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3-Iodothyronamine (3-T1AM) is an endogenous thyroid hormone (TH)-derived metabolite that induces severe hypothermia in mice after systemic administration; however, the underlying mechanisms have remained enigmatic. We show here that the rapid 3-T1AM-induced loss in body temperature is a consequence of peripheral vasodilation and subsequent heat loss (e.g., over the tail surface). The condition is subsequently intensified by hypomotility and a lack of brown adipose tissue activation. Although the possible 3-T1AM targets trace amine-associated receptor 1 or α2a-adrenergic receptor were detected in tail artery and aorta respectively, myograph studies did not show any direct effect of 3-T1AM on vasodilation, suggesting that its actions are likely indirect. Intracerebroventricular application of 3-T1AM, however, replicated the phenotype of tail vasodilation and body temperature decline and led to neuronal activation in the hypothalamus, suggesting that the metabolite causes tail vasodilation through a hypothalamic signaling pathway. Consequently, the 3-T1AM response constitutes anapyrexia rather than hypothermia and closely resembles the heat-stress response mediated by hypothalamic temperature-sensitive neurons. Our results thus underline the well-known role of the hypothalamus as the body's thermostat and suggest an additional molecular link between TH signaling and the central control of body temperature.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1977 - 1984


Animals, Body Temperature Regulation, Brain, Hypothalamus, Infusions, Intraventricular, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Signal Transduction, Tail, Thyronines, Vasodilation