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A Boelen, M C Platvoet-ter Schiphorst and W M Wiersinga

Abstract

The sick euthyroid syndrome is a state of altered thyroid hormone metabolism which occurs during illness. The pathogenesis is incompletely understood but recent studies indicate a role of cytokines. It is unknown if cytokines released during illness are directly responsible for the changes in thyroid hormone metabolism. Therefore we studied if previous immunoneutralization of cytokines can prevent endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide LPS), induced sick euthyroid syndrome.

LPS administration resulted in systemic illness, an increase in serum tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) and interleukin (IL)-6 and a decrease in serum triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Immunoneutralization of the effects of cytokines was accomplished by administration of monoclonal antibodies against mouse IL-1 type-1 receptor (IL-1R), TNFα, IL-6 or interferon (IFNα) prior to LPS. The LPS-induced release of cytokines was affected by previous immunoneutralization as compared with control experiments with normal immunoglobulin (IgG): anti-IL-1R did not affect serum TNFα but decreased serum IL-6, anti-TNFα decreased serum TNFα but not IL-6, anti-IL-6 did not affect serum TNFα but hugely increased IL-6 and anti-IFNγ decreased both serum TNFα and IL-6. Specific immunoneutralization of IL-1, TNFα or IFNγ did not prevent the LPS-induced decrease in serum T3, T4 and liver 5′-deiodinase mRNA. However, immunoneutralization of IL-6, although not preventing the fall in serum T3 and T4, did mitigate the LPS-induced decrease in liver 5′-deiodinase mRNA.

In view of possible non-specific effects of the huge dose of immunoglobulins (1 mg), used only in the immunoneutralization of IL-6, we repeated the experiment with F(ab′)2 fragments of anti-IL-6 antibodies. Compared with F(ab′)2 fragments of control IgG, anti-IL-6 F(ab′)2 did not affect the LPS-induced rise in serum TNFα or the decrease in serum T3 and T4 and liver 5′-deiodinase mRNA. Serum IL-6 levels induced by LPS were, however, cleared more rapidly from the circulation when anti-IL-6 F(ab′)2 fragments rather than intact anti-IL-6 were administered. In conclusion, immunoneutralization of IL-1, TNFα or IFNγ did not prevent the LPS-induced sick euthyroid syndrome in mice; immunoneutralization of IL-6, however, transiently inhibits the LPS-induced decrease of liver 5′-deiodinase mRNA.

Journal of Endocrinology (1997) 153, 115–122

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A Boelen, M C Platvoet-ter Schiphorst, O Bakker and W M Wiersinga

Abstract

To evaluate the role of cytokines in the sick euthyroid syndrome, we tried to establish an animal model of non-thyroidal illness in mice by the administration of a sub-lethal dose of bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide; LPS) which induces a variety of cytokines, including tumour necrosis factor (TNFα), interleukin-1 (IL-1α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interferon-γ (IFNγ). When compared with pair-fed controls, a single dose of LPS resulted in (a) systemic illness, (b) induction of TNFα and IL-6 and (c) a decrease of liver 5′-deiodinase mRNA from 4 h onwards followed by a decrease of serum tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) at 8 h and of serum free T3 (fT3) and free T4 (fT4) at 24 h; serum TSH remained unchanged.

We then studied whether a single dose or a combination of IL-1α, TNFα, IL-6 or IFNγ could induce the sick euthyroid syndrome in mice, again using pair-fed controls. None of the cytokines except IL-1α caused systemic illness, and IL-1α was the only cytokine that decreased liver 5′-deiodinase mRNA transiently. IL-1α, TNFα or IL-6 did not decrease serum T3, T4 and TSH, but administration of IFNγ decreased serum T4, T3 and fT3 in a dose-dependent manner without changes in serum TSH. Administration of all four cytokines together had no synergistic effects; observed changes were of a smaller magnitude than after LPS.

