Gestational hypothyroxinemia, characterized by low levels of maternal thyroxine (T4) during gestation, is closely associated with cognitive impairment in offspring. Studies in animal models have shown that this condition alters neuronal glutamatergic synapses in the hippocampus. Given that astrocytes critically contribute to the establishment and functioning of synapses, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of gestational hypothyroxinemia on the capacity of astrocytes to regulate glutamatergic synapses. In an in vitro co-culture model of astrocytes and hippocampal neurons, gestational hypothyroxinemia profoundly affected the synaptic patterns of GluN1 and CD3ζ in an astrocyte-dependent manner. These effects were associated with impaired plasticity that was dependent on both neuronal and astrocyte contributions. These results highlight the importance of neuron-astrocyte interplay in the deleterious effects of gestational hypothyroxinemia and the timely diagnosis and treatment of this condition during gestation to ensure proper central nervous system development in offspring.
- Gestational hypothyroxinemia
- Glutamatergic synapse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience