Thyroid hormone action: Insight from transgenic mouse models

Fredric E. Wondisford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) are cellular homologues of the viral erythroblastic leukemia oncogene (v-erbA). TRs (c-crbA isoforms) are derived from two separate gene loci in mammals: α and β. Through a series of knockout experiments in mice in which one or several of the TR isoforms were deleted, it has been demonstrated that the TR-β isoforms control central regulation of thyroid-stimulating hormone. Of these isoforms, TR-β2 is the most important in mediating negative feedback control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. Further analysis of TR knockout animals revealed, however, that they exhibited a much milder overall phenotype than hypothyroid animals, indicating that receptor loss was not equivalent to ligand loss in vivo. To understand this apparent paradox, we generated animals expressing a non-T3 binding receptor (Δ337T) from the TR-β allele. These mice displayed a complete hypothyroid phenotype, demonstrating that the unliganded TR mediates the effect of hypothyroidism. Because this mutant TR constitutively binds to nuclear coreprssors, it also suggests that this class of proteins is essential for mediating hypothyroidism in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Resistance to thyroid hormone
  • Thyroid hormone receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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