Role of thyroid status in the ontogeny of adrenergic cell signaling in rat brain: beta receptors, adenylate cyclase, ornithine decarboxylase and c-fos protooncogene expression.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In adulthood, thyroid hormone regulates beta adrenergic responsiveness. We addressed whether similar processes operate in the developing brain, thus playing a role in neurotransmitter control of target cell differentiation. Rats were made hyperthyroid [triiodothyronine (T3)] or hypothyroid [propylthiouracil (PTU)] during the immediate perinatal period, and the development of beta adrenergic signal transduction was evaluated in three brain regions. PTU treatment resulted in an ubiquitous deficit in the number of beta receptor binding sites. Although beta adrenergic stimulation of adenylate cyclase activity was also obtunded by PTU, the effects were much less prominent and were restricted to one region (forebrain); comparison with basal adenylate cyclase and with total enzymatic activity (forskolin stimulation) indicated that the differences in isoproterenol response were at the level of adenylate cyclase expression, rather than in specific receptor coupling. PTU also reduced responsiveness of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a key enzyme that couples receptors to differentiation, again, changes in receptor-mediated responsiveness reflected alterations in total enzyme activity, rather than effects on receptor coupling. In contrast, measurements of c-fos, a protooncogene that couples cyclic AMP to induction of ODC, showed increased responses to beta adrenergic or cyclic AMP stimulation in PTU-treated animals. The effect of PTU on c-fos responsiveness occurred in the absence of alterations in basal c-fos expression, a situation different from that seen with adenylate cyclase or ODC. T3 administration had only small effects on any of these variables. The role of thyroid hormones thus involves targeting of beta receptors and receptor-mediated stimulation of nuclear transcription factors (c-fos), as well as basal expression of transduction components in the signalling cascade (adenylate cyclase, ODC). The effects of PTU, contrasted with the failure of T3 to enhance development of beta receptors or their transduction components, suggest that thyroid hormone is obligatory for normal development of this pathway, but that endogenous hormone levels are already optimally permissive.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wagner, JP; Seidler, FJ; Lappi, SE; McCook, EC; Slotkin, TA

Published Date

  • October 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 271 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 472 - 483

PubMed ID

  • 7965748

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3565


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States