In patients, inactivating mutations in the gene encoding the thyroid hormone-transporting monocarboxylate transporter 8 (Mct8) are associated with severe mental and neurological deficits and disturbed thyroid hormone levels. The latter phenotype characterized by high T3and low T4serum concentrations is replicated in Mct8 knockout (ko) mice, indicating that MCT8 deficiency interferes with thyroid hormone production and/or metabolism. Our studies of Mct8 ko mice indeed revealed increased thyroidal T3and T4concentrations without overt signs of a hyperactive thyroid gland. However, upon TSH stimulation Mct8 ko mice showed decreased T4and increased T3secretion compared with wild-type littermates. Moreover, similar changes in the thyroid hormone secretion pattern were observed in Mct8/Trhr1 double-ko mice, which are characterized by normal serum T3levels and normal hepatic and renal D1 expression in the presence of very low T4serum concentrations. These data strongly indicate that absence of Mct8 in the thyroid gland affects thyroid hormone efflux by shifting the ratio of the secreted hormones toward T3. To test this hypothesis, we generated Mct8/Pax8 double-mutant mice, which in addition to Mct8 lack a functional thyroid gland and are therefore completely athyroid. Following the injection of these animals with either T4or T3, serum analysis revealed T3concentrations similar to those observed in Pax8 ko mice under thyroid hormone replacement, indicating that indeed increased thyroidal T3secretion in Mct8 ko mice represents an important pathogenic mechanism leading to the high serum T3levels. Copyright,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Trajkovic-Arsic, M., Müller, J., Darras, V., Groba, C., Lee, S., Weih, D., … Heuer, H. (2010). Impact of monocarboxylate transporter-8 deficiency on the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis in mice. Endocrinology, 151(10), 5053–5062. doi:10.1210/en.2010-0593