Cardioprotection by Hypothyroidism Is Not Mediated by Favorable Hemodynamics : Role of Canonical Thyroid Hormone Receptor Alpha Signaling

Hypothyroidism has been shown to reduce infarct size in rats, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We used isolated pressure-constant perfused hearts of control, hypothyroid and hyperthyroid mice and measured infarct size, functional parameters and phosphorylation of key molecules in cardioprotective signaling with matched heart rate. Compared with controls, hypothyroidism was cardioprotective, while hyperthyroidism was detrimental with enlarged infarct size. Next, we asked how thyroid hormone receptor α (TRα) affects ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. Thus, canonical and noncanonical TRα signaling was investigated in the hearts of (i) mice lacking TRα (TRα0), (ii) with a mutation in TRα DNA-binding domain (TRαGS) and (iii) in hyperthyroid TRα0 (TRα0hyper) and TRαGS mice (TRαGShyper). TRα0 mouse hearts were protected against IR injury. Furthermore, infarct size was reduced in the hearts of TRαGS mice that lack canonical TRα signaling but maintain noncanonical TRα action. Hyperthyroidism did not increase infarct size in TRα0 and TRαGS mouse hearts. These cardioprotective effects were not associated with increased phosphorylation of key proteins of RISK, SAFE and eNOS pathways. In summary, chronic hypothyroidism and the lack of canonical TRα signaling are cardioprotective in IR injury and protection is not due to favorable changes in hemodynamics.


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