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Relationship: 403

Title

The title of the KER should clearly define the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream and which is downstream). Consequently all KER titles take the form “upstream KE leads to downstream KE”.  More help

T4 in serum, Decreased leads to Cognitive Function, Decreased

Upstream event
Upstream event in the Key Event Relationship. On the KER page, clicking on the Event name under Upstream Relationship will bring the user to that individual KE page. More help
Downstream event
Downstream event in the Key Event Relationship. On the KER page, clicking on the Event name under Upstream Relationship will bring the user to that individual KE page. More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes. Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

This table is automatically generated upon addition of a KER to an AOP. All of the AOPs that are linked to this KER will automatically be listed in this subsection. Clicking on the name of the AOP in the table will bring you to the individual page for that AOP. More help
AOP Name Adjacency Weight of Evidence Quantitative Understanding Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Inhibition of Thyroperoxidase and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals non-adjacent High Moderate Evgeniia Kazymova (send email) Open for citation & comment TFHA/WNT Endorsed
XX Inhibition of Sodium Iodide Symporter and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals non-adjacent High Moderate Evgeniia Kazymova (send email) Not under active development
Sodium Iodide Symporter (NIS) Inhibition and Subsequent Adverse Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Mammals non-adjacent High Low Evgeniia Kazymova (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome

Taxonomic Applicability

Select one or more structured terms that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER. In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER. Authors can indicate the relevant taxa for this KER in this subsection. The process is similar to what is described for KEs (see pages 30-31 and 37-38 of User Handbook) More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
rat Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
mouse Mus musculus High NCBI
human Homo sapiens High NCBI

Sex Applicability

Authors can indicate the relevant sex for this KER in this subsection. The process is similar to what is described for KEs (see pages 31-32 of the User Handbook). More help
Sex Evidence
Male High
Female High

Life Stage Applicability

Authors can indicate the relevant life stage for this KER in this subsection. The process is similar to what is described for KEs (see pages 31-32 of User Handbook). More help
Term Evidence
During brain development High

Key Event Relationship Description

Provide a brief, descriptive summation of the KER. While the title itself is fairly descriptive, this section can provide details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves (see page 39 of the User Handbook). This description section can be viewed as providing the increased specificity in the nature of upstream perturbation (KEupstream) that leads to a particular downstream perturbation (KEdownstream), while allowing the KE descriptions to remain generalised so they can be linked to different AOPs. The description is also intended to provide a concise overview for readers who may want a brief summation, without needing to read through the detailed support for the relationship (covered below). Careful attention should be taken to avoid reference to other KEs that are not part of this KER, other KERs or other AOPs. This will ensure that the KER is modular and can be used by other AOPs. More help

Thyroid hormones (TH) are critical for normal development of the structure and function of the brain, including hippocampal development and cognitive function (Anderson et al., 2003; Bernal, 2007; Willoughby et al., 2014).   Brain concentrations of T4 are dependent on transfer of T4 from serum, through the vascular endothelia, into astrocytes.  In astrocytes, T4 is converted to T3 by deiodinase and subsequently transferred to neurons cellular membrane transporters. In the brain T3 controls transcription and translation of genes responsible for normal hippocampal structural and functional development. Clearly the brain circuitry controlling cognitive function is complex and is not solely accomplished by the functionality of the hippocampus. However, it is well documented that normal hippocampal structure and physiology are critical for the development of cognitive function. Thus, there is an indisputable indirect link between serum T4 and cognitive function.

