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TH synthesis, Decreased leads to GABAergic interneurons, Decreased
Key Event Relationship Overview
AOPs Referencing Relationship
|AOP Name||Adjacency||Weight of Evidence||Quantitative Understanding||Point of Contact||Author Status||OECD Status|
|Inhibition of Na+/I- symporter (NIS) leads to learning and memory impairment||non-adjacent||Low||Low||Anna Price (send email)||Open for citation & comment||WPHA/WNT Endorsed|
Life Stage Applicability
|During brain development||Moderate|
Key Event Relationship Description
Thyroid hormone synthesis is responsible for physiological TH serum levels that subsequently correlate with TH brain concentrations. It has been shown that TH regulates function of different neuronal subtypes, including GABAergic neurons. TH increases glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) activity (responsible for GABA-synthesis) in neonatal brain, and GABA transaminase (responsible for GABA degradation) activity (Shulga and Rivera, 2013). GABAergic interneurons are remarkably diverse and complex in nature and they are believed to play a key role in numerous neurodevelopmental processes (Southwell et al., 2014). During the early cortical network development TH has been shown to regulate the morphology and function of the GABAergic neurons (Westerholz et al., 2010). It is well documented that decreased TH synthesis triggered by TPO and NIS inhibitors affects survival of GABAergic interneurons, as well as their morphology and function.
Evidence Supporting this KER
TH levels influence the development of cortical GABAergic circuits (Friauf et al., 2008; Westerholz et al., 2010). In hypothyroid rats the expression of parvalbumin, the marker of a subpopulation of GABAergic neurons, is reduced (Gilbert et al., 2007). TH increase glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD, GABA-synthesizing enzyme) activity in neonatal brain. Also GABA transaminase (GABA-T, GABA-degrading enzyme) activity appears to be increased by TH. Therefore, both GABA synthesis and degradation are increased by TH. This might reflect either the specific regulation of GABA levels, or general regulation of gene expression maintenance by TH, as commented by Shulga and Rivera, 2013. This strongly supports the link between the two KEs described in this indirect KER (decrease of TH synthesis leads to GABAergic interneuron decrease). It was also shown that low concentrations of T3 increase by non-genomic mechanism the depolarization-dependent release of GABA. GABA appears to provide negative feedback to thyroid endocrine axis, as TSH release is inhibited by GABA (Wiens and Trudeau, 2006).
Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
While some in vivo studies (Sawano et al., 2013; Shiraki et al., 2012) have shown a decrease of GABAergic cell populations upon induction of hypothyroidism, Saegusa and co-workers (Saegusa et al., 2010) reported about an increase of GABAergic interneurons. In Saegusa's study, rat dams were treated with either PTU or MMI in the drinking water, and male offspring were immunohistochemically examined on PND 20 and at the adult stage (i.e., 11-week-old). MMI and PTU caused in the offspring growth retardation, lasting into the adult stage. All exposure groups showed a sustained increase of GAD67+ cells in the adult stage, indicating an increase in GABAergic interneurons.
It should be noticed that in Saegusa et al., 2010 in vivo study, increase of GAD67+ cells was mainly observed in the adult stage (11-week-old rats) and analysis of GABAergic interneurons. PV+ cells, which appear to be the GABAergic population most affected by TH dysregulation, was not evaluated. On the opposite, Sawano's and Shiraki's in vivo studies reported a decrease of GABAergic PV+ neurons at earlier stages, respectively on PND 15 and 21 induced by hypothyroidism (Sawano et al., 2013; Shiraki et al., 2012). Discrepancies in results are due to the fact that THs have effects on multiple components of the GABA system. For instance, in the developing brain, hypothyroidism generally decreases enzyme activities and GABA levels, whereas in adult brain, hypothyroidism generally increases enzyme activities and GABA levels.
There are also conflicting results on effects of long term changes in TH levels on GABA reuptake. Therefore, results variability from study to study is due to different experimental study designs, accounting for differences in brain development stages (PND vs adult), times of exposures to chemicals, and regional brain differences (Wiens and Trudeau, 2006).
Known modulating factors
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Domain of Applicability
Empirical evidence comes from work with laboratory rodents (rats and mice).
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