Thyroid hormones and glucocorticoids act synergistically in the regulation of the low affinity glucocorticoid binding sites in the male rat liver.

PMID 1954893


The low affinity glucocorticoid binding sites (LAGS) have been described and partially characterized in both the nuclei and microsomes of rat liver. The LAGS concentration is under endocrine regulation, as proved by their decrease after adrenalectomy and their almost complete disappearance after hypophysectomy. This article describes new data that also implicate the thyroid hormones in the endocrine regulation of LAGS. The LAGS were measured by [3H]dexamethasone exchange assay in crude microsome suspensions of rat liver. Propylthiouracil-induced hypothyroidism (TX) provoked a 90% reduction in the LAGS levels with respect to the control value. The administration of T3 to TX rats was able to completely restore the LAGS level. On the other hand, adrenalectomy (ADX) provoked a 50% decrease in LAGS levels, and this effect could be reverted by treatment with corticosterone acetate. TX rats that were also adrenalectomized (TX-ADX) showed a LAGS level similar to that of the TX rats. However, treatment of these rats with T3 was much less effective than in TX rats. A complete restoration of the LAGS level in TX-ADX rats could be achieved only with a combined treatment of corticosterone acetate plus T3. Similar results to those obtained in TX-ADX rats were also obtained in immature or hypophysectomized rats, two experimental models known to possess very low or undetectable levels of LAGS. From these findings we conclude that: 1) thyroid hormones, as well as glucocorticoids, play an important role in the regulation of the LAGS level; 2) glucocorticoids and thyroid hormones act synergistically in the endocrine regulation of LAGS; and 3) the results obtained in the hypophysectomized rats point to a direct action of glucocorticoids and T3 on the LAGS level of the rat liver.

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Corticosterone 21-acetate, VETRANAL®, analytical standard