The effect of thyroid hormone on atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) production was investigated in hypothyroid, euthyroid, and hyperthyroid rats by measuring levels of ANF mRNA and ANF in myocardium. ANF mRNA was quantitated by dot blot hybridization, and ANF by specific RIA. Relative ANF mRNA concentrations (ANF mRNA to 18S RNA) were determined for right atria, left atria, and ventricular apices. The total chamber content of ANF mRNA was estimated (concentration X total chamber RNA) and used as a measure of each tissue’s synthetic capacity. For both atrial tissues, ANF mRNA contents were significantly higher in hyperthyroidism. In right atria, mean ANF mRNA contents in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism were 41% and 176%, respectively, of that in euthyroidism (P< 0.05, by analysis of variance). Left atrial ANF mRNA contents in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism were 94% and 272%, respectively, of the euthyroid value (P < 0.05). In contrast, atrial ANF mRNA concentrations did not differ significantly between thyroid states. In ventricle, ANF mRNA content and concentration were both correlated with serum T4 concentration. Ventricular ANF mRNA contents in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism were 31% and 178%, respectively, of that in euthyroidism (P < 0.02). The concentration of ventricular ANF mRNA was also significantly increased in hyperthyroidism (P < 0.05). Tissue content of ANF increased in the hyperthyroid right atria and decreased in the hyperthyroid left atria and ventricles. These observations suggest that increased ANF production by both atria and, to a lesser extent, by the ventricles contributes to the higher circulating ANF levels reported in hyperthyroidism. Furthermore, hyperthyroidism is associated with a specific increase in ventricular ANF mRNA expression as has been observed in other conditions causing ventricular hypertrophy.
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