We have reported previously that thyroid hormone activates the circulating and tissue renin-angiotensin systems without involving the sympathetic nervous system, which contributes to cardiac hypertrophy in hyperthyroidism. This study examined whether the circulating or tissue renin-angiotensin system plays the principal role in hyperthyroidism-induced cardiac hypertrophy. The circulating renin-angiotensin system in Sprague-Dawley rats was fixed by chronic angiotensin II infusion (40 ng/min, 28 days) via mini-osmotic pumps. Daily i.p. injection of thyroxine (0.1 mg/kg per day, 28 days) was used to mimic hyperthyroidism. Serum free tri-iodothyronine, plasma renin activity, plasma angiotensin II, cardiac renin and cardiac angiotensin II were measured with RIAs. The cardiac expression of renin mRNA was evaluated by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Plasma renin activity and plasma angiotensin II were kept constant in the angiotensin II and angiotensin II+thyroxine groups (0.12+/-0.03 and 0.15+/-0.03 microgram/h per liter, 126+/-5 and 130+/-5 ng/l respectively) (means+/-s.e.m.). Despite stabilization of the circulating renin-angiotensin system, thyroid hormone induced cardiac hypertrophy (5.0+/-0.5 vs 3.5+/-0.1 mg/g) in conjunction with the increases in cardiac expression of renin mRNA, cardiac renin and cardiac angiotensin II (74+/-2 vs 48+/-2%, 6.5+/-0.8 vs 3.8+/-0.4 ng/h per g, 231+/-30 vs 149+/-2 pg/g respectively). These results indicate that the local renin-angiotensin system plays the primary role in the development of hyperthyroidism-induced cardiac hypertrophy.
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