Zebrafish duox Mutations Provide A Model For Human Congenital Hypothyroidism

Kunal Chopra, Shoko Ishibashi, Enrique Amaya

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Thyroid dyshormonogenesis is a leading cause of congenital hypothyroidism, a highly prevalent but treatable condition. Thyroid hormone synthesis is dependent on the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In humans, the primary sources for ROS production during thyroid hormone synthesis are the NADPH oxidases DUOX1 and DUOX2. Indeed, mutations in DUOX1 and DUOX2 have been linked with congenital hypothyroidism. Unlike humans, zebrafish has a single orthologue for DUOX1 and DUOX2. In this study, we investigated the phenotypes associated with two nonsense mutant alleles, sa9892 and sa13017, of the single duox gene in zebrafish. Both alleles gave rise to readily observable phenotypes reminiscent of congenital hypothyroidism, from the larval stages through to adulthood. By using various methods to examine external and internal phenotypes, we discovered a strong correlation between TH synthesis and duox function, beginning from an early larval stage, when T4 levels are already noticeably absent in the mutants. Loss of T4 production resulted in growth retardation, pigmentation defects, ragged fins, thyroid hyperplasia / external goiter, and infertility. Remarkably, all of these defects associated with chronic congenital hypothyroidism could be rescued with T4 treatment, even when initiated when the fish had already reached adulthood. Our work suggests that these zebrafish duox mutants may provide a powerful model to understand the aetiology of untreated and treated congenital hypothyroidism even in advance stages of development.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbio.037655
JournalBiology Open
Early online date30 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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