MCT8-AHDS Foundation

Characterization of thyroid hormone transporter expression during tissue-specific metamorphic events in Xenopus tropicalis

Kristin A. Connors, Joe J. Korte, Grant W. Anderson, Sigmund J. Degitz
Abstract: 

Thyroid hormone (TH) induces the dramatic morphological and physiological changes that together comprise amphibian metamorphosis. TH-responsive tissues vary widely with developmental timing of TH-induced changes. How larval tadpole tissues are able to employ distinct metamorphic programs in a developmental stage- and TH-dependent manner is still unknown. Recently, several proteins capable of transporting TH have been identified. TH action and metabolism occurs primarily intracellularly, high- lighting the importance of TH transporters. We examined the hypothesis that TH transporter expression and tissue distribution play an important role in mediating TH-induced metamorphic events. Xenopus tropicalis homologs for known TH transporting OATP, MCT and LAT family proteins were identified and gene specific qRT-PCR primers were developed. Total RNA was extracted from tissues representing three unique developmental fates including: growth/differentiation (hind limb), death/resorption (gill, tail) and remodeling (brain, liver, kidney). For growing and resorbing tissues, results showed the general trend of low initial expression levels of MCT8 and MCT10 transporters, followed by a several-fold increase of expression as the tissue undergoes TH-dependent metamorphic changes. The expression pattern in remodeling tissues was less uniform: a general decrease in transporter expression was observed in the liver, while the kidney and brain exhibited a range of expression patterns for several TH transporters. Collectively, these developmental expression patterns are consistent with TH transporting proteins playing a role in the effects of TH in peripheral tissues.