Mice bearing the genomic mutation Δ337T on the thyroid hormone receptor β(TRb) gene present the classical signs of resistance to thyroid hormone (TH), with high serum TH and TSH. This mutant TR is unable to bind TH, remains constitutively bound to co-repressors, and has a dominant negative effect on normal TRs. In this study, we show that homozygous (TRβ337T) mice for this mutation have reduced body weight, length, and body fat content, despite augmented relative food intake and relative increase in serum leptin. TR βD337T mice exhibited normal glycemia and were more tolerant to an i.p. glucose load accompanied by reduced insulin secretion. Higher insulin sensitivity was observed after single insulin injection, when the TR βΔ337T mice developed a profound hypoglycemia. Impaired hepatic glucose production was confirmed by the reduction in glucose generation after pyruvate administration. In addition, hepatic glycogen content was lower in homozygous TR βΔ337T mice than in wild type. Collectively, the data suggest that TR βΔ337T mice have deficient hepatic glucose production, by reduced gluconeogenesis and lower glycogen deposits. Analysis of liver gluconeogenic gene expression showed a reduction in the mRNA of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, a rate-limiting enzyme, and of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-g coactivator 1α, a key transcriptional factor essential to gluconeogenesis. Reduction in both gene expressions is consistent with resistance to TH action via TRb, reproducing a hypothyroid phenotype. In conclusion, mice carrying the Δ337T-dominant negative mutation on the TRβ are leaner, exhibit impaired hepatic glucose production, and are more sensitive to hypoglycemic effects of insulin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism