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Effects of thyroid hormone deficiency on mice selected for increased and decreased body weight and fatness.

TitleEffects of thyroid hormone deficiency on mice selected for increased and decreased body weight and fatness.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsBünger L, Wallace H, Bishop JO, Hastings IM, Hill WG
JournalGenet Res
Date Published1998 Aug
KeywordsAnimals, Body Weight, Crosses, Genetic, Female, Genetic Variation, Growth Hormone, Male, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Obesity, Pregnancy, Selection, Genetic, Sex Characteristics, Thyroid Gland, Thyroid Hormones

A study was undertaken to test whether the elimination of metabolic pathways strongly involved in growth and fatness, comprising thyroid hormones (TH) and growth hormone (GH), is responsible for a substantial part of the genetic change produced by selection. Lines used in this study have been selected for about 50 generations for high (PH) and low (PL) body weight at 10 weeks and for high (F) and low fat content (L) at 14 weeks, producing a 3-fold difference in body weights and a 5-fold difference in fat content. Thyroid ablation was achieved by repeated backcrossing into the four selection lines of a transgene comprising the HSV1-tk gene coupled to the promoter of the thyroglobulin gene. Hemizygous pregnant dams were treated with ganciclovir leading to thyroid-ablated dams and offspring and therefore to a lack of TH and subsequently of GH. In the absence of TH and GH, lines still differ in body weight over the period studied (10 d to about 100 d; e.g. at the end PH = 32.1 g vs PL = 10.2 g) and in fat content (F = 16.2% vs L = 3.8%); the corresponding values for the wild-type controls were PH = 49.9 g vs PL = 17.4 g and F = 27.5% vs L = 4.8%. The effect of the transgene depended on the genetic background for body weights at most ages and for relative gonadal fat pad weights, but less for fat content. The L line showed the lowest growth depression. The lit gene, which causes GH but not TH deficiency, was also transferred by repeated backcrosses into three of these lines (PH, PL, F). The combined deficiency of TH and GH had bigger effects on body weights at earlier ages than did GH deprivation. The data show that changes in the TH- and GH-systems are not the only cause of line differences in growth and fatness resulting from long-term selection, but both are involved to a significant extent. The interactions between the effects of the transgene and of the lit gene and the genetic background were, nevertheless, relatively small and therefore these results support a polygenic model of selection response.

Alternate JournalGenet. Res.
PubMed ID9802260