Critical role for thyroid hormone receptor beta2 in the regulation of paraventricular thyrotropin-releasing hormone neurons

J Clin Invest. 2001 Apr;107(8):1017-23. doi: 10.1172/JCI10858.


Thyroid hormone thyroxine (T(4)) and tri-iodothyronine (T(3)) production is regulated by feedback inhibition of thyrotropin (TSH) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) synthesis in the pituitary and hypothalamus when T(3) binds to thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) interacting with the promoters of the genes for the TSH subunit and TRH. All of the TR isoforms likely participate in the negative regulation of TSH production in vivo, but the identity of the specific TR isoforms that negatively regulate TRH production are less clear. To clarify the role of the TR-beta2 isoform in the regulation of TRH gene expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, we examined preprothyrotropin-releasing hormone (prepro-TRH) expression in mice lacking the TR-beta2 isoform under basal conditions, after the induction of hypothyroidism with propylthiouracil, and in response to T(3) administration. Prepro-TRH expression was increased in hypothyroid wild-type mice and markedly suppressed after T(3) administration. In contrast, basal TRH expression was increased in TR-beta2-null mice to levels seen in hypothyroid wild-type mice and did not change significantly in response to induction of hypothyroidism or T(3) treatment. However, the suppression of TRH mRNA expression in response to leptin reduction during fasting was preserved in TR-beta2-null mice. Thus TR-beta2 is the key TR isoform responsible for T(3)-mediated negative-feedback regulation by hypophysiotropic TRH neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fasting
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / cytology
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Isoforms / physiology
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone / physiology*
  • Thyrotropin / metabolism
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / genetics
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism*
  • Thyroxine / metabolism


  • Leptin
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine