ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130904-27
Thyroid hormone regulates muscle function during cold acclimation in zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Little, A.G., and Seebacher, F.
Date: 2013
Source: The Journal of experimental biology   216(18): 3514-3521 (Journal)
Registered Authors:
Keywords: swimming performance, SERCA, myofibrillar ATPase, 3,5-diiodothryronine, T2, 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine, T3
MeSH Terms:
  • Acclimatization/drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects
  • Hypothyroidism/physiopathology
  • Muscles/drug effects
  • Muscles/physiopathology*
  • RNA, Messenger/genetics
  • RNA, Messenger/metabolism
  • Thyroid Gland/drug effects
  • Thyroid Gland/physiopathology
  • Thyroid Hormones/pharmacology*
  • Triiodothyronine/pharmacology
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
PubMed: 23966591 Full text @ J. Exp. Biol.

Thyroid hormone (TH) is a universal regulator of growth, development and metabolism during cold exposure in mammals. In zebrafish (Danio rerio), TH regulates locomotor performance and metabolism during cold acclimation. The influence of TH on locomotor performance may be via its effect on metabolism or, as has been shown in mammals, by modulating muscle phenotypes. Our aim was to determine whether TH influences muscle phenotypes in zebrafish, and whether this could explain changes in swimming capacity in response to thermal acclimation. We used propylthiouracil and iopanoic acid to induce hypothyroidism in zebrafish over a 3-week acclimation period to either 18 or 28°C. To verify that physiological changes following hypothyroid treatment were in fact due to the action of TH, we supplemented hypothyroid fish with 3,5-diiodothryronine (T2) or 3,5,32-triiodothyronine (T3). Cold-acclimated fish had significantly greater sustained swimming performance (Ucrit) but not burst speed. Greater Ucrit was accompanied by increased tail beat frequency, but there was no change in tail beat amplitude. Hypothyroidism significantly decreased Ucrit and burst performance, as well as tail beat frequency and SERCA activity in cold-acclimated fish. However, myofibrillar ATPase activity increased in cold-acclimated hypothyroid fish. Hypothyroid treatment also decreased mRNA concentrations of myosin heavy chain fast isoforms and SERCA 1 isoform in cold-acclimated fish. SERCA 1 mRNA increased in warm-acclimated hypothyroid fish, and SERCA 3 mRNA decreased in both cold- and warm-acclimated hypothyroid fish. Supplementation with either T2 or T3 restored Ucrit, burst speed, tail beat frequency, SERCA activity and myosin heavy chain and SERCA 1 and 3 mRNA levels of hypothyroid fish back to control levels. We show that in addition to regulating development and metabolism in vertebrates, TH also regulates muscle physiology in ways that affect locomotor performance in fish. We suggest that the role of TH in modulating SERCA1 expression during cold exposure may have predisposed it to regulate endothermic thermogenesis.