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J Cell Physiol. 1994 Oct;161(1):49-54.

Thyroid-induced changes in the growth of the liver, kidney, and diaphragm of neonatal rats.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Leeds, England.


Eu-, hypo- and hyper-thyroid rats were studied 12 days postpartum. Hypothyroidism was induced by administering propylthiouracil (PTU) via the mother's drinking water between late gestation and throughout lactation. This procedure effectively blocked the normal early postnatal surge of T3 and T4. In contrast, hyperthyroidism was induced in the young pups by daily injections of T4 from day 3 postpartum. The effects of these experimental manipulations of thyroid status on the rates of protein turnover and growth of the liver, kidney, and diaphragm were studied and compared with measurements made on appropriate euthyroid control tissues. Tissue rates of protein synthesis were decreased in response to hypothyroidism with consequent growth retardation of all three tissues and the whole animal. In contrast, the three body tissues responded very differently to the induction of hyperthyroidism. Hepatic rates of protein synthesis and growth were completely unaffected by thyroid excess. The response of the diaphragm was essentially the reverse of that seen with hypothyroidism, i.e., the enhanced rates of protein synthesis and protein degradation leading to muscle hypertrophy. The rates of protein turnover in the kidney were also increased, but unlike the diaphragm the net result was renal atrophy. Clearly, thyroid hormones influence the normal rapid growth of the neonate and its individual tissues. However, beyond a certain concentration the threshold of responsiveness to these hormones seems to vary between individual tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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