, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 121-124,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Dec 2008

The role of thyroid hormone nuclear receptors in the heart: evidence from pharmacological approaches

Abstract

This review evaluates the hypothesis that the cardiac effects of amiodarone can be explained—at least partly—by the induction of a local ‘hypothyroid-like condition’ in the heart. Evidence supporting the hypothesis comprises the observation that amiodarone exerts an inhibitory effect on the binding of T3 to thyroid hormone receptors (TR) alpha-1 and beta-1 in vitro, and on the expression of particular T3-dependent genes in vivo. In the heart, amiodarone decreases heart rate and alpha myosin heavy chain expression (mediated via TR alpha-1), and increases sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium-activated ATPase and beta myosin heavy chain expression (mediated via TR beta-1). Recent data show a significant similarity in expression profiles of 8,435 genes in the heart of hypothyroid and amiodarone-treated animals, although similarities do not always exist in transcripts of ion channel genes. Induction of a hypothyroid cardiac phenotype by amiodarone may be advantageous by decreasing energy demands and increasing energy availability.