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Functional and metabolic adaptation of the heart to prolonged thyroid hormone treatment

Degens, Hans and Gilde, Andreis J. and Lindhout, Martijn and Willemsen, Peter H.M. and Vusse, Ger J. van der and Bilsen, Marc van (2003) Functional and metabolic adaptation of the heart to prolonged thyroid hormone treatment. ISSN 0363-6135

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In heart failure, thyroid hormone (TH) treatment improves cardiac performance. The long-term effects of TH on cardiac function and metabolism, however, are incompletely known. To investigate the effects of up to 28 days of TH treatment, male Wistar rats received 3,3',5-triiodo-l-thyronine (200 microg/kg sc per day) leading to a 2.5-fold rise in plasma fatty acid (FA) level and progressive cardiac hypertrophy (+47% after 28 days) (P < 0.001). Ejection fraction (echocardiography) was increased (+12%; P < 0.05) between 7 and 14 days and declined thereafter. Neither cardiac FA oxidation, glycolytic capacity (homogenates) per unit muscle mass, nor mRNA levels of proteins involved in FA and glucose uptake and metabolism (Northern blots and microarray) were altered. After 28 days of treatment, mRNA levels of uncoupling proteins (UCP) 2 and 3 and atrial natriuretic factor were increased (P < 0.05). This indicates that TH-induced hypertrophy is associated with an initial increase in cardiac performance, followed by a decline in cardiac function and increased expression of UCPs and atrial natriuretic factor, suggesting that detrimental effects eventually prevail.

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