Thyroid hormone receptor-α and vascular function

Ayako Makino, Hong Wang, Brian T. Scott, Jason X.J. Yuan, Wolfgang H. Dillmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Thyroid hormone (TH) treatment exerts beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system: it lowers cholesterol and LDL levels and enhances cardiac contractile function. However, little is known about the effect of TH on vascular function or the functional role of TH receptors (TRs) in the regulation of vascular tone. We have investigated the contribution of TRs to vascular contractility in the heart. Among different TR subtype-specific knockout (KO) mice, vascular contraction was significantly enhanced in coronary arteries isolated from TRa KO compared with wild-type mice, while chronic TH treatment significantly attenuated coronary vascular contraction. We found that TRα is the predominant TR in mouse coronary smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Coronary SMCs isolated from TRa KO mice exhibited a significant decrease in K+ channel activity, whereas TH treatment increased K+ channel activity in a dose-dependent manner. These data suggest that TRa in SMCs has prominent effects on regulation of vascular tone and TH treatment helps decrease coronary vascular tone by increasing K+ channel activity through TRa in SMCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1346-C1352
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2012


  • Coronary artery
  • Knockout mouse
  • Potassium channel
  • Vascular contraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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