Newly discovered roll of thyroid hormone during pregnancy
Children born with thyroid hormone deficiencies (hypothyreosis) are in danger of mental and locomotor underdevelopment if they remain untreated. However, scientists are unsure about what causes the damage and about how much attention should be given to the mother’s hormone levels during pregnancy. In Sweden, all newborn babies, but not all pregnant women, are tested for hypothyreosis.
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet have now shown in experiments on mice that both the mother’s and the child’s thyroid hormone are necessary for proper locomotor development. Hormone deficiencies during early pregnancy, when the mother is the only source of the hormone, produced locomotor disorders in the mice that persisted into adulthood, at which point they were beyond treatment.
“Hypothyreosis is easy to treat if it’s discovered,” says Professor Björn Vennström, who has led the study. “The results provide fresh support for those who advocate the more thorough monitoring of pregnant women.”
The scientists were also able to show that the cause of the locomotor disorders was an abnormal development of specific nerve cells in the motor cortex and cerebellum. The findings thus give new and important insights into the part played by thyroid hormone in brain development.
The study used gene modified mice with a mutation in one of the two receptors for thyroid hormone. The discoveries mean that patients with mutations of the same receptor can, for the first time, be identified and treated.
‘Locomotor deficiencies and aberrant development of subtype-specific GABAergic interneurons caused by an unliganded thyroid hormone receptor alpha 1’
Karin Wallis, Maria Sjögren, Max van Hogerlinden, Gilad Silberberg,
André Fisahn, Kristina Nordström, Lars Larsson, Håkan Westerblad,
Gabriela Morreale de Escobar, Oleg Shupliakov, Björn Vennström
Journal of Neuroscience, 20 February 2008
Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Health and Medicine
This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.
Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.
Grow faster, die sooner: How growth rates influence the fitness of bacteria
“The fitness of bacteria is more complex than expected,” explains Ulrich Gerland, professor for the theory of complex biosystems at the Technical University of…
Spintronics: Researchers show how to make non-magnetic materials magnetic
In solid-state physics, oxide layers only a few nanometres thick are known to form a so-called two-dimensional electron gas. These thin layers, separated from…
Caterpillars of the wax moth love eating plastic: Fraunhofer LBF investigates degradation process
Within the Framework of a research project on the chemical imaging analysis of plastic digestion in caterpillars (RauPE), a team from Fraunhofer LBF used…