Silva, N., Louro, B., Trindade, M., Power, D.M., Campinho, M.A. (2017) Transcriptomics reveal an integrative role for maternal thyroid hormones during zebrafish embryogenesis. Scientific Reports. 7:16657.
Thyroid hormones (THs) are essential for embryonic brain development but the genetic mechanisms involved in the action of maternal THs (MTHs) are still largely unknown. As the basis for understanding the underlying genetic mechanisms of MTHs regulation we used an established zebrafish monocarboxylic acid transporter 8 (MCT8) knock-down model and characterised the transcriptome in 25hpf zebrafish embryos. Subsequent mapping of differentially expressed genes using Reactome pathway analysis together with in situ expression analysis and immunohistochemistry revealed the genetic networks and cells under MTHs regulation during zebrafish embryogenesis. We found 4,343 differentially expressed genes and the Reactome pathway analysis revealed that TH is involved in 1681 of these pathways. MTHs regulated the expression of core developmental pathways, such as NOTCH and WNT in a cell specific context. The cellular distribution of neural MTH-target genes demonstrated their cell specific action on neural stem cells and differentiated neuron classes. Taken together our data show that MTHs have a role in zebrafish neurogenesis and suggest they may be involved in cross talk between key pathways in neural development. Given that the observed MCT8 zebrafish knockdown phenotype resembles the symptoms in human patients with Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome our data open a window into understanding the genetics of this human congenital condition.