Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Energy metabolism and thyroid function of mice with deleted Wolframin (Wfs1) gene

Noormets, K., Kõks, S., Ivask, M., Aunapuu, M., Arend, A., Vasar, E. and Tillmann, V. (2014) Energy metabolism and thyroid function of mice with deleted Wolframin (Wfs1) gene. Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes, 122 (05). pp. 281-286.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


There is no data about the energy metabolism of patients with Wolfram syndrome caused by mutations in the wolframin (Wfs1) gene. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Wfs1 in energy metabolism and thyroid function in Wfs1 deficient mice (Wfs1KO). 16 male (8 Wfs1KO, 8 wild type (wt)) and 16 female (8 Wfs1KO, 8wt) mice aged 11–13 weeks were studied alone in a specific metabolic cage for 48 h. Body weight, food, water and O2 consumption, motor activity, CO2 and heat production of mice were recorded. At the age of 14–20 weeks, plasma levels of thyroxine (T4), TSH and leptin were measured and histology of thyroid tissues examined. Mean CO2 and heat production was not different between the groups. Mean O2 consumption was higher in the Wfs1KO females compared to the Wfs1KO males (3 410.0±127.0 vs. 2 806.0±82.4 ml/kg/h; p<0.05), but not compared to the wt mice. The mean movement activity was not different between the groups except that the Wfs1KO females reared up more often than the wt females (199.8±63.46 vs. 39.26±24.71 cnts/48 h; p<0.05). Both male and female Wfs1KO mice had significantly lower body mass and food intake than wt mice. Male Wfs1KO mice also lost more weight in metabolic cage than wt males (20.43±0.41 vs. 16.07±0.86%; p<0.05) indicating more pronounced response to isolation. Male Wfs1KO mice had significantly lower levels of plasma leptin than wt male mice (3.37±0.40 vs. 5.82±0.71 ng/ml; p<0.01). Thyroid function measured by serum TSH and T4 levels was not different between Wfs1KO and wt groups, but both Wfs1KO and wt male mice had significantly higher mean T4 levels than female mice. The histology of thyroid tissue of Wfs1KO males showed a trend to a smaller mean number of epithelial cells per follicle than the wt male mice.

Although Wfs1KO mice were smaller and lost more weight during the experiment, their energy metabolism was not different from wt mice except that the female Wfs1KO mice consumed more O2. As mice in this study were relatively young, longitudinal studies in older mice are necessary to clarify whether Wfs1 has a role in energy metabolism when the disease progresses further.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Thieme Publishing
Copyright: © J. A. Barth Verlag in Georg Thieme Verlag
Item Control Page Item Control Page