Grant AndersonDepartment of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, USA F1000 Faculty Member (since 20 January 2009)
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences
PhD, University of Minnesota, 1994
Thyroid hormone, brain development, nutritional regulation of gene expression, lipid metabolism
Thyroid hormone deficiency during fetal and early childhood development is a major worldwide public health problem causing mental retardation and irreversible brain damage. The long-term goal of this research program is to understand the mechanism by which thyroid hormone (TH) regulates mammalian brain development. Studies in our laboratory attempt to determine the molecular mechanisms involved in transcriptional regulation of TH-responsive brain genes. Manipulating the expression of these genes in the mature animal could provide important therapeutic applications for treatment of ailments such as brain and spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.
Our research program also studies the mechanisms by which TH and dietary sugars regulate the expression of genes involved in lipid synthesis. Both an increase in TH levels and an increase in the consumption of dietary sucrose stimulate the genes that produce long chain fatty acids in the liver and in fat. Both these factors interact synergistically to regulate these genes. In the absence of TH, dietary sugars cannot effectively induce the lipogenic enzyme genes. Similarly, in fasted animals the administration of TH is associated with markedly decreased response of these genes. An understanding of the regulation of this system will allow us to develop strategies to effectively treat diseases such as obesity or prevent complications from diseases associated with metabolic dysfunction such as diabetes mellitus.
Research techniques used:
• Primary brain cell culture
• In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry
• Chromosomal immunoprecipitation
• Real time RT-PCR
• Creation of knockout mice
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