Effect of T3-induced hyperthyroidism on mitochondrial and cytoplasmic protein synthesis rates in oxidative and glycolytic tissues in rats

Kevin R. Short, J. Nygren, K. Sreekumaran Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Hyperthyroidism increases metabolic rate, mitochondrial ATP production, and protein synthesis, but it remains to be determined whether all tissues and synthesis of specific protein pools are equally affected by hyperthyroidism. Previous studies showed that mitochondrial function was less responsive to elevated triiodothyronine (T3) levels in the low-oxidative plantaris muscle compared with other tissues in rats. We tested the hypothesis that in T3-treated animals mitochondrial protein synthesis would increase in oxidative but not glycolytic tissues. Male rats received either T3 (200 μg/day, n = 10) or saline (controls, n = 9) by subcutaneous pump for 14 days, and then in vivo protein synthesis rates were measured using [ 15N]phenylalanine in liver, heart, plantaris, and red gastrocnemius (Red Gast). Mitochondrial protein synthesis rate in T3-treated rats was higher than in controls by 62% in Red Gast and plantaris and 89 and 115% in liver and heart, respectively (P < 0.01). Cytoplasmic protein synthesis rates in the T3 group were 107-176% higher than control values (P < 0.01). There was also indirect evidence that protein breakdown was increased in all tissues of the T3-treated rats. Phosphorylation of selected regulators of protein synthesis in plantaris and Red Gast (mTOR, p70 S6 kinase, 4E-BP1), however, were not significantly affected by T3. We conclude that T3 infusion stimulates a general increase in mitochondrial and cytoplasmic protein synthesis rate among tissues and that this does not appear to explain the tissue-specific responses in mitochondrial oxidative capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E642-E647
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Fractional synthesis rate
  • Protein metabolism
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Triiodothyronine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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