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The Role of the Thyroid in the Developing Heart

  • Kazuhiro Maeda
  • Sachiko Miyagawa-Tomita
  • Toshio Nakanishi
Open Access
Chapter

Abstract

Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is one of the most common diseases of the endocrine system among newborns. Infants with CH have been reported to have a high frequency of congenital cardiovascular malformations (CM), such as ventricular and atrial septal defects [1]. Some studies have demonstrated that these cases were due to gene mutations and neural crest abnormality. Infants with CH and CM have been shown to have significantly lower T4 levels than those with isolated CH. However, the role of thyroid hormone in the developing heart has not been reported. In this study, we show the thyroid anlage in chick embryos by immunohistochemistry and follow the expression of thyroid hormone receptor during heart development.

Keywords

Thyroid Thyroid hormone Thyroid hormone receptor Heart Chick embryo 
Congenital hypothyroidism (CH) is one of the most common diseases of the endocrine system among newborns. Infants with CH have been reported to have a high frequency of congenital cardiovascular malformations (CM), such as ventricular and atrial septal defects [1]. Some studies have demonstrated that these cases were due to gene mutations and neural crest abnormality. Infants with CH and CM have been shown to have significantly lower T4 levels than those with isolated CH. However, the role of thyroid hormone in the developing heart has not been reported. In this study, we show the thyroid anlage in chick embryos by immunohistochemistry and follow the expression of thyroid hormone receptor during heart development.
  1. 1.
    The thyroid anlage appeared close to the aortic sac at H/H 14 of chick embryos, as determined by immunohistochemistry (Fig. 16.1a).
    Fig. 16.1

    (a) The thyroid anlage appeared close to the aortic sac at H/H 14. as aortic sac, th thyroid anlage. (b) The expression of thyroid hormone receptors in the developing chick heart. TRα and TRβ2 were expressed beginning on E2, and TRβ0 was expressed beginning on E3 (circled). E embryonic day, Ph post hatching day

     
  2. 2.

    Avians have access to thyroid hormone long before the embryonic thyroid gland starts to secrete hormones due to the hormone deposition in the yolk and egg white [2].

     
  3. 3.

    We found that the expression of thyroid hormone receptors during embryonic heart development was earlier than that reported previously published study using RT-PCR (Fig. 16.1b) [3].

     

These results suggest that thyroid hormone may contribute to the development of the heart.

References

  1. 1.
    Olivieri A, Stazi MA, Mastroiacovo P, et al. A population-based study on the frequency of additional congenital malformations in infants with congenital hypothyroidism: data from the Italian Registry for Congenital Hypothyroidism (1991–1998). J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002;87:557–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Prati M, Calvo R, Morreale G, Morreale de Escobar G. L-thyroxine and 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine concentrations in the chicken egg and in the embryo before and after the onset of thyroid function. Endocrinology. 1992;130:2651–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Forrest D, Sjöberg M, Vennström B. Contrasting developmental and tissue-specific expression of alpha and beta thyroid hormone receptor genes. EMBO J. 1990;9:1519–28.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

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© The Author(s) 2016

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiro Maeda
    • 1
  • Sachiko Miyagawa-Tomita
    • 2
  • Toshio Nakanishi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric CardiologyTokyo Women’s Medical UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Division of Cardiovascular Development and Differentiation, Medical Research InstituteTokyo Women’s Medical UniversityTokyoJapan

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