Recent work has demonstrated the importance of post-transcriptional gene regulation in toxic responses. In the present study, we used two rat models to investigate mRNA translation in the liver following xenobiotic-induced toxicity. By combining polysome profiling with genomic methodologies, we were able to assess global changes in hepatic mRNA translation. Dio3 (iodothyronine deiodinase type III) was identified as a gene that exhibited specific translational repression and had a functional role in a number of relevant canonical pathways. Western blot analysis indicated that this repression led to reduced D3 (the protein expressed by Dio3) levels, enhanced over time and with increased dose. Using Northern blotting techniques and qRT-PCR (quantitative reverse transcription-PCR), we confirmed further that there was no reduction in Dio3 mRNA, suggesting that translational repression of Dio3 is an important determinant of the reduced D3 protein expression following liver damage. Finally, we show that drug-induced hepatotoxicity appears to cause localized disruptions in thyroid hormone levels in the liver and plasma. We suggest that this leads to reduced translation of Dio3 mRNA, which results in decreased D3 production. It may therefore be possible that this is an important mechanism by which the liver can, upon early signs of damage, act rapidly to maintain its own energy equilibrium, thereby avoiding global disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis.
- InnoMed PredTox consortium
- Iodothyronine deiodinase type III
- Polysome profiling