The effect of T3 (triiodothyronine) on the induction of tubulin in hypothyroid developing rat brain has been examined using organ cultures of brains from late fetal, neonatal and postnatalrats. The neonatal brain displayed maximum sensitivity to T3. Hypothyroidism resulted in a 26% decline in the level of tubulin in the neonatal brain as opposed to a 5–15% decline in the fetal or postnatal brain. Exposure of the hypothyroi d neonatal brain to T3 for 2 h in culture led to a 61% rise in the level of tubulin in contrast to a 41% increase seen in the case of normal brain. Total protein synthesis was not significantly affected. The preferential decline of tubulin in the neonatal hypothyroid brain, its enhanced sensitivity to T3 compared to normal brain, and the coincidence of the period of sensitivity to that of brain maturation indicate that the regulation of the level of tubulin by T3 in the developing brain is a natural ontogenic phenomenon.

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