Identification of differentially expressed thyroid hormone responsive genes from the brain of the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

P. Huggins, C. K. Johnson, A. Schoergendorfer, S. Putta, A. C. Bathke, A. J. Stromberg, S. R. Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) presents an excellent model to investigate mechanisms of brain development that are conserved among vertebrates. In particular, metamorphic changes of the brain can be induced in free-living aquatic juveniles and adults by simply adding thyroid hormone (T4) to rearing water. Whole brains were sampled from juvenile A. mexicanum that were exposed to 0, 8, and 18 days of 50 nM T4, and these were used to isolate RNA and make normalized cDNA libraries for 454 DNA sequencing. A total of 1,875,732 high quality cDNA reads were assembled with existing ESTs to obtain 5884 new contigs for human RefSeq protein models, and to develop a custom Affymetrix gene expression array (Amby-002) with approximately 20,000 probe sets. The Amby-002 array was used to identify 303 transcripts that differed statistically (p < 0.05, fold change > 1.5) as a function of days of T4 treatment. Further statistical analyses showed that Amby-002 performed concordantly in comparison to an existing, small format expression array. This study introduces a new A. mexicanum microarray resource for the community and the first lists of T4-responsive genes from the brain of a salamander amphibian.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Robert Page and Meredith Boley for inducing metamorphosis in the A. mexicanum juveniles that were used in this experiment and for collecting brain tissues. The research was supported by grants R24-RR016344 and P20-RR16481 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) , a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The project also used resources developed under Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant ( W911NF-09-1-0305 ) from the Army Research Office , and resources from the Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center, which is funded by grant DBI-0951484 from the National Science Foundation . The contents of this paper are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR, NIH, ARO, or NSF.


  • Metamorphosis
  • Microarray
  • Salamander

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of differentially expressed thyroid hormone responsive genes from the brain of the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this