Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology. vol:132 issue:1 pages:239-45
In chickens, fasting results in increased plasma thyroxine (T(4)) levels and decreased plasma 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T(3)) levels. Refeeding, in turn, restores normal plasma T(3) and T(4) levels. The liver is an important tissue for the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone levels. Previous studies demonstrated that the increase in hepatic type III deiodinase in fasted chickens plays a role in the decrease of plasma T(3). Another factor that could be important is the level of T(4) and T(3) uptake by the liver. In mammals, caloric restriction is known to diminish transport of T(4) and T(3) into tissues. The present study examines whether this is also the case in chicken. Four-week-old chickens were subjected to a 24-h starvation period followed by refeeding. Blood and liver samples were collected at the start of refeeding and at different times of refeeding. Thyroid hormone levels were measured directly in plasma and in tissues following extraction. The results demonstrate that intrahepatic T(4) levels are increased and T(3) levels are decreased in fasted compared to ad libitum fed chickens. The parallel changes in plasma and hepatic T(3) and T(4) content demonstrate that T(4) availability in liver tissue is not diminished during fasting, suggesting that in chicken thyroid hormone uptake by the liver is not affected by nutritional status.