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Endocrinology December 1, 2020; 161 (12):

Corticosterone Is Essential for Survival Through Frog Metamorphosis.

Shewade LH , Schoephoerster JA , Patmann MD , Kulkarni SS , Buchholz DR .

Thyroid hormone (TH) is required for frog metamorphosis, and corticosterone (CORT) increases TH signaling to accelerate metamorphic progression. However, a requirement for CORT in metamorphosis has been difficult to assess prior to the recent development of gene-editing technologies. We addressed this long-standing question using transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) gene disruption to knock out proopiomelanocortin (pomc) and disrupt CORT production in Xenopus tropicalis. As expected, mutant tadpoles had a reduced peak of plasma CORT at metamorphosis with correspondingly reduced expression of the CORT-response gene Usher syndrome type-1G (ush1g). Mutants had reduced rates of growth and development and exhibited lower expression levels of 2 TH response genes, Krüppel-like factor 9 (klf9) and TH receptor β (thrb). In response to exogenous TH, mutants had reduced TH response gene induction and slower morphological change. Importantly, death invariably occurred during tail resorption, unless rescued by exogenous CORT and, remarkably, by exogenous TH. The ability of exogenous TH by itself to overcome death in pomc mutants indicates that the CORT-dependent increase in TH signaling may ensure functional organ transformation required for survival through metamorphosis and/or may shorten the nonfeeding metamorphic transition to avoid lethal inanition.

PubMed ID: 33099610
Article link: Endocrinology

Genes referenced: pomc