Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Despite evidence for a conserved role of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in regulating vertebrate thyroid function, molecular data on thyroid responses to TSH are mainly limited to mammalian species. In this study, we examined histological and molecular changes in the thyroid of Xenopus laevis tadpoles during a 12-day treatment with 20mg/l perchlorate (PER) and 50mg/l ethylenethiourea (ETU). Inhibition of thyroid hormone (TH) synthesis by PER and ETU was evident from developmental retardation, reduced expression of TH-regulated genes and up-regulation of tshb-A mRNA. Thyroid histopathology revealed goiters with strikingly different follicular morphologies following PER and ETU treatment. Using real-time PCR, we analyzed thyroids sampled on day 12 for differential expression of 60 candidate genes. Further temporal analyses were performed for a subset of 14 genes. Relative to the control, PER and ETU treatment modulated the expression of 51 and 49 transcripts, respectively. Particularly genes related to TH synthesis and protein metabolism were similarly affected by PER and ETU. However, several genes were differentially expressed in PER- and ETU-treated tadpoles. Specifically, goiter formation in the PER treatment was associated with low expression of genes related to DNA replication but high expression of negative growth regulators. Results from this work provide for the first time a characterization of gene expression profiles during goitrogenesis in a non-mammalian vertebrate model. Overall, our data suggest that, in addition to TSH over-stimulation, further mechanisms related to the mode of goitrogen action contribute to the regulation of thyroid gene expression.