Vascular and renal function in experimental thyroid disorders.
ABSTRACT This review focuses on the effects of thyroid hormones in vascular and renal systems. Special emphasis is given to the mechanisms by which thyroid hormones affect the regulation of body fluids, vascular resistance and, ultimately, blood pressure. Vascular function is markedly affected by thyroid hormones that produce changes in vascular reactivity and endothelial function in hyper- and hypothyroidism. The hypothyroid state is accompanied by a marked decrease in sensitivity to vasoconstrictors, especially to sympathetic agonists, alteration that may play a role in the reduced blood pressure of hypothyroid rats, as well as in the preventive effects of hypothyroidism on experimental hypertension. Moreover, in hypothyroid rats, the endothelium-dependent and nitric oxide donors vasodilation is reduced. Conversely, the vessels from hyperthyroid rats showed an increased endothelium-dependent responsiveness that may be secondary to the shear-stress induced by the hyperdynamic circulation, and that may contribute to the reduced vascular resistance characteristic of this disease. Thyroid hormones also have important effects in the kidney, affecting renal growth, renal haemodynamics, and salt and water metabolism. In hyperthyroidism, there is a resetting of the pressure-natriuresis relationship related to hyperactivity of the renin-angiotensin system, which contributes to the arterial hypertension associated with this endocrine disease. Moreover, thyroid hormones affect the development and/or maintenance of various forms of arterial hypertension. This review also describes recent advances in our understanding of thyroid hormone action on nitric oxide and oxidative stress in the regulation of cardiovascular and renal function and in the long-term control of blood pressure.