Evidence Supporting this KER

Assembly and description of the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP is an important step in the AOP development process that sets the stage for overall assessment of the AOP (see pages 49-56 of the User Handbook). To do this, biological plausibility, empirical support, and the current quantitative understanding of the KER are evaluated with regard to the predictive relationships/associations between defined pairs of KEs as a basis for considering WoE (page 55 of User Handbook). In addition, uncertainties and inconsistencies are considered. More help

The weight of evidence for this indirect relationship is strong. Alterations in serum TH concentrations are very well correlated with adverse impacts on cognitive behaviors such as learning and memory. This includes a large amount of literature, from more than four decades of research, that links hypothyroidism and/or hypothyroxinemia with alterations in spatial cognitive function, a hippocampal dependent behavior. A number of reviews are cited below that are primarily from humans and rodents, but this indirect relationship has also been shown for a number of other species.

In humans, severe serum TH reductions that accompany congenital hypothyroidism dramatically impair brain function and lead to severe mental retardation. Lower global IQ scores, language delays and weak verbal skills, motor weakness, attentional deficits and learning impairments accompany low serum TH in children (Derksen-Lubsen and Verkerk 1996). Standard tests of IQ function in children born to mothers with even marginal hypothyoidism during pregnancy or in children with a defective thyroid gland who are then treated remain approximately 6 points below expected values. Selective deficits on visual spatial, motor, language, memory and attention tests are observed, the exact phenotype largely dependent on the developmental window over which the insufficiency occurred and the severity of the hormone deficit (Mirabella et al. 2000; Rovet 2002; Zoeller and Rovet 2004; Willoughby et al 2014). Indeed, this link is recognized as being so clinically important that T4 and TSH are monitored in all newborns in the US.   

In rodent models, reductions in serum TH induced by TPO inhibitors such as MMI and PTU, when induced during development, lead to a variety of neurobehavioral impairments. These impairments can occur in the sensory, motor, and cognitive domains. The specific phenotype is dependent on both the window of exposure, the duration of exposure, and the severity of the hormone reduction (Zoeller and Rovet, 2004).  This includes more than four decades of work linking serum TH changes to alterations in hippocampal-dependent spatial behaviors (Akaike et al., 2004; Axelstand etal., 2008; Brosvic et al; Kawada et al, 1988; Friedhoff et al, 2000; Gilbert and Sui, 2006; Gilbert et al., 2016; Gilbert, 2011).

Biological Plausibility
Define, in free text, the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream. What are the structural or functional relationships between the KEs? For example, there is a functional relationship between an enzyme’s activity and the product of a reaction it catalyses. Supporting references should be included. However, it is recognised that there may be cases where the biological relationship between two KEs is very well established, to the extent that it is widely accepted and consistently supported by so much literature that it is unnecessary and impractical to cite the relevant primary literature. Citation of review articles or other secondary sources, like text books, may be reasonable in such cases. The primary intent is to provide scientifically credible support for the structural and/or functional relationship between the pair of KEs if one is known. The description of biological plausibility can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured (see page 40 of the User Handbook for further information).   More help

The biological plausibility of this KER is rated as strong. The relationship is consistent with the known biology of how the relationship between serum TH concentrations, brain TH concentrations, and TH control of brain development.

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
In addition to outlining the evidence supporting a particular linkage, it is also important to identify inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship. Additionally, while there are expected patterns of concordance that support a causal linkage between the KEs in the pair, it is also helpful to identify experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. Identification of uncertainties and inconsistencies contribute to evaluation of the overall WoE supporting the AOPs that contain a given KER and to the identification of research gaps that warrant investigation (seep pages 41-42 of the User Handbook).Given that AOPs are intended to support regulatory applications, AOP developers should focus on those inconsistencies or gaps that would have a direct bearing or impact on the confidence in the KER and its use as a basis for inference or extrapolation in a regulatory setting. Uncertainties that may be of academic interest but would have little impact on regulatory application don’t need to be described. In general, this section details evidence that may raise questions regarding the overall validity and predictive utility of the KER (including consideration of both biological plausibility and empirical support). It also contributes along with several other elements to the overall evaluation of the WoE for the KER (see Section 4 of the User Handbook).  More help

There are no inconsistencies in this KER, but there are some remaining uncertainties. It is widely accepted that changes in serum THs during development will result in alterations in behavior controlled by the hippocampus. This has been repeatedly demonstrated in animal models and in humans. A major uncertainty is the precise relationship between the degree, timing and duration of serum TH changes that leads to these behavioral deficits.

