Thyroid hormones (THs; T3 and T4) enter cells using specific transporters and regulate development and metabolism. Mutation in the TH transporter monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8, SLC16A2) is associated with brain hypothyroidism and neurological impairment. We established mct8 mutant (mct8−/−) zebrafish as a model for MCT8 deficiency, which causes endocrinological, neurological, and behavioral alterations. Here, we profiled the transcriptome of mct8−/− larvae. Among hundreds of differentially expressed genes, the expression of a cluster of vision-related genes was distinct. Specifically, the expression of the opsin 1 medium wave sensitive 2 (opn1mw2) decreased in two mct8 mutants: mct8−/− and mct8−25bp−/− larvae, and under pharmacological inhibition of TH production. Optokinetic reflex (OKR) assays showed a reduction in the number of conjugated eye movements, and live imaging of genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator revealed altered neuronal activity in the pretectum area of mct8−25bp−/− larvae. These results imply that MCT8 and THs regulate the development of the visual system and suggest a mechanism to the deficiencies observed in the visual system of MCT8-deficiency patients.
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- Monocarboxylate transporter 8
- Thyroid hormones