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S Ramos, L Goya, MA Martin, F Escriva and AM Pascual-Leone

The aim of this work was to study the influence of the endocrine balance between thyroid hormones, insulin and growth hormone (GH) on the regulation of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs), complementing a study previously reported for insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in similar populations. Serum concentrations of IGFBPs-1 to -3 were assayed by Western ligand blot and their mRNA expression in the liver assayed by RNase protection assay in the hypothyroid populations: thyroidectomized and mercapto-1-methylimidazole (MMI)-treated neonates, and thyroidectomized adult rats at different periods after thyroidectomy. Serum concentrations of insulin, GH and IGF-I were increased in thyroidectomized neonates and decreased in the other populations. IGFBPs-1 and -2 increased 79% and 50% respectively in thyroidectomized neonatal rats compared with control at 15 days after thyroidectomy, whereas only IGFBP-2 increased (87%) in MMI-treated neonates, which had low serum insulin and GH compared with control on the same days. In thyroidectomized adult rats, IGFBPs-1 and -2 decreased 60% compared with controls on all days studied. Furthermore, when streptozotocin was administered to thyroidectomized neonates and insulin was given to thyroidectomized adult rats to restore insulin to control values in both groups, a differential regulation was found for IGFBPs-1 and -2. The transcriptionally induced decrease in IGFBP-3 (20-25% compared with control in neonates and 50% in adult rats), however, seemed to be regulated by GH and IGF-I. The similarity of changes in IGFBPs found in hypothyroid, undernourished and streptozotocin-induced diabetic neonatal rats suggests that the regulatory effect of insulin or GH on the IGFBPs requires the reduced biologically active thyroid hormone that is found in these three populations.

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S Ramos, L Goya, C Alvarez, MA Martin and AM Pascual-Leone

The effects of different doses of thyroxine (T(4)) delivered by injection or s.c. pellet implantation on alterations of the IGF/IGF binding protein (IGFBP) system were studied in neonatal and adult thyroidectomized (Tx) rats. Body weight, blood glucose, plasma insulin, TSH and GH and pituitary GH content, as well as serum IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-1, -2 and -3 and their liver mRNA expression were assayed. Pellet implantation with the smaller dose of T(4) (1.5 microg/100 g body weight (b.w.) per day) in Tx neonatal rats decreased serum IGF-I, -II and the 30 kDa complex of IGFBPs (IGFBP-1 and -2), and increased serum IGFBP-3. Only the larger dose of T(4) (3 microg/100 g b.w. per day) recovered liver mRNA expression of IGF-I and ensured euthyroid status as shown by the normalized levels of plasma TSH. The rapid increase of body weight and serum GH after T(4) administration indicated a high sensitivity to T(4) during the neonatal period. Serum and liver mRNA expression of IGFs and plasma insulin and GH recovered in adult Tx rats after pellet implantation of 1.75 microg/100 g b.w. per day throughout 10 days. The continuous replacement of T(4) by pellet seems to be the most suitable method for thyroid rehabilitation. A very good correlation was found between insulin and IGF-II in Tx neonates treated with T(4) but not between insulin and IGF-I in Tx adults. IGFBP-2 seems to be up-regulated by T(4) deprivation in neonatal and adult rats. Finally, a good correlation as well as a partial correlation were found between IGFs and thyroid hormones in both neonatal and adult Tx populations, suggesting a direct effect in vivo of T(4) on the hepatic secretion of IGFs, as previously suggested in vitro.

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C M Gomes, C Raineki, P Ramos de Paula, G S Severino, C V V Helena, J A Anselmo-Franci, C R Franci, G L Sanvitto and A B Lucion

Neonatal handling induces anovulatory estrous cycles and decreases sexual receptivity in female rats. The synchronous secretion of hormones from the gonads (estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P)), pituitary (luteinizing (LH) and follicle-stimulating (FSH) hormones) and hypothalamus (LH-releasing hormone (LHRH)) are essential for the reproductive functions in female rats. The present study aimed to describe the plasma levels of E2 and P throughout the estrous cycle and LH, FSH and prolactin (PRL) in the afternoon of the proestrus, and the LHRH content in the medial preoptic area (MPOA), median eminence (ME) and medial septal area (MSA) in the proestrus, in the neonatal handled rats. Wistar pup rats were handled for 1 min during the first 10 days after delivery (neonatal handled group) or left undisturbed (nonhandled group). When they reached adulthood, blood samples were collected through a jugular cannula and the MPOA, ME and MSA were microdissected. Plasma levels of the hormones and the content of LHRH were determined by RIA. The number of oocytes counted in the morning of the estrus day in the handled rats was significantly lower than in the nonhandled ones. Neonatal handling reduces E2 levels only on the proestrus day while P levels decreased in metestrus and estrus. Handled females also showed reduced plasma levels of LH, FSH and PRL in the afternoon of the proestrus. The LHRH content in the MPOA was significantly higher than in the nonhandled group. The reduced secretion of E2, LH, FSH and LHRH on the proestrus day may explain the anovulatory estrous cycle in neonatal handled rats. The reduced secretion of PRL in the proestrus may be related to the decreased sexual receptiveness in handled females. In conclusion, early-life environmental stimulation can induce long-lasting effects on the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis.

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João A B Pedroso, Pedro O R de Mendonca, Marco A S Fortes, Igor Tomaz, Vitor L Pecorali, Thais B Auricino, Ismael C Costa, Leandro B Lima, Isadora C Furigo, Debora N Bueno, Angela M Ramos-Lobo, Claudimara F P Lotfi and Jose Donato Jr

Many hormones/cytokines are secreted in response to exercise and cytokine signaling may play a pivotal role in the training adaptations. To investigate the importance of cytokine signaling during vertical ladder climbing, a resistance exercise model, we produced mice lacking SOCS3 protein exclusively in steroidogenic factor-1 (SF1) cells (SF1 Socs3 KO mice). SF1 expression is found in steroidogenic cells of the adrenal cortex and gonads, as well as in neurons of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. Histological markers of the fetal adrenal zone (or X-zone in rodents) were still present in adult males and postpartum SF1 Socs3 KO females, suggesting a previously unrecognized effect of SOCS3 on the terminal differentiation of the adrenal gland. This change led to a distinct distribution of lipid droplets along the adrenal cortex. Under basal conditions, adult SF1 Socs3 KO mice exhibited similar adrenal weight, and plasma ACTH and corticosterone concentrations. Nonetheless, SF1 Socs3 KO mice exhibited a blunted ACTH-induced corticosterone secretion. The overall metabolic responses induced by resistance training remained unaffected in SF1 Socs3 KO mice, including changes in body adiposity, glucose tolerance and energy expenditure. However, training performance and glucose control during intense resistance exercise were impaired in SF1 Socs3 KO mice. Furthermore, a reduced counter-regulatory response to 2-deoxy-d-glucose was observed in mutant mice. These findings revealed a novel participation of SOCS3 regulating several endocrine and metabolic aspects. Therefore, cytokine signaling in SF1 cells exerts an important role to sustain training performance possibly by promoting the necessary metabolic adjustments during exercise.