The following conclusions were reached. (1) Administration of LPS in mice is a suitable experimental model for the acute induction of the sick euthyroid syndrome. (2) Acute administration of IL-1α, TNFα or IL-6 in mice does not induce changes in thyroid hormones but IFNγ results in a dose-dependent decrease of serum T4, T3 and fT3 and IL-1α decreases liver 5′-deiodinase mRNA transiently. (3) Combined administration of IL-1α, TNFα, IL-6 and IFNγ had no synergistic effects; observed changes were of a smaller magnitude than after LPS. (4) The LPS-induced sick euthyroid syndrome is currently best explained by a direct thyroidal inhibition due to IFNγ and an extrathyroidal inhibition of liver 5′-deiodinase due to IL-1α, but other still unidentified factors seem to be involved as well.

Journal of Endocrinology (1995) 146, 475–483

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A Boelen, J Kwakkel, DC Thijssen-Timmer, A Alkemade, E Fliers and WM Wiersinga

During illness, major changes in thyroid hormone metabolism and regulation occur; these are collectively known as non-thyroidal illness and are characterized by decreased serum triiodothyronine (T(3)) and thyroxine (T(4)) without an increase in serum TSH. Whether alterations in the central part of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis precede changes in peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism instead of vice versa, or occur simultaneously, is presently unknown. We therefore studied the time-course of changes in thyroid hormone metabolism in the HPT axis of mice during acute illness induced by bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide; LPS).LPS rapidly induced interleukin-1beta mRNA expression in the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid and liver. This was followed by almost simultaneous changes in the pituitary (decreased expression of thyroid receptor (TR)-beta2, TSHbeta and 5'-deiodinase (D1) mRNAs), the thyroid (decreased TSH receptor mRNA) and the liver (decreased TRbeta1 and D1 mRNA). In the hypothalamus, type 2 deiodinase mRNA expression was strongly increased whereas preproTRH mRNA expression did not change after LPS. Serum T(3) and T(4) fell only after 24 h.Our results suggested almost simultaneous involvement of the whole HPT axis in the downregulation of thyroid hormone metabolism during acute illness.

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M. Puig-Domingo, J. M. Guerrero, A. Menéndez-Pelaez and R. J. Reiter

ABSTRACT

The response of type-II thyroxine 5′-deiodinase (5′-DII)DII) to melatonin treatment was studied in the Syrian hamster. Male hamsters were treated for 15 days with a s.c. pellet containing melatonin, and 5′-DII activity in brown adipose tissue, anterior pituitary gland, Harderian gland and pineal gland was measured using a radioenzymatic technique. Melatonin-treated animals exhibited enhanced 5′-DII activity restricted to brown adipose tissue; the increase was threefold above the values measured in the control group. Serum concentrations of thyroid hormones were unaffected by melatonin treatment. We conclude that the stimulatory effect of melatonin on type-II thyroxine 5′-deiodination is specifically directed to the isoenzyme located in brown adipose tissue and is not accompanied by changes in serum thyroid hormones.

Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 122, 553–556

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HH van der Putten, BJ Joosten, PH Klaren and ME Everts

Uptake of tri-iodothyronine (T(3)) was compared with that of thyroxine (T(4)) in the embryonic heart cell line H9c2 (2-1). These cells propagate as myoblasts and form differentiated myotubes upon reduction of the serum concentration, as indicated by a 31-fold increase in creatine kinase activity. Protein and DNA content per well were around 2-fold higher in myotubes than in myoblasts. When expressed per well, T(3) and T(4) uptake were, compared with myoblasts, 1.9- to 2-fold and 3.1- to 4-fold higher in myotubes respectively. On the other hand, the characteristics of T(3) and T(4) uptake were similar in myoblasts and myotubes. At any time-point, T(4) uptake was 2-fold higher than that of T(3), and both uptakes were energy but not Na(+) dependent. T(3) and T(4) uptake exhibited mutual inhibition in myoblasts and myotubes: 10 microM unlabeled T(3) reduced T(4) uptake by 51-60% (P<0.001), while 10 microM T(4) inhibited T(3) uptake by 48-51% (P<0.001). Furthermore, T(3) and T(4) uptake in myoblasts was dose-dependently inhibited by tryptophan (maximum inhibition around 70%; P<0.001). Exposure of the cells to T(3) or T(4) during differentiation significantly increased the fusion index (35 and 40%; P < 0.01). Finally, both myoblasts and myotubes showed a small deiodinase type I activity, while deiodinase type II activity was undetectable. In conclusion, T(3) and T(4) share a common energy-dependent transport system in H9c2(2-1) cells, that may be important for the availability of thyroid hormone during differentiation.

