Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Fish Physiol Biochem. 2018 Aug;44(4):1175-1183. doi: 10.1007/s10695-018-0504-2. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Environmentally relevant concentrations of mercury exposure alter thyroid hormone levels and gene expression in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis of zebrafish larvae.

Author information

1
Chongqing Key Laboratory of Animal Biology, School of Life Sciences, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing, 401331, China.
2
Chongqing Key Laboratory of Animal Biology, School of Life Sciences, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing, 401331, China. xncql@126.com.

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is one of the most toxic heavy metals that can cause severe damage to fish. Studies have demonstrated that Hg has a specific affinity for the endocrine system, but little is known about the effects of Hg on thyroid endocrine system in fish. In this study, zebrafish embryos were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of 1, 4, and 16 μg/L Hg2+ (added as HgCl2) from 2 h post-fertilization (hpf) to 168 hpf. Thyroid hormone (TH) levels and mRNA expression levels of genes involved in the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis were determined. The results showed that exposure to 16 μg/L Hg2+ increased the whole-body thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) levels. The transcription levels of corticotrophin releasing hormone (crh) and thyroid stimulating hormone (tshβ) were up-regulated by Hg2+ exposure. Analysis of the mRNA levels of genes related to thyroid development (hhex, nkx2.1, and pax8) and THs synthesis (nis and tg) revealed that exposure to higher Hg2+ concentrations markedly up-regulated hhex, nkx2.1, nis, and tg expression, while had no significant effect on the transcripts of pax8. For the transcription of two types of deiodinases (deio1 and deio2), deio1 showed no significant changes in all the treatments, whereas deio2 was significantly up-regulated in the 16 μg/L Hg2+ group. In addition, Hg2+ exposure up-regulated thyroid hormone receptor β (trβ) mRNA level, while the transcription of trα was not changed. Overall, our study indicated that environmentally relevant concentrations of Hg2+ exposure could alter TH levels and the transcription of related HPT-axis genes, disturbing the normal processes of TH metabolism.

KEYWORDS:

Hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis; Mercury exposure; Thyroid endocrine system; Thyroid hormones

PMID:
29691693
DOI:
10.1007/s10695-018-0504-2

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center