General and Comparative Endocrinology vol:124 issue:3 pages:333-42
In the current study, the authors examined the effects of experimentally induced hypothyroidism on peripheral thyroid hormone metabolism and growth in two closely related tilapia species: the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and the slower growing black tilapia (Sarotherodon melanotheron). Hypothyroidism, induced by administration of 0.2% methimazole through the food, significantly decreased plasma T(3) and T(4) in both species. This decrease in circulating thyroid hormones was accompanied by an increase in hepatic type II deiodinase (D2) and a decrease in hepatic type III deiodinase (D3). Hepatic type I deiodinase (D1), which is barely expressed in euthyroid tilapia, was significantly upregulated during hypothyroidism. The changes in hepatic D1 and D2 enzyme activity were paralleled by changes in D1 and D2 mRNA levels, indicating pretranslational regulation. Hypothyroidism also resulted in severe growth retardation that was accompanied by an increase in condition factor. Because hyperthyroidism has been shown to decrease the condition factor, these results suggest that thyroid hormones play an essential role in the control of proportional body growth in fish. The authors conclude that (1) hepatic D1 expression is induced by hypothyroidism in tilapia, (2) the changes in hepatic iodothyronine deiodinases during hypothyroidism in tilapia are predominantly regulated at a pretranslational level, and (3) thyroid hormones are involved in the control of proportional body growth in fish.