The thyroid hormone receptor-β agonist GC-1 induces cell proliferation in rat liver and pancreas

Amedeo Columbano, Monica Pibiri, Manuela Deidda, Costanza Cossu, Thomas S. Scanlan, Grazia Chiellini, Sandro Muntoni, Giovanna M. Ledda-Columbano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Thyroid hormones regulate cell growth, cell differentiation, and metabolic functions via interaction with the thyroid hormone nuclear receptors (TRs). Recently, a small class of halogen-free high-affinity thyroid hormone agonists has been developed that are highly selective for the TRβ subtype. Because of the selective hyperthyroidism generated by one of these agonists, GC-1, this compound has the potential to be developed as a new therapeutic agent for the treatment of a variety of metabolic disturbances, including lipid disorders and obesity; thus, it becomes important to determine whether GC-1 has other unknown effects on potential target organs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of GC-1 on cell proliferation in rat liver and pancreas. Rats treated with GC-1 (50 or 100 μg/100 g body weight) were killed at different time points. Hepatic and pancreatic cell proliferation was monitored by immunohistochemical determination of bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. The expression of cell cycle-related genes was analyzed by Northern and Western analysis. The results show that GC-1 strongly stimulates rat hepatocyte proliferation in the absence of tissue injury. Although GC-1-induced hepatocyte proliferation was associated with a rapid increase in cyclin D1 mRNA levels, no change in the expression of c-jun and c-fos was observed. GC-1 also induced massive pancreatic cell proliferation. The results indicate that the TRβ-selective agonist GC-1 is a strong mitogen for hepatocytes and pancreatic acinar cells. Furthermore, they suggest that the TRβ receptor is the mediator for the mitogenic activity of thyroid hormone and other thyromimetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3211-3218
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'The thyroid hormone receptor-β agonist GC-1 induces cell proliferation in rat liver and pancreas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this