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Relationship: 746


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 neuronal tissue, Decreased leads to Hippocampal gene expression, 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 adjacent Moderate Low Kevin Crofton (send email) Open for citation & comment WPHA/WNT Endorsed
Sodium Iodide Symporter (NIS) Inhibition and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals adjacent Moderate Low Mary Gilbert (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome
Upregulation of Thyroid Hormone Catabolism via Activation of Hepatic Nuclear Receptors, and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals adjacent Katie Paul Friedman (send email) Open for adoption Under Development
AhR activation in the liver leading to Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals adjacent High Moderate Prakash Patel (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite
AhR activation in the thyroid leading to Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals adjacent Moderate Moderate Prakash Patel (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite

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 Moderate NCBI
mouse Mus musculus Moderate 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

Many cellular and biochemical effects of thyroid hormones (TH) are mediated through regulation of gene expression (Oppenheimer, 1983; Bernal, 2007).  Thyroxine (T4) is transferred from the serum to the brain (see KER: Thyroxine (T4) in Serum, Decreased leads to Thyroxine (T4) in Neuronal Tissue, Decreased), where it converted to triiodothyronine (T3), the level of which is highly controlled by deiodinases. T3 binds to thyroid receptors (TR) in the nucleus of neuronal and glial cells to control gene expression. It is generally accepted that the modulation of TR gene expression in the hippocampus, or any other brain region, must therefore depend on the presence of hormone in these tissues. 

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 is moderate for TH concentrations affecting gene expression in the developing brain is (Oppenheimer and Schwartz, 1997; Oppenheimer, 1983; Bernal, 2007; Morte et al., 2010a; 2010b; Williams, 2008). Direct measurement of TH in brain tissue, and in hippocampus in particular, has shown correlations with gene expression. Therefore, it is assumed that reductions in TH-responsive genes in the hippocampus stem from reduced availability of hormone in the brain from the serum. However, studies in which there are simultaneous assessments of hippocampal concentrations of thyroid hormone and hippocampal gene expression is limited. 

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 relationship between these two KEs is strong. It is a generally accepted fact that TH produce their actions on brain development by binding to nuclear receptors to affect gene transcription. See KER (1387): "T4 in serum, Decreased leads (non-adjacently) to Hippocampal gene expression, Altered" for more information on TR regulated genes. As the primary means whereby TH promotes its action is by binding to TR in brain, TH must be present in brain to affect this action. Circulating levels of T4 represent the primary source of T4 in the brain, which is then converted to the active hormone T3 by deiodinases within neuronal tissue. 

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

There are no inconsistencies in this KER, but there are uncertainties. Uncertainties remain in the relationship of neuronal TH concentrations and gene expression in the brain because of the lack of studies simultaneously examining brain hormone and gene expression in the same study. This stems from the technological challenges associated with measuring brain hormone and the sometimes-subtle changes in brain gene expression induced by manipulations of the thyroid system. In addition, there are also some physiological actions of T4 that are mediated non-genomically at the cell membrane (Davis et al., 2016).  However, the exact role for the non-genomic effects is not well accepted or understood (Galton, 2017).

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

There is only one study available to date that provides empirical data on both TH concentrations and measures of gene expression changes in brain.  O'Shaughnessy et al (2018) demostrates dose-response relationships between brain T4 and T3 concentrations and changes in a variety of genes (e.g., Parv, Col11a2, Hr, Ngf) that were "statistically significant at doses that decreased brain t4 and/or T3".  There was no quantitation of this relationship reported.

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 data available has come from rodent models. The evolutionary conservation of thyroid receptors (Holzer et al., 2017) coupled with their role in TR regulated gene transcription in neurodevelopment, suggests that this KER may also be applicable to other species (see text above).


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

Bastian TW, Anderson JA, Fretham SJ, Prohaska JR, Georgieff MK, Anderson GW (2012), Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency reduces thyroid hormone-responsive gene mRNA levels in the neonatal rat hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Endocrinology 153:5668-5680.

