Local Thyroid Hormone Action in Brain Development

Proper brain development essentially depends on the timed availability of sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone (TH). This, in turn, necessitates a tightly regulated expression of TH signaling components such as TH transporters, deiodinases, and TH receptors in a brain region- and cell-specific manner from early developmental stages onwards. Abnormal TH levels during critical stages, as well as mutations in TH signaling components that alter the global and/or local thyroidal state, result in detrimental consequences for brain development and neurological functions that involve alterations in central neurotransmitter systems. Thus, the question as to how TH signaling is implicated in the development and maturation of different neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems has gained increasing attention. In this review, we first summarize the current knowledge on the regulation of TH signaling components during brain development. We then present recent advances in our understanding on how altered TH signaling compromises the development of cortical glutamatergic neurons, inhibitory GABAergic interneurons, cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons. Thereby, we highlight novel mechanistic insights and point out open questions in this evolving research field.


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