Novel concepts of body temperature regulation by thyroid hormone

Thyroid hormone is cruicial for the regulation of body temperature, both for obligatory as well as faculative thermogenesis. In addition to its actions in the respective peripheral tissues including brown fat and muscle, the hormone also acts in the central nervous system to control sympathetic outflow to thermogenic tissues. Moreover, our recent studies have identified that thyroid hormoe and its receptor TRα1 are involved in regulation heat loss over the tail surface of the mouse - a process affecting body temperature and triggering adjustments of brown fat thermogenesis. However, the individual contributions of the central, peripehral and heat loss mechanisms to the regulation of body temperature have remained enigmatic to date.

Our most recent work has demonstrated that the hormone is necessary for brown fat function, but it is by itself not sufficient to induce thermogenesis. Others have shown a new kind of thermogenic fat, the so called beige fat, could be involved in the thermogenic effects of thyroid hormone. The aim of this project is therefore to dissect the mechanisms by which thyroid hormone regulates body temperature, and to define the individual relevance of the different actions in brown and beige fat, as well as central and tail heat loss mechanisms. 



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