BACKGROUND: Thyroid hormone signaling is essential for development, metabolism, and response to stress but declines during aging, the cause of which is unknown. DNA damage accumulating with time is a main cause of aging, driving many age-related diseases. Previous studies in normal and premature aging mice, due to defective DNA repair, indicated reduced hepatic thyroid hormone signaling accompanied by decreased type 1 deiodinase (DIO1) and increased DIO3 activities. We investigated whether aging-related changes in deiodinase activity are driven by systemic signals or represent cell- or organ-autonomous changes.
METHODS: We quantified liver and plasma thyroid hormone concentrations, deiodinase activities and expression of T3-responsive genes in mice with a global, liver-specific and for comparison brain-specific inactivation of Xpg, one of the endonucleases critically involved in multiple DNA repair pathways.
RESULTS: Both in global and liver-specific Xpg knockout mice, hepatic DIO1 activity was decreased. Interestingly, hepatic DIO3 activity was increased in global, but not in liver-specific Xpg mutants. Selective Xpg deficiency and premature aging in the brain did not affect liver or systemic thyroid signaling. Concomitant with DIO1 inhibition, Xpg -/- and Alb-Xpg mice displayed reduced thyroid hormone-related gene expression changes, correlating with markers of liver damage and cellular senescence.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that DIO1 activity during aging is predominantly modified in a tissue-autonomous manner driven by organ/cell-intrinsic accumulating DNA damage. The increase in hepatic DIO3 activity during aging largely depends on systemic signals, possibly reflecting the presence of circulating cells rather than activity in hepatocytes.
- Aging, Premature/genetics
- DNA Repair-Deficiency Disorders/metabolism
- Iodide Peroxidase/genetics
- Mice, Knockout
- Thyroid Hormones/metabolism