefore, this study was conducted to clarify the significance of endogenous IL10 in the pathogenesis of experimental Graves' disease using IL10 deficient (IL10−/−) mice. Our results show that T cell response was augmented when estimated by their antigen-specific secretion of the key cytokine IFN-γ, but B cell function was dampened, that is, anti-TSHR antibody titers were decreased in IL10−/− mice, resulting in a lower incidence of Graves' hyperthyroidism (54% in IL10+/+ vs 25% in IL10−/−). Thus, in addition to IFN-γ, these data clarified the role of IL10 for optimizing anti-TSHR antibody induction and eliciting Graves' hyperthyroidism in our Graves' mouse model.

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N. Hoogerbrugge–v.d.Linden, H. Jansen, W. C. Hülsmann and J. C. Birkenhäger

ABSTRACT

The effect of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) on the disturbance of lipid metabolism during primary hypothyroidism was studied in 12 women with primary hypothyroidism. Significant increases in both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and intermediate-density lipoprotein cholesterol were seen. Lipoprotein concentrations reverted to normal after substitution with thyroxine (T4) until the euthyroid state was reached. A decrease in IGF-I of 65% (P<0·005) was seen in hypothyroid patients and this was inversely correlated (r=−0·75; P<0·01) with the concentration of LDL cholesterol. Multivariate regression analysis of LDL cholesterol against IGF-I and free T4 showed that IGF-I determines the concentration of LDL cholesterol instead of free T4.

Our data suggest that in hypothyroidism, IGF-I is a determinant of the concentration of LDL cholesterol. In addition, hypothyroidism can influence plasma lipoprotein metabolism by lowering the activity of the salt-resistant lipase (liver lipase).

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 123, 341–345

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Guillermo Vazquez-Anaya, Bridget Martinez, José G Soñanez-Organis, Daisuke Nakano, Akira Nishiyama and Rudy M Ortiz

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are associated with glucose intolerance, calling into question the contribution of thyroid hormones (TH) on glucose regulation. TH analogues and derivatives may be effective treatment options for glucose intolerance and insulin resistance (IR), but their potential glucoregulatory effects during conditions of impaired metabolism are not well described. To assess the effects of thyroxine (T4) on glucose intolerance in a model of insulin resistance, an oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT) was performed on three groups of rats (n = 8): (1) lean, Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO), (2) obese, Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) and (3) OLETF + T4 (8.0 µg/100 g BM/day × 5 weeks). T4 attenuated glucose intolerance by 15% and decreased IR index (IRI) by 34% in T4-treated OLETF compared to untreated OLETF despite a 31% decrease in muscle Glut4 mRNA expression. T4 increased the mRNA expressions of muscle monocarboxylate transporter 10 (Mct10), deiodinase type 2 (Di2), sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) and uncoupling protein 2 (Ucp2) by 1.8-, 2.2-, 2.7- and 1.4-fold, respectively, compared to OLETF. Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and insulin receptor were not significantly altered suggesting that the improvements in glucose intolerance and IR were independent of enhanced insulin-mediated signaling. The results suggest that T4 treatment increased the influx of T4 in skeletal muscle and, with an increase of DI2, increased the availability of the biologically active T3 to upregulate key factors such SIRT1 and UCP2 involved in cellular metabolism and glucose homeostasis.