Thyroid hormone plays a critical role in energy homeostasis through mechanisms, which are not fully understood. In the present study, we investigated possible alterations of important energy regulators such as leptin, adiponectin, and ghrelin in relation to changes in thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormone (250 microg/kg) was administered in male Wistar rats for 2 weeks (THYR), while hypothyroidism (HYPO) was induced by propylthiouracil administration (0.05% in drinking water) for 3 weeks. Untreated animals served as controls (NORM). Leptin and adiponectin were measured in plasma by ELISA, while total ghrelin was measured with RIA. Body weight was significantly reduced both in THYR and HYPO rats, while food intake was significantly increased in THYR and decreased in HYPO. This response was associated with various changes in leptin, adiponectin, and ghrelin in plasma. In fact, in THYR rats, leptin levels (mean +/- SEM) were 240 +/- 55 pg/ml as compared to 819 +/- 70 pg/ml in untreated rats (P < 0.05), while no changes were observed in ghrelin and adiponectin. In HYPO rats, leptin levels were 1400 +/- 200 pg/ml vs. 819 +/- 70 pg/ml in untreated rats (P < 0.05), while ghrelin and adiponectin were significantly increased in HYPO rats as compared to untreated rats (P < 0.05). Furthermore, T(3) and T(4) levels were inversely correlated to leptin (P = 0.014), while ghrelin and adiponectin were inversely correlated to weight changes (P = 0.05 and P = 0.03, respectively). In conclusion, leptin seems mainly to be involved in the thyroid hormone effects on energy homeostasis. Ghrelin and adiponectin may serve a compensatory physiological role in hypothyroidism.
Kokkinos A, Mourouzis I, Kyriaki D, Pantos C, Katsilambros N, Cokkinos DV. Possible implications of leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin in the regulation of energy homeostasis by thyroid hormone. Endocrine. 2007 August 1st Department of Propaedeutic Medicine, Laiko General Hospital, University of Athens Medical School, 11527, Goudi, Athens, Greece.