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Ana Sofia Rocha, Ricardo Marques, Inês Bento, Ricardo Soares, João Magalhães, Inês Vieira de Castro and Paula Soares

Thyroid cancer constitutes the most frequent endocrine neoplasia. Targeted expression of rearranged during transfection (RET)/papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and V600E V-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) to the thyroid glands of transgenic mice results in tumours similar to those of human PTC, providing evidence for the involvement of these oncogenes in PTC. Kato et al. developed a mouse model that mimics the full spectrum of the human follicular form of thyroid cancer (FTC). FTC rapidly develops in these mice through introduction of the thyroid hormone receptor β (THRB)PV mutant on the background of the inactivated THRB wt locus. Our aim was to verify if, in the context of human follicular thyroid carcinogenesis, THRB acted as a tumour suppressor gene. We screened for mutations of the THRB gene in the hot-spot region, spanning exons 7–10, in 51 thyroid tumours and six thyroid cancer cell lines by PCR and direct sequencing. We did not find mutations in any of the tumours or cell lines analysed. Our findings suggest that, in contrast to the findings on the THRB-mutant transgenic mice, THRB gene mutations are not a relevant mechanism for human thyroid carcinogenesis.

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Luana Lopes Souza, Aline Cordeiro, Lorraine Soares Oliveira, Gabriela Silva Monteiro de Paula, Larissa Costa Faustino, Tania Maria Ortiga-Carvalho, Karen Jesus Oliveira and Carmen Cabanelas Pazos-Moura

n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) from fish oil (FO) exert important lipid-lowering effects, an effect also ascribed to thyroid hormones (TH) and TH receptor β1 (TRβ1)-specific agonists. n-3 PUFA effects are mediated by nuclear receptors, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) and others. In this study, we investigated a role for TH signaling in n-3 PUFA effects. Euthyroid and hypothyroid adult rats (methimazole-treated for 5 weeks) received FO or soybean oil (control) by oral administration for 3 weeks. In euthyroid rats, FO treatment reduced serum triglycerides and cholesterol, diminished body fat, and increased protein content of the animals. In addition, FO-treated rats exhibited higher liver expression of TRβ1 and mitochondrial α-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (mGPD), at protein and mRNA levels, but no alteration of glutathione S-transferase or type 1 deiodinase. In hypothyroid condition, FO induced reduction in serum cholesterol and increase in body protein content, but lost the ability to reduce triglycerides and body fat, and to induce TRβ1 and mGDP expression. FO did not change PPARα liver abundance regardless of thyroid state; however, hypothyroidism led to a marked increase in PPARα liver content but did not alter TRβ1 or TRα expression. The data suggest that part of the effect of n-3 PUFA from FO on lipid metabolism is dependent on TH signaling in specific steps and together with the marked upregulation of PPARα in liver of hypothyroid rats suggest important in vivo consequences of the cross-talking between those fatty acids and TH pathways in liver metabolism.