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B. Paier, K. Hagmüller, M. I. Noli, M. Gonzalez Pondal, C. Stiegler and A. A. Zaninovich

ABSTRACT

The effects of cadmium on 5′-deiodination of thyroxine (T4) by rat liver and on the hepatic concentration of non-protein sulfhydryl groups (NPSH) were studied in Wistar rats of 200–250 g body weight. A group of ten rats was injected with cadmium chloride (300 μg/100 g body weight i.p.) daily for 4 days. Another group of six rats received, in addition, dithiothreitol (DTT; 1 mg/100 g body weight i.p.) daily for the same period. A group of eight normal untreated rats served as control. T4 deiodination was also determined in aliquots of liver from untreated rats, with cadmium (2 or 5 mmol/l) and with or without DTT (0, 2·5, 5 or 10 mmol/l) plus 1 μCi 125I-labelled T4. Hepatic NPSH were measured by a colorimetric method employing dithioldinitrobenzoic acid. Homogenates were incubated for 90 min at 37 °C and chromatographed in a tertiary amyl alcohol: hexane: ammonia (2 mol/l) (10: 1: 12) system. Cadmium-injected rats showed a significant (P <0·01) decrease in T4 deiodination and in the generation of 125I (P <0·01) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) (P <0·02). NPSH were also decreased (P <0·02). Administration of DTT restored T4 deiodination and NPSH to normal. In-vitro addition of cadmium or DTT to normal rat liver homogenates induced similar effects on the degradation of T4. Serum concentrations of T4 (P <0·01) and T3 (P <0·01) declined significantly in cadmium-injected rats, whereas DTT administration failed to normalize serum hormone levels. The data suggest that cadmium may have decreased 5′-deiodinating activity through binding to sulfhydryl groups of 5′-deiodinase as it does in other enzymes. The effects on serum T4 concentrations may be unrelated to those on 5′-deiodinase.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 138, 219–224

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P. H. L. M. Geelhoed-Duijvestijn, F. Roelfsema, J. P. Schröder-van der Elst, J. van Doorn and D. van der Heide

ABSTRACT

We have studied the effects of the administration of GH on plasma levels and peripheral production of tri-iodothyronine (T3) from thyroxine (T4) in thyroidectomized male Wistar rats given a continuous i.v. infusion of T4 (1 μg/100 g body weight per day) and GH (120 μg per day) for 3 weeks. Tracer doses of 131I-labelled T3 and 125I-labelled T4 were added to the infusion. At isotopic equilibrium (10 days after the addition of 125I-labelled T4) the rats were bled and perfused.

The plasma appearance rate for T3 was higher (10·6±1·3 vs 8·4 ± 2·8 pmol/h per 100 g body weight, P = 0·05) and plasma TSH was lower (246±24 vs 470±135 pmol/l, P<0·01) in GH-treated rats. The amount of T3 in liver (12·3 ±2·8 vs 5·5 ± 1·7 pmol/g wet weight, P<0·01), kidney (11·5±1·4 vs 6·5± 1·4 pmol/g wet weight, P <0·01) and pituitary (8·8 ±2·7 vs 4·8±0·5 pmol/g wet weight, P< 0·01) was higher than in controls, mainly as a result of an increased local production of T3 from T4, but plasma-derived T3 was also higher in most organs.

We found an increased intracellular T3 concentration in the pituitary which may be responsible for the lower plasma TSH concentration in the GH-treated rats. Since the increase in locally produced T3 is found particularly in liver, kidney and pituitary, typical organs that express 5′-deiodinase activity, we suggest that GH acts on thyroid hormone metabolism by stimulating type-I deiodinase activity.

