Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency exacerbates mild thyroid hormone insufficiency effects on male thyroid hormone levels and brain thyroid hormone-responsive gene expression

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Abstract

Fetal/neonatal iron (Fe) and iodine/TH deficiencies lead to similar brain developmental abnormalities and often coexist in developing countries. We recently demonstrated that fetal/neonatal Fe deficiency results in a mild neonatal thyroidal impairment, suggesting that TH insufficiency contributes to the neurodevelopmental abnormalities associated with Fe deficiency. We hypothesized that combining Fe deficiency with an additional mild thyroidal perturbation (6-propyl-2-thiouracil [PTU]) during development would more severely impair neonatal thyroidal status and brain TH-responsive gene expression than either deficiency alone. Early gestation pregnant rats were assigned to 7 different treatment groups: control, Fe deficient (FeD), mild TH deficient (1 ppm PTU), moderate TH deficient (3 ppm PTU), severe TH deficient (10 ppm PTU), FeD/1 ppm PTU, or FeD/3 ppm PTU. FeD or 1 ppm PTU treatment alone reduced postnatal day 15 serum total T4 concentrations by 64% and 74%, respectively, without significantly altering serum total T3 concentrations. Neither treatment alone significantly altered postnatal day 16 cortical or hippocampal T3 concentrations. FeD combined with 1 ppm PTU treatment produced a more severe effect, reducing serum total T4 by 95%, and lowering hippocampal and cortical T3 concentrations by 24% and 31%, respectively. Combined FeD/PTU had a more severe effect on brain TH-responsive gene expression than either treatment alone, significantly altering Pvalb, Dio2, Mbp, and Hairless hippocampal and/or cortical mRNA levels. FeD/PTU treatment more severely impacted cortical and hippocampal parvalbumin protein expression compared with either individual treatment. These data suggest that combining 2 mild thyroidal insults during development significantly disrupts thyroid function and impairs TH-regulated brain gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1167
Number of pages11
JournalEndocrinology
Volume155
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

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