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Relationship: 1388


A descriptive phrase which clearly defines the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream, and which is downstream). More help

T4 in serum, Decreased leads to Hippocampal anatomy, Altered

Upstream event
The causing Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help
Downstream event
The responding Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes. Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

AOP Name Adjacency Weight of Evidence Quantitative Understanding Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Inhibition of Thyroperoxidase and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals non-adjacent High Low Kevin Crofton (send email) Open for citation & comment WPHA/WNT Endorsed

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER.In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER.  More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
rat Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
mouse Mus musculus High NCBI

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help
Sex Evidence
Male High
Female High

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help
Term Evidence
During brain development High

Key Event Relationship Description

Provides a concise overview of the information given below as well as addressing details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves. More help

The vast majority of brain thyroxine (T4) is from the serum. Once taken up from the serum, T4 is converted to triiodothyronine (T3) which binds to the nuclear receptors (TRα and TRβ) to control thyroid-mediated gene expression (Oppenheimer, 1983). It is well established that TH regulates genes critical for brain development (Bernal, 2007; Anderson et al., 2003). As such, the structural development of the hippocampus is modulated by TR-mediated gene transcription, and alterations in serum TH can adversely impact hippocampal neuroanatomy.

Evidence Collection Strategy

Include a description of the approach for identification and assembly of the evidence base for the KER.  For evidence identification, include, for example, a description of the sources and dates of information consulted including expert knowledge, databases searched and associated search terms/strings.  Include also a description of study screening criteria and methodology, study quality assessment considerations, the data extraction strategy and links to any repositories/databases of relevant references.Tabular summaries and links to relevant supporting documentation are encouraged, wherever possible. More help

Evidence Supporting this KER

Addresses the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP setting the stage for overall assessment of the AOP. More help

The weight of evidence for this indirect relationship is strong. There is a vast amount of literature that supports this KER in multiple species.

Biological Plausibility
Addresses the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream.  This field can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured.   More help

The biological plausibility of this KER is rated as strong. The relationship is consistent with the known biology of the regulation of serum TH concentrations, brain TH concentrations, and the known action of TH to modulate genes critical for developmental processes that control structural development of the brain in general, including the hippocampus.  

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Addresses inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship including the identification of experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. More help

This has been repeatedly demonstrated.  However, with some studies noted above, most investigations have been conducted in the neonate after severe hormone reductions induced by PTU, MMI or thyroidectomy. These severe changes alter a wide variety of general growth and developmental processes. In one of the few dose-response studies assessing hippocampal anatomy, alterations in simple guidenline metrics of linear morphometry and volume of hippocampal subfields following developmental exposure to the PTU were largely restricted to the high dose group, despite alterations in downstream KEs of hippocampal physiology and cognitive function. This may result from inadequacy of the assessment tools or the timing of the observations. Similarly, in chemically induced serum hormone reductions of comparable magnitude as those induced by PTU or MMI, observations of hippocampal morphology are not always seen (PTU vs ETU or mancozeb, European Commission, 2017).  Consideration of the sensitivity of neuroanatomical and neurobehavioral method used, as well as chemical kinetics that drive the reduction of maternal, fetal, or neonatal TH reduction, may be key to understanding these discrepancies. More data is needed that link more limited decrements in serum TH to specific hippocampal anatomical changes. The role of direct fetal TPO inhibition contribution to fetal TH and subsequent changes to hippocampal structure and subsequent downstream KEs in humans is a knowledge gap.   

Known modulating factors

This table captures specific information on the MF, its properties, how it affects the KER and respective references.1.) What is the modulating factor? Name the factor for which solid evidence exists that it influences this KER. Examples: age, sex, genotype, diet 2.) Details of this modulating factor. Specify which features of this MF are relevant for this KER. Examples: a specific age range or a specific biological age (defined by...); a specific gene mutation or variant, a specific nutrient (deficit or surplus); a sex-specific homone; a certain threshold value (e.g. serum levels of a chemical above...) 3.) Description of how this modulating factor affects this KER. Describe the provable modification of the KER (also quantitatively, if known). Examples: increase or decrease of the magnitude of effect (by a factor of...); change of the time-course of the effect (onset delay by...); alteration of the probability of the effect; increase or decrease of the sensitivity of the downstream effect (by a factor of...) 4.) Provision of supporting scientific evidence for an effect of this MF on this KER. Give a list of references.  More help
Response-response Relationship
Provides sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs.  More help

Most investigations for hippocampal anatomy have been conducted in the neonate after severe hormone reductions. There is currently insufficient data for quantitative analysis of serum T4 and hippocampal neuroanatomy.

