Although thyroxine (tetraiodothyronine; T4) is the principal secretory product of the vertebrate thyroid, its essential metabolic and developmental effects are primarily mediated by 3,3,5-triiodothyronine (T3). Type III deiodinase (D3), an enzyme primarily found in fetal tissues, placenta, skin and brain as well as brown and white preadipocytes, functions exclusively as a 5-deiodindinase and catalyzes the conversion of T4 and T3 to inactive metabolites (rT3 and T2, respectively).
Dartmouth researchers have now shown that D3 plays an important role in regulating body fat content via its ability to alter local tissue concentrations of thyroid hormone. Using a mouse model deficient in D3 expression, it was found that decreased D3 levels result in decreased fat mass, increased energy expenditure, increased resistance to obesity, and lowering of blood glucose levels. Thus, the manipulation of D3 expression or activity during development and/or adulthood could be used to reduce adiposity, raise basal metabolic rate, prevent obesity and improve glucose control in patients with diabetes.
This technology is claimed in a pending patent application. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization.
Last Updated: 7/24/12