Leptin counteracts hypothermia in hypothyroidism through its pyrexic effects and by stabilizing serum thyroid hormone levels

Juliane Weiner, Lisa Roth, Mathias Kranz, Peter Brust, Anita Boelen, Nora Klöting, John T. Heiker, Matthias Blüher, Anke Tönjes, Paul T. Pfluger, Michael Stumvoll, Jens Mittag, Kerstin Krause*

*Corresponding author for this work
5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Thyroid hormones (TH) are essential for the homeostatic control of energy metabolism and the regulation of body temperature. The hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid (HPT) axis is regulated by negative feedback mechanisms, ensuring that TH levels are maintained at a constant level. However, the feedback mechanisms underlying the resetting of the HPT axis regulation in the control of body temperature are still not fully understood. Here, we aimed to determine the thermoregulatory response in hypothyroid mice to different environmental temperatures and the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Distinct thermogenic challenges were induced in hypothyroid female C57BL/6N and leptin-deficient ob/ob mice through housing at either room temperature or thermoneutrality. The thermogenic and metabolic effects were analyzed through metabolic chambers, 18F-FDG-PET/MRI, infrared thermography, metabolic profiling, histology, gene expression and Western blot analysis. Results: In hypothyroid mice maintained at room temperature, high leptin serum levels induce a pyrexic effect leading to the stabilization of body temperature through brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and white adipose tissue browning. Housing at thermoneutrality leads to the normalization of leptin levels and a reduction of the central temperature set point, resulting in decreased thermogenesis in brown and white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle and a significant decline in body temperature. Furthermore, anapyrexia in hypothyroid leptin-deficient ob/ob mice indicates that besides its pyrexic actions, leptin exerts a stimulatory effect on the HPT axis to stabilize the remaining TH serum levels in hypothyroid mice. Conclusion: This study led to the identification of a previously unknown endocrine loop in which leptin acts in concert with the HPT axis to stabilize body temperature in hypothyroid mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101348
JournalMolecular Metabolism
Volume54
ISSN2212-8778
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-17 Endocrinology, Diabetology, Metabolism

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