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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 1998 Jan;109(1):75-85.

Differential gene expression of thyroid hormone receptor alpha and beta in fish development.

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Inland Station, National Research Institute of Aquaculture, Mie, Japan.


To understand the mechanisms of flounder metamorphosis, which is controlled by thyroid hormone, gene expression of the thyroid hormone receptors (TR alpha A, TR alpha B, TR beta 1, and TR beta 2) was studied in developing flounder larvae, using quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. TR gene transcripts were found at very low levels in fertilized flounder eggs. Substantial amounts of TR mRNAs were present in premetamorphic larvae, except for TR alpha B mRNA, which was low throughout larval development. TR alpha A gene transcripts increased rapidly in metamorphic climax and decreased rapidly postclimax. The expression level of TR beta s increased in climax, reached its peak postclimax, and remained high in metamorphosed juveniles. In situ hybridization confirmed the decrease in TR alpha transcripts in most tissues postclimax and further revealed the ubiquitous expression of TR genes and distinct tissue specificity of alpha and beta subtypes in the overall fish body. These results suggest that thyroid hormone exerts effects directly on each tissue during fish metamorphosis and that gene expression of TR subtypes is differentially regulated both temporally and regionally. Thus, the results suggest that the development of each tissue of the flounder by thyroid hormone is further controlled at the receptor level by the differential expression of TRs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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