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Energy balance is maintained by controlling both energy intake and energy expenditure. Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating energy expenditure. Their levels are adjusted by a tight feedback-controlled regulation of thyroid hormone production/incretion and by their hepatic metabolism. Thyroid hormone degradation has previously been shown to be enhanced by treatment with phenobarbital or other antiepileptic drugs due to a CAR-dependent induction of phase II enzymes of xenobiotic metabolism. We have recently shown, that PPARα agonists synergize with phenobarbital to induce another prototypical CAR target gene, CYP2B1. Therefore, it was tested whether a PPARα agonist could enhance the phenobarbital-dependent acceleration of thyroid hormone elimination. In primary cultures of rat hepatocytes the apparent half-life of T3 was reduced after induction with a combination of phenobarbital and the PPARα agonist WY14643 to a larger extent than after induction with either compound alone. The synergistic reduction of the half-life could be attributed to a synergistic induction of CAR and the CAR target genes that code for enzymes and transporters involved in the hepatic elimination of T3, such as OATP1A1, OATP1A3, UGT1A3 and UGT1A10. The PPARα-dependent CAR induction and the subsequent induction of T3-eliminating enzymes might be of physiological significance for the fasting-induced reduction in energy expenditure by fatty acids as natural PPARα ligands. The synergism of the PPARα agonist WY14643 and phenobarbital in inducing thyroid hormone breakdown might serve as a paradigm for the synergistic disruption of endocrine control by other combinations of xenobiotics.