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Distinct behavioral phenotypes in male mice lacking the thyroid hormone receptor alpha1 or beta isoforms

Vasudevan, N., Morgan, M., Pfaff, D. and Ogawa, S. (2013) Distinct behavioral phenotypes in male mice lacking the thyroid hormone receptor alpha1 or beta isoforms. Hormones and Behavior, 63 (5). pp. 742-751. ISSN 0018-506X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2013.03.015

Abstract/Summary

Thyroid hormones influence both neuronal development and anxiety via the thyroid hormone receptors (TRs). The TRs are encoded by two different genes, TRalpha and TRbeta. The loss of TRalpha1 is implicated in increased anxiety in males, possibly via a hippocampal increase in GABAergic activity. We compared both social behaviors and two underlying and related non-social behaviors, state anxiety and responses to acoustic and tactile startle in the gonadally intact TRalpha1 knockout (alpha1KO) and TRbeta (betaKO) male mice to their wild-type counterparts. For the first time, we show an opposing effect of the two TR isoforms, TRalpha1 and TRbeta, in the regulation of state anxiety, with alpha1 knockout animals (alpha1KO) showing higher levels of anxiety and betaKO males showing less anxiety compared to respective wild-type mice. At odds with the increased anxiety in non-social environments, alpha1KO males also show lower levels of responsiveness to acoustic and tactile startle stimuli. Consistent with the data that T4 is inhibitory to lordosis in female mice, we show subtly increased sex behavior in alpha1KO male mice. These behaviors support the idea that TRalpha1 could be inhibitory to ERalpha driven transcription that ultimately impacts ERalpha driven behaviors such as lordosis. The behavioral phenotypes point to novel roles for the TRs, particularly in non-social behaviors such as state anxiety and startle.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:58933
Publisher:Elsevier

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