Inconsistencies may also exist for chemicals other than classical TPO inhibitors that may reduce serum TH and induce impairments in cognitive function, but through action on other endocrine systems, or via direct action on the brain in the absence of an intervening endocrine action.  

Response-response Relationship
This subsection should be used to define sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs. In particular, information regarding the general form of the relationship (e.g., linear, exponential, sigmoidal, threshold, etc.) should be captured if possible. If there are specific mathematical functions or computational models relevant to the KER in question that have been defined, those should also be cited and/or described where possible, along with information concerning the approximate range of certainty with which the state of the KEdownstream can be predicted based on the measured state of the KEupstream (i.e., can it be predicted within a factor of two, or within three orders of magnitude?). For example, a regression equation may reasonably describe the response-response relationship between the two KERs, but that relationship may have only been validated/tested in a single species under steady state exposure conditions. Those types of details would be useful to capture.  More help

Except for a quantitative relationship between serum T4 and hearing loss in rodents (Crofton, 2004), there are no other reports of development of quantitative predictive models linking serum TH and adverse neurological outcomes. Insufficient data exist to develop a quantitative predictive model of adverse cognitive outcomes from serum TH concentrations. However, evidence from human studies suggests that decreases as low as 25% in serum T4 in pregnant women will yield small decrements in IQ in children (e.g., Haddow et al., 1995). Since publication of this seminal paper, several reports have appeared providing supportive if not direct confirmatory data on the association of reductions in maternal or early postnatal serum TH and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes (e.g., Rovet and Willoughby, 2010, Wheeler et al., 2011, Willoughby et al., 2014, Wheeler et al., 2015; Pop et al., 1999, Pop et al., 2003, Kooistra et al., 2006, Henrichs et al., 2010, Korevaar et al., 2016). Based on these data, regulatory authorities have used 10 and/or 20% changes in serum T4 as a point of departure for hazard assessments in rodent studies (EPA, 2011).

Time-scale
This sub-section should be used to provide information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). This can be useful information both in terms of modelling the KER, as well as for analyzing the critical or dominant paths through an AOP network (e.g., identification of an AO that could kill an organism in a matter of hours will generally be of higher priority than other potential AOs that take weeks or months to develop). Identification of time-scale can also aid the assessment of temporal concordance. For example, for a KER that operates on a time-scale of days, measurement of both KEs after just hours of exposure in a short-term experiment could lead to incorrect conclusions regarding dose-response or temporal concordance if the time-scale of the upstream to downstream transition was not considered. More help
Known modulating factors
This sub-section presents information regarding modulating factors/variables known to alter the shape of the response-response function that describes the quantitative relationship between the two KEs (for example, an iodine deficient diet causes a significant increase in the slope of the relationship; a particular genotype doubles the sensitivity of KEdownstream to changes in KEupstream). Information on these known modulating factors should be listed in this subsection, along with relevant information regarding the manner in which the modulating factor can be expected to alter the relationship (if known). Note, this section should focus on those modulating factors for which solid evidence supported by relevant data and literature is available. It should NOT list all possible/plausible modulating factors. In this regard, it is useful to bear in mind that many risk assessments conducted through conventional apical guideline testing-based approaches generally consider few if any modulating factors. More help
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
This subsection should define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits? In some cases where feedback processes are measurable and causally linked to the outcome, they should be represented as KEs. However, in most cases these features are expected to predominantly influence the shape of the response-response, time-course, behaviours between selected KEs. For example, if a feedback loop acts as compensatory mechanism that aims to restore homeostasis following initial perturbation of a KE, the feedback loop will directly shape the response-response relationship between the KERs. Given interest in formally identifying these positive or negative feedback, it is recommended that a graphical annotation (page 44) indicating a positive or negative feedback loop is involved in a particular upstream to downstream KE transition (KER) be added to the graphical representation, and that details be provided in this subsection of the KER description (see pages 44-45 of the User Handbook).  More help