Bastian TW, Prohaska JR, Georgieff MK, Anderson GW (2014) Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency exacerbates mild thyroid hormone insufficiency effects on male thyroid hormone levels and brain thyroid hormone-responsive gene expression. Endocrinology 155:1157-1167.

Bernal J (2007) Thyroid hormone receptors in brain development and function. Nat Clin Pract Endocrinol Metab 3:249-259.

Davis, P.J., Goglia, F., Leonard, J.L., 2016. Nongenomic actions of thyroid hormone. Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 12, 111-121.

Galton VA. The ups and downs of the thyroxine pro-hormone hypothesis. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2017 Jan 24. pii: S0303-7207(17)30042-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2017.01.029.

Gil-Ibañez P, García-García F, Dopazo J, Bernal J, Morte B.  Global Transcriptome Analysis of Primary Cerebrocortical Cells: Identification of Genes Regulated by Triiodothyronine in Specific Cell Types.  Cereb Cortex. 2017 Jan 1;27(1):706-717.

Hernandez A, Quignodon L, Martinez ME, Flamant F, St Germain DL (2010), Type 3 deiodinase deficiency causes spatial and temporal alterations in brain T3 signaling that are dissociated from serum thyroid hormone levels. Endocrinology 151:5550-5558.

Holzer G, Roux N, Laudet V. Evolution of ligands, receptors and metabolizing enzymes of thyroid signaling. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2017 Mar 22. pii: S0303-7207(17)30191-0. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2017.03.021.

Liu D, Teng W, Shan Z, Yu X, Gao Y, Wang S, Fan C, Wang H, Zhang H. The effect of maternal subclinical hypothyroidism during pregnancy on brain development in rat offspring.  Thyroid. 2010 Aug;20(8):909-15.

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.

Morte B, Diez D, Auso E, Belinchon MM, Gil-Ibanez P, Grijota-Martinez C, Navarro D, de Escobar GM, Berbel P, Bernal J (2010a) Thyroid hormone regulation of gene expression in the developing rat fetal cerebral cortex: prominent role of the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV pathway. Endocrinology 151:810-820.

Morte B, Ceballos A, Diez D, Grijota-Martínez C, Dumitrescu AM, Di Cosmo C, Galton VA, Refetoff S, Bernal J. (2010b) Thyroid hormone-regulated mouse cerebral cortex genes are differentially dependent on the source of the hormone: a study in monocarboxylate transporter-8- and deiodinase-2-deficient mice.  Endocrinology. 2010 May;151(5):2381-7

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

Oppenheimer, J. H. and H. L. Schwartz (1997). "Molecular basis of thyroid hormone-dependent brain development." Endocr Rev 18(4): 462-75.

O'Shaughnessy KL, Wood, C, Ford RL, Kosian, PA, Hotchkiss, MG, Degitz SJ, Gilbert ME. Thyroid hormone disruption in the fetal and neonatal rat: Predictive hormone measures and bioindicators of hormone action in the developing cortex. Toxicol Sci. 2018 Aug 6. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfy190.  [Epub ahead of print]

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. Cerebral cortex. 21:11-21.

Quignodon L, Legrand C, Allioli N, Guadano-Ferraz A, Bernal J, Samarut J, Flamant F (2004) Thyroid hormone signaling is highly heterogeneous during pre- and postnatal brain development. J Mol Endocrinol 33:467-476.

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.

Sharlin DS, Tighe D, Gilbert ME, Zoeller RT (2008) The balance between oligodendrocyte and astrocyte production in major white matter tracts is linearly related to serum total thyroxine. Endocrinology 149:2527-2536.

Williams GR (2008), Neurodevelopmental and neurophysiological actions of thyroid hormone. J Neuroendocrinol. 2008 Jun;20(6):784-94