Liver 5'-deiodinase activity is modified in rats under restricted feeding schedules: evidence for post-translational regulation.


Restricted feeding schedules (RFSs) produce a behavioral activation known as anticipatory activity, which is a manifestation of a food-entrained oscillator (FEO). The liver could be playing a role in the physiology of FEO. Here we demonstrate that the activity of liver selenoenzyme deiodinase type 1 (D1), which transforms thyroxine into triiodothyronine (T3), decreases before food access and increases after food presentation in RFSs. These changes in D1 activity were not due to variations in D1 mRNA. In contrast, a 24 h fast promoted a decrease in both D1 activity and mRNA content. The adjustment in hepatic D1 activity was accompanied by a similar modification in T3-dependent malic enzyme, suggesting that the local generation of T3 has physiological implications in the liver. These results support the notion that the physiological state of rats under RFSs is unique and distinct from rats fed freely or fasted for 24 h. Data also suggest a possible role of hepatic D1 enzyme in coordinating the homeorhetic state of the liver when this organ participates in FEO expression.