Leptin administration restores the fasting-induced increase of hepatic type 3 deiodinase expression in mice

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Thyroid, Volume 22, Number 2, p.192-199 (2012)


1557-9077 (Electronic)10

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Background: Decreased serum leptin has been proposed as a critical signal initiating the neuroendocrine response to fasting. Leptin administration partially reverses the fasting-induced suppression of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis at the central level. It is, however, unknown to what extent leptin affects peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of leptin administration on starvation-induced alterations of peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism in mice. Methods: Three types of experiments were performed: (i) mice were fasted for 24 hours while leptin was administered twice (at 0 and 8 hours, 1 mug/g body weight [BW]), (ii) mice were fasted for 24 hours and, subsequently, leptin was given once at 24 hours (killed at 28 and 32 hours), and (iii) mice were fasted for 48 hours. All groups had appropriate controls. Serum triiodothyronine and thyroxine, liver type 1 deiodinase (D1), type 3 deiodinase (D3), thyroid hormone receptor (TR)beta1, TRalpha1 and alpha2 mRNA expression, and liver D1 and D3 activity were measured. Results: Twenty-four hours of fasting decreased liver TRbeta1 mRNA expression, while liver TRalpha1, TRalpha2, and D1 mRNA expression and activity did not change. In contrast, 24 hours of fasting increased liver D3 mRNA. Leptin administration after fasting restored liver D3 expression, while serum thyroid hormone levels and liver TRbeta1 expression remained low. Conclusion: Leptin administration selectively restores starvation-induced increased hepatic D3 expression independently of serum thyroid hormone concentrations. The present study shows that fasting-induced changes in mRNA expression of genes involved in hepatic hormone metabolism are influenced not only by decreased serum thyroid hormone levels but also by serum leptin.