Domain of Applicability

As for the KEs, there is also a free-text section of the KER description that the developer can use to explain his/her rationale for the structured terms selected with regard to taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability, or provide a more generalizable or nuanced description of the applicability domain than may be feasible using standardized terms. More help

There is a plethora of data supporting this KER in rats, mice, and humans.

References

List of the literature that was cited for this KER description using the appropriate format. Ideally, the list of references should conform, to the extent possible, with the OECD Style Guide (OECD, 2015). More help

Akaike M, Kato N, Ohno H, Kobayashi T (1991) Hyperactivity and spatial maze learning impairment of adult rats with temporary neonatal hypothyroidism. Neurotoxicol Teratol 13:317-322.

Anderson GW, Schoonover CM, Jones SA (2003) Control of thyroid hormone action in the developing rat brain. Thyroid 13:1039-56.

Axelstad M, Hansen PR, Boberg J, Bonnichsen M, Nellemann C, Lund SP, Hougaard KS, Hass U. Developmental neurotoxicity of propylthiouracil (PTU) in rats: relationship between transient hypothyroxinemia during development and long-lasting behavioural and functional changes. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2008 Oct 1;232(1):1-13

Bastian TW, Prohaska JR, Georgieff MK, Anderson GW (2014) Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency exacerbates mild thyroid hormone insufficiency effects on male thyroid hormone levels and brain thyroid hormone-responsive gene expression. Endocrinology 155:1157-1167.

Bernal J. 2007. Thyroid hormone receptors in brain development and function. Nature clinical practice Endocrinology & metabolism. 3:249-259.

Brosvic GM, Taylor JN, Dihoff RE. (2002). Influences of early thyroid hormone manipulations: delays in pup motor and exploratory behavior are evident in adult operant performance. Physiol Behav. Apr 15;75(5):697-715.

Crofton KM. Developmental disruption of thyroid hormone: correlations with hearing dysfunction in rats. Risk Anal. 2004 Dec;24(6):1665-71.

Derksen-Lubsen, G. and P. H. Verkerk (1996). "Neuropsychologic development in early treated congenital hypothyroidism: analysis of literature data." Pediatr Res 39(3): 561-6.

EPA (2011) FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Consultation, Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment Strategy:Use of New Computational and Molecular Tools, US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs, Washington DC May 24-26, 2011.

Friedhoff AJ, Miller JC, Armour M, Schweitzer JW, Mohan S. Role of maternal biochemistry in fetal brain development: effect of maternal thyroidectomy on behaviour and biogenic amine metabolism in rat progeny. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2000 Jun;3(2):89-97.

Gilbert ME. Impact of low-level thyroid hormone disruption induced by propylthiouracil on brain development and function. Toxicol Sci. 2011;124(2):432-445.

Gilbert ME, Sui L. Dose-dependent reductions in spatial learning and synaptic function in the dentate gyrus of adult rats following developmental thyroid hormone insufficiency. Brain Res. 2006 Jan 19;1069(1):10-2

Gilbert ME, Sanchez-Huerta K, Wood C (2016) Mild Thyroid Hormone Insufficiency During Development Compromises Activity-Dependent Neuroplasticity in the Hippocampus of Adult Male Rats. Endocrinology 157:774-787.

Goldey ES, Kehn LS, Rehnberg GL, Crofton KM. Effects of developmental hypothyroidism on auditory and motor function in the rat. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1995 Nov;135(1):67-76.

Goldey ES, Crofton KM. (1998) Thyroxine replacement attenuates hypothyroxinemia, hearing loss, and motor deficits following developmental exposure to Aroclor 1254 in rats.  Toxicol Sci. 45:94-105.

