Placenta passage of the thyroid hormone analog DITPA to male wild-type and Mct8-deficient mice

Alfonso Massimiliano Ferrara, Xiao Hui Liao, Pilar Gil-Ibáñez, Juan Bernal, Roy E. Weiss, Alexandra M. Dumitrescu, Samuel Refetoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8) deficiency causes severe X-linked intellectual and neuropsychological impairment associated with abnormal thyroid function tests (TFTs) producing thyroid hormone (TH) deprivation in brain and excess in peripheral tissues. The TH analog diiodothyropropionic acid (DITPA) corrected the TFTs abnormalities and hypermetabolism of MCT8- deficient children but did not improve the neurological phenotype. The latter result was attributed to the late initiation of treatment. Therefore, we gave DITPA to pregnant mice carrying Mct8- deficient embryos to determine whether DITPA, when given prenatally, crosses the placenta and affects the serum TFTs and cerebral cortex of embryos. After depletion of the endogenous TH, Mct8-heterozygous pregnant dams carrying both wild-type (Wt) and Mct8-deficient (Mct8KO) male embryos were given DITPA. Effects were compared with those treated with levothyroxine (L-T4). With DITPA treatment, serum DITPA concentration was not different in the two genotypes, which produced equal effect on serum TSH levels in both groups of pups. In contrast, with L-T4treatment, TSH did not normalize in Mct8KO pups whereas it did in the Wt littermates and dams despite higher concentration of serum T4. Finally, both treatments similarly modulated the expression of the TH-dependent genes Shh, Klf9, and Aldh1a3 in brain. Thus, the ability of DITPA to cross the placenta, its thyromimetic action on the expression of TH-dependent genes in brain, and its better accessibility to the pituitary than L-T4, as assessed by serum TSH, make DITPA a candidate for the prenatal treatment of MCT8 deficiency. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4088-4093
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Placenta passage of the thyroid hormone analog DITPA to male wild-type and Mct8-deficient mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this