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Anne H van der Spek, Olga V Surovtseva, Saskia Aan, Anton T J Tool, Annemarie van de Geer, Korcan Demir, Anja L M van Gucht, A S Paul van Trotsenburg, Timo K van den Berg, Eric Fliers and Anita Boelen

Innate immune cells have recently been identified as novel thyroid hormone (TH) target cells in which intracellular TH levels appear to play an important functional role. The possible involvement of TH receptor alpha (TRα), which is the predominant TR in these cells, has not been studied to date. Studies in TRα0/0 mice suggest a role for this receptor in innate immune function. The aim of this study was to determine whether TRα affects the human innate immune response. We assessed circulating interleukin-8 concentrations in a cohort of 8 patients with resistance to TH due to a mutation of TRα (RTHα) and compared these results to healthy controls. In addition, we measured neutrophil and macrophage function in one of these RTHα patients (mutation D211G). Circulating interleukin-8 levels were elevated in 7 out of 8 RTHα patients compared to controls. These patients harbor different mutations, suggesting that this is a general feature of the syndrome of RTHα. Neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis, bacterial killing, NAPDH oxidase activity and chemotaxis were unaltered in cells derived from the RTHαD211G patient. RTHα macrophage phagocytosis and cytokine induction after LPS treatment were similar to results from control cells. The D211G mutation did not result in clinically relevant impairment of neutrophil or pro-inflammatory macrophage function. As elevated circulating IL-8 is also observed in hyperthyroidism, this observation could be due to the high-normal to high levels of circulating T3 found in patients with RTHα.

Open access

Emmely M de Vries, Hermina C van Beeren, Albert C W A van Wijk, Andries Kalsbeek, Johannes A Romijn, Eric Fliers and Anita Boelen

Fasting induces profound changes in the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis and peripheral thyroid hormone (TH) metabolism, ultimately leading to lower serum thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the regulation of type 3 deiodinase (D3) during fasting in two metabolic tissues: liver and white adipose tissue (WAT). To this end, we studied the effect of modulation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) on D3 expression in primary rat hepatocytes and in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. In addition, we studied the role of the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) on liver TH metabolism using primary hepatocytes and CAR-/- mice. Twenty-four-hour fasting increased liver Dio3 expression in mice. Inhibition of mTOR using mTOR inhibitors markedly induced Dio3 mRNA expression in primary hepatocytes; this increase was accompanied by a small increase in D3 activity. Stimulation of these cells with a CAR agonist induced both Dio3 mRNA expression and activity. Fasting increased hepatic D3 expression in WT but not in CAR-/- mice. In WAT, Dio3 mRNA expression increased five-fold after 48-h fasting. Treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with mTOR inhibitors induced Dio3 mRNA expression, whereas stimulation of these cells with cobalt chloride, a compound that mimics hypoxia and stabilizes HIF1α, did not induce Dio3 mRNA expression. In conclusion, our results indicate an important role of mTOR in the upregulation of D3 in WAT and liver during fasting. Furthermore, CAR plays a role in the fasting induced D3 increase in the liver.