Haddow, J. E., G. E. Palomaki, et al. (1999). "Maternal thyroid deficiency during pregnancy and subsequent neuropsychological development of the child." N Engl J Med 341(8): 549-55.

Henrichs J, Bongers-Schokking JJ, Schenk JJ, Ghassabian A, Schmidt HG, Visser TJ, Hooijkaas H, de Muinck Keizer-Schrama SM, Hofman A, Jaddoe VV, Visser W, Steegers EA, Verhulst FC, de Rijke YB, Tiemeier H (2010) Maternal thyroid function during early pregnancy and cognitive functioning in early childhood: the generation R study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 95:4227-4234.

Kawada J, Mino H, Nishida M, Yoshimura Y. (1988) An appropriate model for congenital hypothyroidism in the rat induced by neonatal treatment with propylthiouracil and surgical thyroidectomy: studies on learning ability and biochemical parameters.  Neuroendocrinology. 47:424-30.

Kooistra L, Crawford S, van Baar AL, Brouwers EP, Pop VJ (2006) Neonatal effects of maternal hypothyroxinemia during early pregnancy. Pediatrics 117:161-167.

Korevaar TI, Muetzel R, Medici M, Chaker L, Jaddoe VW, de Rijke YB, Steegers EA, Visser TJ, White T, Tiemeier H, Peeters RP (2016) Association of maternal thyroid function during early pregnancy with offspring IQ and brain morphology in childhood: a population-based prospective cohort study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 4:35-43.

Mirabella, G., D. Feig, et al. (2000). "The effect of abnormal intrauterine thyroid hormone economies on infant cognitive abilities." J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 13(2): 191-4.

Opazo MC, Gianini A, Pancetti F, Azkcona G, Alarcón L, Lizana R, Noches V, Gonzalez PA, Marassi MP, Mora S, Rosenthal D, Eugenin E, Naranjo D, Bueno SM, Kalergis AM, Riedel CA (2008), Maternal hypothyroxinemia impairs spatial learning and synaptic nature and function in the offspring. Endocrinology 149:5097-5106.

Pop VJ, Brouwers EP, Vader HL, Vulsma T, van Baar AL, de Vijlder JJ (2003) Maternal hypothyroxinaemia during early pregnancy and subsequent child development: a 3-year follow-up study. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 59:282-288.

Pop VJ, Kuijpens JL, van Baar AL, Verkerk G, van Son MM, de Vijlder JJ, Vulsma T, Wiersinga WM, Drexhage HA, Vader HL (1999) Low maternal free thyroxine concentrations during early pregnancy are associated with impaired psychomotor development in infancy. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 50:149-155

Reid RE, Kim EM, Page D, O'Mara SM, O'Hare E. Thyroxine replacement in an animal model of congenital hypothyroidism.Physiol Behav. 2007 91(2-3):299-303. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Rovet, J. F. (2002). Congenital hypothyroidism: an analysis of persisting deficits and associated factors." Child Neuropsychol 8(3): 150-62.

Royland JE, Parker JS, Gilbert ME. 2008a. A genomic analysis of subclinical hypothyroidism in hippocampus and neocortex of the developing rat brain. Journal of neuroendocrinology. Dec;20:1319-1338.

Sharlin DS, Tighe D, Gilbert ME, Zoeller RT (2008) The balance between oligodendrocyte and astrocyte production in major white matter tracts is linearly related to serum total thyroxine. Endocrinology 149:2527-2536.

Willoughby KA, McAndrews MP, Rovet J. Effects of maternal hypothyroidism on offspring hippocampus and memory. Thyroid, 2014;24:576-584.

Zoeller RT, Rovet J. Timing of thyroid hormone action in the developing brain: clinical observations and experimental findings. J Neuroendocrinol. 2004 Oct;16(10):809-18.