Journal of Endocrinology (1992) 133, 45–49

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RG Manzon and RJ Denver

Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the increase and sustained expression of pituitary thyrotropin (TSH) in the presence of elevated plasma thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations at metamorphic climax in amphibians. It has been proposed that the negative feedback of TH on TSH is inoperative until metamorphic climax, and that it is established at this time by the upregulation of pituitary deiodinase type II (DII); DII converts thyroxine (T(4)) to 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T(3)). However, earlier investigators, using indirect measures of TSH, reported that TH negative feedback on TSH was functional in premetamorphic tadpoles. In an effort to understand pituitary TSH regulation during amphibian metamorphosis, we analyzed multiple pituitary genes known or hypothesized to be involved in TSH regulation in tadpoles of Xenopus laevis. Tadpole pituitary explant cultures were used to examine direct negative feedback on TSH mRNA expression. Negative feedback is operative in the early prometamorphic tadpole pituitary and both T(3) and T(4) can downregulate TSH mRNA expression throughout metamorphosis. The expression of both DII and TH receptor betaA mRNAs increased during development and peaked at climax; however, these increases coincided with similar increases in deiodinase type III, which inactivates TH. Moreover, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptors, CRF binding protein and thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor type 2 mRNA expression also peaked at climax. Our data suggest that the regulation of TSH is more complex than the timing of DII expression, and likely involves a balance between stimulation of TSH synthesis and secretion by neuropeptides (e.g. CRF) of hypothalamic or pituitary origin, increased pituitary sensitivity to neuropeptides through upregulation of their receptors, and intrapituitary TH levels.

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Patricia Joseph-Bravo, Lorraine Jaimes-Hoy, Rosa-María Uribe and Jean-Louis Charli

released from terminals localized at the median eminence (ME) in yuxtaposition with tanycytes that contain deiodinase 2 (D2) and pyroglutamyl peptidase II (PPII). In response to nutrient status, arcuate neurons synthesizing POMC/CART or NPY/AgRP project to

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R Vasilatos-Younken, Y Zhou, X Wang, JP McMurtry, RW Rosebrough, E Decuypere, N Buys, VM Darras, S Van Der Geyten and F Tomas

In contrast to most vertebrates, GH reportedly has no effect upon somatic growth of the chicken. However, previous studies employed only one to two dosages of the hormone, and limited evidence exists of a hyperthyroid response that may confound its anabolic potential. This study evaluated the effects of 0, 10, 50, 100 and 200 microgram/kg body weight per day chicken GH (cGH) (0-200 GH) infused i.v. for 7 days in a pulsatile pattern to immature, growing broiler chickens (9-10 birds/dosage). Comprehensive profiles of thyroid hormone metabolism and measures of somatic growth were obtained. Overall (average) body weight gain was reduced 25% by GH, with a curvilinear, dose-dependent decrease in skeletal (breast) muscle mass that was maximal (12%) at 100 GH. This profile mirrored GH dose-dependent decreases in hepatic type III deiodinase (DIII) activity and increases in plasma tri-iodothyronine (T(3)), with bot! h also maximal (74 and 108% respectively) at 100 GH. No effect on type I deiodinase was observed. At the maximally effective dosage, hepatic DIII gene expression was reduced 44% versus controls. Despite dose-dependent, fold-increases in hepatic IGF-I protein content, circulating IGF-I was not altered with GH infusion, suggesting impairment of hepatic IGF-I release. Significant, GH dose-dependent increases in plasma non-esterified fatty acid and glucose, and overall decreases in triacylglycerides were also observed. At 200 GH, feed intake was significantly reduced (19%; P<0.05) versus controls; however, additional control birds pair-fed to this level did not exhibit any responses observed for GH-treated birds. The results of this study support a pathway by which GH impacts on thyroid hormone metabolism beginning at a pretranslational level, with reduced hepatic DIII gene expression, translating to reduced protein (enzyme) ex! pression, and reflected in a reduced level of peripheral T(3)-degrading activity. This contributes to decreased conversion of T(3) to its inactive form, thereby elevating circulating T(3) levels. The hyper-T(3) state leads to reduced net skeletal muscle deposition, and may impair release of GH-enhanced, hepatic IGF-I. In conclusion, GH has significant biological effects in the chicken, but profound metabolic actions predominate that may confound positive, IGF-I-mediated skeletal muscle growth.