Impact of Monocarboxylate Transporter-8 Deficiency on the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid Axis in Mice

M Trajkovic-Arsic, J Muller, VM Darras, C Groba, Shirley Lee, D Weih, K Bauer, Theo Visser, H Heuer

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In patients, inactivating mutations in the gene encoding the thyroid hormone-transporting monocarboxylate transporter 8 (Mct8) are associated with severe mental and neurological deficits and disturbed thyroid hormone levels. The latter phenotype characterized by high T-3 and low T-4 serum concentrations is replicated in Mct8 knockout (ko) mice, indicating that MCT8 deficiency interferes with thyroid hormone production and/or metabolism. Our studies of Mct8 ko mice indeed revealed increased thyroidal T-3 and T-4 concentrations without overt signs of a hyperactive thyroid gland. However, upon TSH stimulation Mct8 ko mice showed decreased T-4 and increased T-3 secretion compared with wild-type littermates. Moreover, similar changes in the thyroid hormone secretion pattern were observed in Mct8/Trhr1 double-ko mice, which are characterized by normal serum T-3 levels and normal hepatic and renal D1 expression in the presence of very low T-4 serum concentrations. These data strongly indicate that absence of Mct8 in the thyroid gland affects thyroid hormone efflux by shifting the ratio of the secreted hormones toward T-3. To test this hypothesis, we generated Mct8/Pax8 double-mutant mice, which in addition to Mct8 lack a functional thyroid gland and are therefore completely athyroid. Following the injection of these animals with either T-4 or T-3, serum analysis revealed T-3 concentrations similar to those observed in Pax8 ko mice under thyroid hormone replacement, indicating that indeed increased thyroidal T-3 secretion in Mct8 ko mice represents an important pathogenic mechanism leading to the high serum T-3 levels. (Endocrinology 151: 5053-5062, 2010)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)5053-5062
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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  • EMC MM-01-39-03

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