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Biol Psychiatry. 1999 Apr 15;45(8):1004-12.

Differential expression of thyroid hormone receptor isoforms by thyroid hormone and lithium in rat GH3 and B103 cells.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.



The interaction between lithium, a mood stabilizer, and the thyroid axis has been extensively studied; however, the regulation of thyroid hormone receptors by lithium is yet to be investigated.


To test whether lithium affects thyroid hormones at the receptor level, we examined the effects of lithium in combination with triiodothyronine (T3) on gene expression of thyroid hormone receptor isoforms in GH3 and B103 cells.


The pattern of expression as well as the magnitude of regulation of the different thyroid hormone receptor isoforms appeared to be cell line specific. Whereas T3 regulated all four isoforms in GH3 cells at both time points, T3 did not alter thyroid hormone receptor TR alpha 1 and TR alpha 2 mRNA in B103 cells. Addition of lithium to thyroid hormone-deficient GH3 cells decreased TR alpha 1, alpha 2, and beta 2 expression without affecting TR beta 1 expression at 2 but not 5 days. Addition of lithium to T3-treated GH3 cells did not further modulate gene expression of TR alpha 1, alpha 2, beta 1, or beta 2 when compared to cells treated with T3 alone. The effects of lithium in B103 cells appeared to be isoform specific as well as time dependent, since TR alpha 1 expression was selectively decreased in B103 cells, when treated with T3 in the presence of lithium.


The present study provides direct evidence that T3 and/or lithium regulate TR gene expression in vitro in a both time-dependent and cell line-specific manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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