Forhead, Alison J., Poore, Kirsten R., Mapstone, James and Fowden, Abigail L.
Developmental regulation of hepatic and renal gluconeogenic enzymes by thyroid hormones in fetal sheep during late gestation
Journal of Physiology, 548, (3), . (doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2002.035816).
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Tissue glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) activities were investigated in sheep fetuses after experimental manipulation of thyroid hormone status. Increments in hepatic and renal G6P and PEPCK activities seen between 127-130 and 140-145 days of gestation (term, 145 ± 2 days) were abolished when the normal prepartum rise in plasma triiodothyronine (T3), but not cortisol, was prevented by fetal thyroidectomy (TX). At 127-130 days, hepatic and renal G6P, and renal PEPCK, activities were similar in intact and TX fetuses; however, hepatic PEPCK was increased by TX. At 140-145 days, tissue G6P and PEPCK activities in TX fetuses were lower than in intact fetuses. In immature fetuses infused with cortisol (2-3 mg (kg body wt)-1 day-1) for five days, hepatic and renal enzyme activities were increased to those seen in mature fetuses near term. After five days of T3 infusion (8-12 µg (kg body wt)-1 day-1), G6P and PEPCK activities in the liver and kidney were greater than in saline-infused fetuses, but only renal G6P and PEPCK increased to the level seen close to term. Therefore, in fetal sheep, thyroid hormones are important for the prepartum rises in G6P and PEPCK activities in the liver and kidney and may mediate, in part, the maturational effects of cortisol.
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