General and Comparative Endocrinology vol:116 issue:2 pages:272-80
Fasting and refeeding have considerable effects on thyroid hormone metabolism. In the present study, 8-day-old meat-type cockerels were subjected to a 2-day starvation period followed by 3 days' refeeding. Blood and tissue samples were collected at the start of the experiment, at 4, 24, and 48 h of starvation, and at 4, 8, 24, 48, and 72 h of refeeding. This study demonstrates that in chicken, fasting decreased plasma T(3) and TSH levels and increased plasma T(4) concentrations. This was accompanied by increased hepatic type III deiodinase (D3) and decreased renal D3 activity. There were no changes in hepatic or renal type I deiodinase (D1). Refeeding restored normal plasma T(3), T(4), and TSH levels, while hepatic D3 and renal D3 activities returned to prefasting levels. Again hepatic D1 was not affected, but renal D1 was lower than the ad libitum values during the entire refeeding period. These results confirm that liver D3 is involved in the regulation of plasma T(3) during fasting and refeeding in the chicken. Northern blot analysis demonstrated increased hepatic D3 mRNA levels during the first day of starvation that disappeared by the end of the second day; refeeding had no additional effects. These results suggest that in fasted chickens the rapid upregulation of hepatic D3 occurs predominantly at a pretranslational level, whereas the drop in hepatic D3 activity after refeeding is probably regulated at a posttranslational level. In addition, renal D3 may play a role in the regulation of local T(3) availability.