Zebrafish as a model for monocarboxyl transporter 8-deficiency
Allan Herndon Dudley syndrome (AHDS) is a severe psychomotor retardation characterized by neurological impairment and abnormal thyroid hormone (TH) levels. Mutations in the TH transporter, monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8), are associated with AHDS. MCT8-knockout mice exhibit impaired TH levels; however, they lack neurological defects. Here, the zebrafish mct8 gene and promoter were isolated, and mct8 promoter-driven transgenic lines were used to show that, similar to humans, mct8 is primarily expressed in the nervous and vascular systems. Morpholino-based knockdown and rescue experiments revealed that MCT8 is strictly required for neuron development in the brain and spinal cord. This study shows that MCT8 is a crucial regulator during embryonic development and establishes the first vertebrate model for MCT8-deficiency that exhibits a neurological phenotype.