Information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). More help
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits. More help

Domain of Applicability

A free-text section of the KER description that the developers can use to explain their rationale for the taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability structured terms. More help

Most of the available data has come from rodent models. Human clinincal studies have documented changes in hippocampal volume in children with congenital hypothyroidism (Wheeler et al., 2011).


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help

Ambrogini P, Cuppini R, Ferri P, Mancini C, Ciaroni S, Voci A, Gerdoni E, Gallo G (2005) Thyroid hormones affect neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of adult rat. Neuroendocrinology 81:244-253.

Anderson GW, Schoonover CM, Jones SA (2003) Control of thyroid hormone action in the developing rat brain. Thyroid 13:1039-56.

Auso E, Lavado-Autric R, Cuevas E, Del Rey FE, Morreale De Escobar G, Berbel P (2004) A moderate and transient deficiency of maternal thyroid function at the beginning of fetal neocorticogenesis alters neuronal migration. Endocrinology 145:4037-4047.

Berbel P, Marco P, Cerezo JR, DeFelipe J (1996) Distribution of parvalbumin immunoreactivity in the neocortex of hypothyroid adult rats. Neurosci Lett 204:65-68.

Berbel P, Navarro D, Ausó E, Varea E, Rodríguez AE, Ballesta JJ, Salinas M, Flores E, Faura CC, de Escobar GM. Role of late maternal thyroid hormones in cerebral cortex development: an experimental model for human prematurity. Cereb Cortex. 2010 Jun;20(6):1462-75.

Bernal J. 2007. Thyroid hormone receptors in brain development and function. Nature clinical practice Endocrinology & metabolism. 3:249-259.

Cattani D, Goulart PB, Cavalli VL, Winkelmann-Duarte E, Dos Santos AQ,

Pierozan P, de Souza DF, Woehl VM, Fernandes MC, Silva FR, Gonçalves CA, Pessoa-Pureur R, Zamoner A. Congenital hypothyroidism alters the oxidative status, enzyme activities and morphological parameters in the hippocampus of developing rats. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2013 Aug 15;375(1-2):14-26.

Gilbert ME, Goodman JH, Gomez J, Johnstone AF, Ramos RL. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is impaired by transient and moderate developmental thyroid hormone disruption. Neurotoxicology. 2016. 59:9-21.

Gilbert ME, Sui L, Walker MJ, Anderson W, Thomas S, Smoller SN, Schon JP, Phani S, Goodman JH (2007) Thyroid hormone insufficiency during brain development reduces parvalbumin immunoreactivity and inhibitory function in the hippocampus. Endocrinology 148:92-102.

Hasegawa M, Kida I, Wada H (2010) A volumetric analysis of the brain and hippocampus of rats rendered perinatal hypothyroid. Neurosci Lett 479:240-244.

Kapoor R, Fanibunda SE, Desouza LA, Guha SK, Vaidya VA (2015) Perspectives on thyroid hormone action in adult neurogenesis. J Neurochem 133:599-616.

Kozorovitskiy Y, Saunders A, Johnson CA, Lowell BB, Sabatini BL. Recurrent network activity drives striatal synaptogenesis. Nature. 2012 May 13;485(7400):646-50.

Madeira MD, Cadete-Leite A, Andrade JP, Paula-Barbosa MM (1991) Effects of hypothyroidism upon the granular layer of the dentate gyrus in male and female adult rats: a morphometric study. J Comp Neurol 314:171-186.

