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Effects of postnatal thyroid hormone deficiency on neurogenesis in the juvenile and adult rat.

Journal article
Authors Liqun Zhang
Klas Blomgren
Hans-Georg Kuhn
Christiana M Cooper-Kuhn
Published in Neurobiology of disease
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 366-74
ISSN 1095-953X
Publication year 2009
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Pages 366-74
Language en
Keywords Aging, metabolism, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Antithyroid Agents, Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins, metabolism, Atrophy, etiology, metabolism, physiopathology, Brain, growth & development, metabolism, physiopathology, Cell Count, Cognition Disorders, etiology, metabolism, physiopathology, Dentate Gyrus, growth & development, metabolism, physiopathology, Disease Models, Animal, Down-Regulation, physiology, Hypothyroidism, chemically induced, complications, physiopathology, Neurogenesis, physiology, Neurons, metabolism, Organ Size, physiology, Propylthiouracil, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Thyroid Hormones, blood, deficiency
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


This study addressed the influence of propylthiouracil (PTU)-induced hypothyroidism on postnatal and adult neurogenesis. PTU was administered from birth to postnatal day 10 (P10) or P21, leading to decreased neural stem cell/progenitor proliferation in the dentate gyrus, as well as significantly fewer granule cells and reduced hippocampal volume. Upon P22 PTU withdrawal, plasma thyroid hormone levels were normal by P90, there was no difference in the number of dentate gyrus or subventricular proliferating cells, but brain weight was smaller. In addition, dentate gyrus density of surviving BrdU-labeled cells increased, with no changes to the olfactory bulb. Quantitative PCR revealed decreased FGF-2, NGF, Wnt3a, and VEGF-A hippocampal expression during PTU treatment, with recovery in adulthood. Pro-apoptotic Bax was up-regulated, and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 was down-regulated, during PTU treatment, both of which were normalized in the adult brain. In contrast, apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) was down-regulated in the adult. These results suggest that mechanisms in the adult brain attempt to compensate for decreased neurogenesis due to postnatal hypothyroidism.

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