Little is known about the overall patterns of thyroid hormone (Th)-mediated gene regulation by the main Th receptor (Tr) isoforms, Tr-alpha and Tr-beta, in vivo. We used 48 complementary DNA microarrays to examine hepatic gene expression profiles of wild-type and Thra and Thrb knockout mice under different Th conditions: no treatment, treatment with 3,3',5-triiodothyronine (T(3)), Th-deprivation using propylthiouracil (PTU), and treatment with a combination of PTU and T(3). Hierarchical clustering analyses showed that positively regulated genes fit into three main expression patterns. In addition, only a subpopulation of target genes repressed basal transcription in the absence of ligand. Interestingly, Thra and Thrb knockout mice showed similar gene expression patterns to wild-type mice, suggesting that these isoforms co-regulate most hepatic target genes. Differences in the gene expression patterns of Thra/Thrb double-knockout mice and Th-deprived wild-type mice show that absence of receptor and of hormone can have different effects. This large-scale study of hormonal regulation reveals the functions of Th and of Tr isoforms in the regulation of gene expression patterns.