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Thyroid Hormone Acts Locally to Increase Neurogenesis, Neuronal Differentiation, and Dendritic Arbor Elaboration in the Tadpole Visual System.


ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormone (TH) regulates many cellular events underlying perinatal brain development in vertebrates. Whether and how TH regulates brain development when neural circuits are first forming is less clear. Furthermore, although the molecular mechanisms that impose spatiotemporal constraints on TH action in the brain have been described, the effects of local TH signaling are poorly understood. We determined the effects of manipulating TH signaling on development of the optic tectum in stage 46-49 Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Global TH treatment caused large-scale morphological effects in tadpoles, including changes in brain morphology and increased tectal cell proliferation. Either increasing or decreasing endogenous TH signaling in tectum, by combining targeted DIO3 knockdown and methimazole, led to corresponding changes in tectal cell proliferation. Local increases in TH, accomplished by injecting suspensions of tri-iodothyronine (T3) in coconut oil into the midbrain ventricle or into the eye, selectively increased tectal or retinal cell proliferation, respectively. In vivo time-lapse imaging demonstrated that local TH first increased tectal progenitor cell proliferation, expanding the progenitor pool, and subsequently increased neuronal differentiation. Local T3 also dramatically increased dendritic arbor growth in neurons that had already reached a growth plateau. The time-lapse data indicate that the same cells are differentially sensitive to T3 at different time points. Finally, TH increased expression of genes pertaining to proliferation and neuronal differentiation. These experiments indicate that endogenous TH locally regulates neurogenesis at developmental stages relevant to circuit assembly by affecting cell proliferation and differentiation and by acting on neurons to increase dendritic arbor elaboration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:Thyroid hormone (TH) is a critical regulator of perinatal brain development in vertebrates. Abnormal TH signaling in early pregnancy is associated with significant cognitive deficits in humans; however, it is difficult to probe the function of TH in early brain development in mammals because of the inaccessibility of the fetal brain in the uterine environment and the challenge of disambiguating maternal versus fetal contributions of TH. The external development of tadpoles allows manipulation and direct observation of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying TH's effects on brain development in ways not possible in mammals. We find that endogenous TH locally regulates neurogenesis at developmental stages relevant to circuit assembly by affecting neural progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation and by acting on neurons to enhance dendritic arbor elaboration.

SUBMITTER: Thompson CK 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5050329 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): RRID:SCR_002798

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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