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Increased anxiety and fear memory in adult mice lacking type 2 deiodinase

AuthorsBárez-López, Soledad; Montero-Pedrazuela, Ana ; Bosch-García, Daniel ; Venero, César ; Guadaño-Ferraz, Ana
KeywordsAdult brain
Emotional disorders
Learning and memory
Thyroid hormones
Type 2 deiodinase
Issue Date2017
CitationPsychoneuroendocrinology 784: 51-60 (2017)
AbstractA euthyroid state in the brain is crucial for its adequate development and function. Impairments in thyroid hormones (THs; T3 or 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine and T4 or thyroxine) levels and availability in brain can lead to neurological alterations and to psychiatric disorders, particularly mood disorders. The thyroid gland synthetizes mainly T4, which is secreted to circulating blood, however, most actions of THs are mediated by T3, the transcriptionally active form. In the brain, intracellular concentrations of T3 are modulated by the activity of type 2 (D2) and type 3 (D3) deiodinases. In the present work, we evaluated learning and memory capabilities and anxiety-like behavior at adult stages in mice lacking D2 (D2KO) and we analyzed the impact of D2-deficiency on TH content and on the expression of T3-dependent genes in the amygdala and the hippocampus. We found that D2KO mice do not present impairments in spatial learning and memory, but they display emotional alterations with increased anxiety-like behavior as well as enhanced auditory-cued fear memory and spontaneous recovery of fear memory following extinction. D2KO mice also presented reduced T3 content in the hippocampus and decreased expression of the T3-dependent gene Dio3 in the amygdala suggesting a hypothyroid status in this structure. We propose that the emotional dysfunctions found in D2KO mice can arise from the reduced T3 content in their brain, which consequently leads to alterations in gene expression with functional consequences. We found a downregulation in the gene encoding for the calcium-binding protein calretinin (Calb2) in the amygdala of D2KO mice that could affect the GABAergic transmission. The current findings in D2KO mice can provide insight into emotional disorders present in humans with DIO2 polymorphisms.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.06.013
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