Madeira MD, Paula-Barbosa MM (1993) Reorganization of mossy fiber synapses in male and female hypothyroid rats: a stereological study. J Comp Neurol 337:334-352.

Madeira MD, Sousa N, Lima-Andrade MT, Calheiros F, Cadete-Leite A, Paula-Barbosa MM (1992) Selective vulnerability of the hippocampal pyramidal neurons to hypothyroidism in male and female rats. J Comp Neurol 322:501-518.

Mohan V, Sinha RA, Pathak A, Rastogi L, Kumar P, Pal A, Godbole MM (2012) Maternal thyroid hormone deficiency affects the fetal neocorticogenesis by reducing the proliferating pool, rate of neurogenesis and indirect neurogenesis. Exp Neurol 237:477-488.

Montero-Pedrazuela A, Venero C, Lavado-Autric R, Fernandez-Lamo I, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Bernal J, Guadano-Ferraz A (2006) Modulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis by thyroid hormones: implications in depressive-like behavior. Mol Psychiatry 11:361-371.

Oppenheimer J. The nuclear-receptor-triiodothyronine complex: Relationship to thyroid hormone distribution, metabolism, and biological action, In: Samuels HH, eds: Molecular Basis of Thyroid Hormone Action. Academic Press: New York. 1983: 1-34.

Pathak A, Sinha RA, Mohan V, Mitra K, Godbole MM (2011) Maternal thyroid hormone before the onset of fetal thyroid function regulates reelin and downstream signaling cascade affecting neocortical neuronal migration. Cereb Cortex 21:11-21.

Powell MH, Nguyen HV, Gilbert M, Parekh M, Colon-Perez LM, Mareci TH, Montie E (2012) Magnetic resonance imaging and volumetric analysis: novel tools to study the effects of thyroid hormone disruption on white matter development. Neurotoxicology 33:1322-1329.

Rabie A, Clavel MC, Legrand J (1980) Analysis of the mechanisms underlying increased histogenetic cell death in developing cerebellum of the hypothyroid rat: determination of the time required for granule cell death. Brain Res 190:409-414.

Rami A, Patel AJ, Rabie A (1986a) Thyroid hormone and development of the rat hippocampus: morphological alterations in granule and pyramidal cells. Neuroscience 19:1217-1226.

Rami A, Rabie A, Patel AJ (1986b) Thyroid hormone and development of the rat hippocampus: cell acquisition in the dentate gyrus. Neuroscience 19:1207-1216.

Seed J, Carney EW, Corley RA, Crofton KM, DeSesso JM, Foster PM, Kavlock R, Kimmel G, Klaunig J, Meek ME, Preston RJ, Slikker W Jr, Tabacova S, Williams GM, Wiltse J, Zoeller RT, Fenner-Crisp P, Patton DE.  Overview: Using mode of action and life stage information to evaluate the human relevance of animal toxicity data. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2005 35:664-72.

Shiraki A, Saito F, Akane H, Takeyoshi M, Imatanaka N, Itahashi M, Yoshida T, Shibutani M (2014) Expression alterations of genes on both neuronal and glial development in rats after developmental exposure to 6-propyl-2-thiouracil. Toxicol Lett 228:225-234.

Shiraki A, Saito F, Akane H, Akahori Y, Imatanaka N, Itahashi M, Yoshida T, Shibutani M. Gene expression profiling of the hippocampal dentate gyrus in an adult toxicity study captures a variety of neurodevelopmental dysfunctions in rat models of hypothyroidism. J Appl Toxicol. 2016 Jan;36(1):24-34.

Westerholz S, de Lima AD, Voigt T. Thyroid hormone-dependent development of early cortical networks: temporal specificity and the contribution of trkB and mTOR pathways. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013. 7:121.

Westerholz S, de Lima AD, Voigt T. Regulation of early spontaneous network activity and GABAergic neurons development by thyroid hormone. Neuroscience. 2010 Jun 30;168(2):573-89.

Wheeler SM, Willoughby KA, McAndrews MP, Rovet JF.  Hippocampal size and memory functioning in children and adolescents with congenital hypothyroidism.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011. 96(9):E1427-34