Author(s): Hodin RA, Shei A, Morin M, Meng S
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Thyroid hormone (T3) is an important regulator of gut mucosal growth, differentiation, and barrier function, but its mechanism of action in the gastrointestinal tract is largely unknown. The present studies were carried out to define the molecular mechanisms by which T3 alters gut gene expression. METHODS: In vivo: Adult, male, Sprague-Dawley rats were given three daily injections (intraperitoneal) of either saline solution or 30 micrograms/kg triiodothyronine. Small intestinal tissues were harvested, and Northern blot analyses were performed by using specific radiolabeled cDNA probes. In vitro: HT-29 cells were transfected with reporter plasmids and treated with or without T3, and chloramphenicol acetyltransferase activity was measured. RESULTS: The T3-induced changes in enterocyte gene expression occurred in villus enterocytes and not in crypt cells and were independent of food intake. Northern analyses with an intron-specific probe revealed that the T3 induction in intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) expression occurs at the level of transcription. Transient transfection assays revealed no T3-induced changes under basal conditions but marked increases (sixfold, p < 0.001) when a T3-receptor (TR beta-1) plasmid was cotransfected. Furthermore, T3 was found to induce greater IAP reporter gene activity in differentiated (+ sodium butyrate) compared with undifferentiated HT-29 cells. CONCLUSIONS: T3 induces IAP expression at the level of gene transcription. Both in vivo and in vitro, IAP transcriptional activation occurs to a greater extent in differentiated enterocytes than in undifferentiated crypt cells. Transactivation of the IAP gene by T3 is mediated via a DNA cis-element(s) located within the 2.4 kb segment present in the reporter gene.
This article was published in Surgery
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health