Expression of Thyroid Hormone Transporters in the Human Hypothalamus

A Alkemade, Edith Friesema, A Kalsbeek, DF Swaab, Theo Visser, E Fliers

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Context: Transport of thyroid hormone across the plasma membrane is required for proper thyroid hormone action and metabolism. Several specific thyroid hormone transporters have been identified capable of facilitating uptake and/or efflux of thyroid hormones. Monocarboxylate transporter (MCT)-8, MCT10, and organic anion transporting polypeptide 1C1 (OATP1C1) are the best-characterized specific thyroid hormone transporters to date. Objective: Our earlier studies in the human hypothalamus have shown that MCT8 is present in neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and infundibular nucleus (IFN) and in tanycytes. We hypothesized that also MCT10 and OATP1C1 are present in specific areas of the human hypothalamus. Design: We studied postmortem brain samples of patients with known serum thyroid hormone levels using immunocythochemistry to investigate the distribution of MCT10 and OATP1C1 in the hypothalamus. Results: We found strong neuronal MCT10 immunocytochemical staining in a number of hypothalamic nuclei, including the PVN, IFN, and supraoptic nucleus. Intense staining was also observed in neurons of the lateral hypothalamus including the perifornical area. OATP1C1 immunoreactivity was present in glial cells throughout the hypothalamus. In addition, staining was present in capillary walls and in neurons of the PVN, IFN, and supraoptic nucleus. Conclusion: The strong expression of MCT10 and OATP1C1 in the human hypothalamus indicates a possible role in the regulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 96: E967-E971, 2011)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)E967-E971
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09
  • EMC MM-01-39-03

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