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Losing Our MindsEffects of Chemical Pollution on the Intellectual Capacity and Mental Health of Future Generations$
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Barbara Demeneix

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917518.001.0001

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Thyroid Hormone and Brain Development

Thyroid Hormone and Brain Development

Bridging Environment to Gene Expression

Chapter:
(p.54) Chapter 3 Thyroid Hormone and Brain Development
Source:
Losing Our Minds
Author(s):

Barbara Demeneix

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917518.003.0003

The brain is the most complicated and specialized organ in the body. Nuclear receptors for thyroid hormone (TH) are expressed throughout the brain. As thyroid receptors control gene transcription and regulate gene networks controlling neuronal development, thyroid signaling forms a direct route through which environmental factors can modulate brain development programs. TH-responsive cell types in the brain include neurons and glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia). Numerous processes in the developing brain require TH, including cell division, differentiation to specific neuronal cell types, synaptogenesis, and neuronal plasticity. Either insufficient or excess TH during sensitive windows of development will adversely alter the genetic programs underlying brain development and permanently affect function. The best-documented sensitive window for TH effects on neurodevelopment is the perinatal period, but increasing focus is being placed on early, intrauterine development.

Keywords:   brain development, neuron, glial cells, differentiation, synaptogenesis

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