In fish as in other vertebrates, the diverse functions of thyroid hormones are mediated at the peripheral tissue level through iodothyronine deiodinase (dio) enzymes and thyroid hormone receptor (tr) proteins. In this study, we examined thyroid hormone regulation of mRNAs encoding the three deiodinases dio1, dio2 and dio3 – as well as three thyroid hormone receptors trαA, trαB and trβ – in initial phase striped parrotfish (Scarus iseri). Parrotfish were treated with dissolved phase T3 (20 nM) or methimazole (3 mM) for 3 days. Treatment with exogenous T3 elevated circulating T3, while the methimazole treatment depressed plasma T4. Experimentally-induced hyperthyroidism increased the relative abundance of transcripts encoding trαA and trβ in the liver and brain, but did not affect trαB mRNA levels in either tissue. In both sexes, methimazole-treated fish exhibited elevated dio2 transcripts in the liver and brain, suggesting enhanced outer-ring deiodination activity in these tissues. Accordingly, systemic hyperthyroidism elevated relative dio3 transcript levels in these same tissues. In the gonad, however, patterns of transcript regulation were distinctly different with elevated T3 increasing mRNAs encoding dio2 in testicular and ovarian tissues and dio3, trαA and trαB in the testes only. Thyroid hormone status did not affect dio1 transcript abundance in the liver, brain or gonads. Taken as a whole, these results demonstrate that thyroidal status influences relative transcript abundance for dio2 and dio3 in the liver, provide new evidence for similar patterns of dio2 and dio3 mRNA regulation in the brain, and make evident that fish exhibit tr subtype-specific transcript abundance changes to altered thyroid status.



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