Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Physiol. 2018 May 1;103(5):683-692. doi: 10.1113/EP086564. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Effects of fetal hypothyroidism on uterine smooth muscle contraction and structure of offspring rats.

Author information

1
Endocrine Physiology Research Center, Research Institute for Endocrine Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2
Department of Biology and Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

NEW FINDINGS:

What is the central question of this study? Does fetal hypothyroidism in rats alter uterine contractions and structure in the adult offspring? What is the main finding and its importance? Our study indicated that maternal hypothyroidism during pregnancy increased gestational length and decreased litter size. In addition, maternal hypothyroidism caused delayed puberty onset, irregular uterine contractions and histological changes in the uterus in the female offspring. This model might contribute to a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in uterine contractions in fetal hypothyroidism, studies which are not possible in humans, and might help to establish therapeutic methods for these disorders observed in uterine contractions.

ABSTRACT:

Thyroid hormones play an essential role in fetal growth. Hypothyroidism impairs reproductive function in both humans and animals. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of fetal hypothyroidism on uterine smooth muscle contraction and structure in the adult offspring. The control group of female Wistar rats consumed tap water, whereas the hypothyroid group received water containing 0.025% of 6-propyl-2-thiouracial throughout gestation from mating until delivery. Isometric contractility and histological changes in uterine tissue were evaluated in the adult female offspring. We tested the effects of carbachol (10-10 -10-3  m) and oxytocin (10-13 -10-8  m) on uterine smooth muscle contraction in the fetal hypothyroid (FH) and control groups. Compared with control uteri, carbachol induced contractions with lower amplitude in the FH group (area under the curve: 1820.0 ± 250.0 versus 1370.0 ± 125.0 a.u., control versus FH group, respectively, P < 0.001) and frequency (86.4 ± 7.3 versus 37.0 ± 6.1 a.u., P < 0.001). Likewise, after exposure to oxytocin the amplitude (6614.0 ± 492.2 versus 4793.0 ± 735.2 a.u., P < 0.001) and frequency (367.4 ± 32.0 versus 167.0 ± 39.0 a.u., P < 0.001) of uterine contractions in the FH group were significantly lower than in the control group. In addition, the thickness of the endometrium and smooth muscle layer and the cross-sectional area of the uterus were also significantly lower in the FH group. Gestational length was longer and litter size smaller in FH rats compared with control animals; FH offspring also had delayed puberty. In conclusion, thyroid hormone deficiency during pregnancy increased gestational length and decreased litter size; in the offspring, it delayed puberty onset, reduced uterine rhythmic contractions and resulted in uterine structural changes.

KEYWORDS:

fetal hypothyroidism; uterine contraction; uterine histology

PMID:
29485241
DOI:
10.1113/EP086564
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center