Ornithine decarboxylase and polyamines in developing rat brain and heart: Effects of perinatal hypothyroidism
Review articleOpen access

AbstractHypothyroidism induced by perinatal administration of propylthiouracil (PTU) had profound effects on growth of the heart, with major organ weight deficits persisting well beyond the termination of drug treatment. These effects were preceded by disruption of the developmental patterns of cardiac ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and the polyamines, which are thought to be intracellular modulators of cellular maturation. Activity of cardiac ODC was depressed in the PTU-treated group and putrescine and spermidine levels were markedly subnormal. PTU administration also affected brain growth, but much less so than in the heart. The disruption of the brain ODC/polyamine system was also less pronounced, with relatively small degrees of spermidine depletion and a slight elevation of ODC. For both tissues, the biochemical effects of perinatal hypothyroidism were opposite to those found previously for administration of exogenous thyroid hormones. These results support the views that: 1.(1) endogenous thyroid hormones contribute to the maintenance of normal developmental patterns of ODC and the polyamines, and2.(2) the ODC/polyamine system participates in events modulating subsequent tissue growth.

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