Thyroid hormone promotes remodeling of coronary resistance vessels

Olga V. Savinova, Yingheng Liu, Garth A. Aasen, Kai Mao, Nathan Y. Weltman, Brett L. Nedich, Qiangrong Liang, A. Martin Gerdes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Low thyroid hormone (TH) function has been linked to impaired coronary blood flow, reduced density of small arterioles, and heart failure. Nonetheless, little is known about the mechanisms by which THs regulate coronary microvascular remodeling. The current study examined the initial cellular events associated with coronary remodeling induced by triiodothyronine (T3) in hypothyroid rats. Rats with established hypothyroidism, eight weeks after surgical thyroidectomy (TX), were treated with T3 for 36 or 72 hours. The early effects of T3 treatment on coronary microvasculature were examined morphometrically. Gene expression changes in the heart were assessed by quantitative PCR Array. Hypothyroidism resulted in arteriolar atrophy in the left ventricle. T3 treatment rapidly induced small arteriolar muscularization and, within 72 hours, restored arteriolar density to control levels. Total length of the capillary network was not affected by TX or T3 treatment. T3 treatment resulted in the coordinate regulation of Angiopoietin 1 and 2 expression. The response of Angiopoietins was consistent with vessel enlargement. In addition to the well known effects of THs on vasoreactivity, these results suggest that THs may affect function of small resistance arteries by phenotypic remodeling of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere25054
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 22 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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