We have recently found that thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1), a homeodomain-containing transcription factor, is postnatally expressed in discrete areas of the hypothalamus and closely involved in neuroendocrine functions. We now report that transcription of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the rate limiting enzyme in prostaglandin biosynthesis, was inhibited by TTF-1. Double immunohistochemistry demonstrated that TTF-1 was expressed in the astrocytes and endothelial cells of blood vessel in the hypothalamus. Promoter assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that TTF-1 inhibited COX-2 transcription by binding to specific binding domains in the COX-2 promoter. Furthermore, blocking TTF-1 synthesis by intracerebroventricular injection of an antisense oligomer induced an increase of COX-2 synthesis in non-neuronal cells of the rat hypothalamus, and resulted in animals' hyperthermia. These results suggest that TTF-1 is physiologically involved in the control of thermogenesis by regulating COX-2 transcription in the brain.
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