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J Endocrinol. 2006 Dec;191(3):707-14.

Chronic local inflammation in mice results in decreased TRH and type 3 deiodinase mRNA expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus independently of diminished food intake.

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Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


During illness, changes in thyroid hormone metabolism occur, known as nonthyroidal illness and characterised by decreased serum triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) without an increase in TSH. A mouse model of chronic illness is local inflammation, induced by a turpentine injection in each hind limb. Although serum T3 and T4 are markedly decreased in this model, it is unknown whether turpentine administration affects the central part of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis (HPT-axis). We therefore studied thyroid hormone metabolism in hypothalamus and pituitary of mice during chronic inflammation induced by turpentine injection. Using pair-fed controls, we could differentiate between the effects of chronic inflammation per se and the effects of restricted food intake as a result of illness. Chronic inflammation increased interleukin (IL)-1beta mRNA expression in the hypothalamus more rapidly than in the pituitary. This hypothalamic cytokine response was associated with a rapid increase in local D2 mRNA expression. By contrast, no changes were present in pituitary D2 expression. TSHbeta mRNA expression was altered compared with controls. Comparing chronic inflamed mice with pair-fed controls, both preproTSH releasing hormone (TRH) and D3 mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus were significantly lower 48 h after turpentine administration. The timecourse of TSHbeta mRNA expression was completely different in inflamed mice compared with pair-fed mice. Turpentine administration resulted in significantly decreased TSHbeta mRNA expression only after 24 h while later in time it was lower in pair-fed controls. In conclusion, central thyroid hormone metabolism is altered during chronic inflammation and this cannot solely be attributed to diminished food intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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