3-Iodothyronamine (3-T1AM) is an endogenous thyroid hormone (TH)-derived metabolite that induces severe hypothermia in mice after systemic administration; however, the underlying mechanisms have remained enigmatic. We show here that the rapid 3-T1AM-induced loss in body temperature is a consequence of peripheral vasodilation and subsequent heat loss (e.g., over the tail surface). The condition is subsequently intensified by hypomotility and a lack of brown adipose tissue activation. Although the possible 3-T1AM targets trace amine-associated receptor 1 or a2aadrenergic receptor were detected in tail artery and aorta respectively, myograph studies did not show any direct effect of 3-T1AM on vasodilation, suggesting that its actions are likely indirect. Intracerebroventricular application of 3-T1AM, however, replicated the phenotype of tail vasodilation and body temperature decline and led to neuronal activation in the hypothalamus, suggesting that the metabolite causes tail vasodilation through a hypothalamic signaling pathway. Consequently, the 3-T1AM response constitutes anapyrexia rather than hypothermia and closely resembles the heat-stress response mediated by hypothalamic temperature-sensitive neurons. Our results thus underline the well-known role of the hypothalamus as the body's thermostat and suggest an additional molecular link between TH signaling and the central control of body temperature.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)