Significant progress has been made over the past 2 decades toward understanding the molecular basis of thyroid hormone action. It is now widely accepted that thyroid hormones play predominantly a nuclear role and function by regulating the transcription of specific target genes. Understanding thyroid hormone action at the tissue and organismic level requires assessment of the thyroid hormone response apparatus and identification of specific target genes. Progress toward uncovering the molecular basis of thyroid hormone action during mammalian brain development is advancing rapidly. This commentary provides a brief overview of the molecular basis of thyroid hormone action followed by three sections detailing thyroid hormone regulation of brain development at the functional, cellular, and molecular levels. Each section is followed by a discussion of unresolved issues and an analysis of our current level of understanding of each topic.
- Thyroid hormone