Inhibition of hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone messenger ribonucleic acid during food deprivation

Endocrinology. 1991 Nov;129(5):2714-8. doi: 10.1210/endo-129-5-2714.


Food deprivation in laboratory rats induces profound changes in the neuroendocrine system. We have investigated the hypothalamic and pituitary responses of the hypothalamo-pituitary thyroid axis to 48-h food deprivation in Sprague-Dawley rats. Peripheral T3 and hypophysial portal TRH were measured by RIA, and TSH beta, PRL, and pro-TRH mRNA were measured using in situ hybridization histochemistry. Peripheral total T3 was greatly reduced in food-deprived rats. Hypothalamic portal blood TRH levels declined significantly with time in control animals. The initial level of TRH in the portal blood of food-deprived rats was significantly reduced compared to that in controls, but did not fall further with time. In situ hybridization histochemistry revealed significantly lower pro-TRH mRNA in the paraventricular nucleus of food-deprived animals, while pro-TRH mRNA in the reticular nucleus remained unaltered. Furthermore, in the anterior pituitary, TSH beta mRNA decreased significantly in food-deprived animals, while PRL mRNA was unaltered. We conclude that the reduction in circulating T3 after food deprivation appears to be due primarily to decreased hypothalamic TRH synthesis and release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Food Deprivation / physiology*
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Prolactin / genetics
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • RNA, Messenger / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Thyrotropin / genetics
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / blood
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / genetics*
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Protein Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Thyrotropin
  • pro-thyrotropin releasing hormone
  • Pyrrolidonecarboxylic Acid