Thyroid hormones have a central role in cardiovascular homeostasis. In myocardium, these hormones stimulate both diastolic myocardial relaxation and systolic myocardial contraction, have a pro-angiogenic effect and an important role in extracellular matrix maintenance. Thyroid hormones modulate cardiac mitochondrial function. Dysfunction of thyroid axis impairs myocardial bioenergetic status. Both overt and subclinical hypothyroidism are associated with a higher incidence of coronary events and an increased risk of heart failure progression. Endothelial function is also impaired in hypothyroid state, with decreased nitric oxide-mediated vascular relaxation. In heart disease, particularly in ischemic heart disease, abnormalities in thyroid hormone levels are common and are an important factor to be considered. In fact, low thyroid hormone levels should be interpreted as a cardiovascular risk factor. Regarding ischemic heart disease, during the late post-myocardial infarction period, thyroid hormones modulate left ventricular structure, function and geometry. Dysfunction of thyroid axis might even be more prevalent in the referred condition since there is an upregulation of type 3 deiodinase in myocardium, producing a state of local cardiac hypothyroidism. In this focused review, we summarize the central pathophysiological and clinical links between altered thyroid function and ischemic heart disease. Finally, we highlight the potential benefits of thyroid hormone supplementation as a therapeutic target in ischemic heart disease.
Madalena von Hafe, João Sergio Neves, Catarina Vale, Marta Borges-Canha and Adelino Leite-Moreira
Peter Wolf, Yvonne Winhofer, Martin Krššák and Michael Krebs
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in general population. Besides well-known risk factors such as hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance and dyslipidemia, growing evidence suggests that hormonal changes in various endocrine diseases also impact the cardiac morphology and function. Recent studies highlight the importance of ectopic intracellular myocardial and pericardial lipid deposition, since even slight changes of these fat depots are associated with alterations in cardiac performance. In this review, we overview the effects of hormones, including insulin, thyroid hormones, growth hormone and cortisol, on heart function, focusing on their impact on myocardial lipid metabolism, cardiac substrate utilization and ectopic lipid deposition, in order to highlight the important role of even subtle hormonal changes for heart function in various endocrine and metabolic diseases.
Marianne Aa Grytaas, Kjersti Sellevåg, Hrafnkell B Thordarson, Eystein S Husebye, Kristian Løvås and Terje H Larsen
Primary aldosteronism (PA) is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity, presumably due to left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and fibrosis. However, the degree of fibrosis has not been extensively studied. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) contrast enhancement and novel sensitive T1 mapping to estimate increased extracellular volume (ECV) are available to measure the extent of fibrosis.
To assess LV mass and fibrosis before and after treatment of PA using CMR with contrast enhancement and T1 mapping.
Fifteen patients with newly diagnosed PA (PA1) and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects (HS) were studied by CMR with contrast enhancement. Repeated imaging with a new scanner with T1 mapping was performed in 14 of the PA1 and 20 of the HS median 18 months after specific PA treatment and in additional 16 newly diagnosed PA patients (PA2).
PA1 had higher baseline LV mass index than HS (69 (53–91) vs 51 (40–72) g/m2; P < 0.001), which decreased significantly after treatment (58 (40–86) g/m2; P < 0.001 vs baseline), more with adrenalectomy (n = 8; −9 g/m2; P = 0.003) than with medical treatment (n = 6; −5 g/m2; P = 0.075). No baseline difference was found in contrast enhancement between PA1 and HS. T1 mapping showed no increase in ECV as a myocardial fibrosis marker in PA. Moreover, ECV was lower in the untreated PA2 than HS 10 min post-contrast, and in both PA groups compared with HS 20 min post-contrast.
Specific treatment rapidly reduced LV mass in PA. Increased myocardial fibrosis was not found and may not represent a common clinical problem.
L E Zijlstra, D M van Velzen, S Simsek, S P Mooijaart, M van Buren, D J Stott, I Ford, J W Jukema and S Trompet
Thyroid hormones have been implicated to play a role in cardiovascular disease, along with studies linking thyroid hormone to kidney function. The aim of this study is to investigate whether kidney function modifies the association of subclinical thyroid dysfunction and the risk of cardiovascular outcomes.
In total, 5804 patients were included in the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER). For the current analysis, 426 were excluded because of overt thyroid disease at baseline or 6 months, 266 because of inconsistent thyroid function at baseline and 6 months, 294 because of medication use that could influence thyroid function, and 16 because of missing kidney or thyroid values. Participants with normal fT4 were classified, based on TSH both at inclusion and 6 months, into three groups: subclinical hypothyroidism (TSH >4.5 mIU/L); euthyroidism (TSH = 0.45–4.5 mIU/L); and subclinical hyperthyroidism (TSH <0.45 mIU/L). Strata of kidney function were made based on estimated glomerular filtration rate into three clinically relevant groups: <45, 45–60, and >60 mL/min/1.73 m2. The primary endpoint consists of death from coronary heart disease, non-fatal myocardial infarction and (non)fatal stroke.
Mean age was 75.3 years, and 49.0% patients were male. Mean follow-up was 3.2 years. Of all participants, 109 subjects (2.2%) had subclinical hypothyroidism, 4573 (94.0%) had euthyroidism, and 182 (3.7%) subclinical hyperthyroidism. For patients with subclinical hypothyroidism, euthyroidism, and subclinical hyperthyroidism, primary outcome occurred in 9 (8.3%), 712 (15.6%), and 23 (12.6%) patients, respectively. No statistically significant relationship was found between subclinical thyroid dysfunction and primary endpoint with adjusted hazard ratios of 0.51 (0.24–1.07) comparing subclinical hyperthyroidism and 0.90 (0.58–1.39) comparing subclinical hypothyroidism with euthyroidism. Neither was this relationship present in any of the strata of kidney function, nor did kidney function interact with subclinical thyroid dysfunction in the association with primary endpoint (P interaction = 0.602 for subclinical hyperthyroidism and 0.388 for subclinical hypothyroidism).
In this secondary analysis from PROSPER, we found no evidence that the potential association between thyroid hormones and cardiovascular disease is modified by kidney function in older patients with subclinical thyroid dysfunction.
Wang Chengji and Fan Xianjin
To investigate the biological mechanism of the effect of different intensity exercises on diabetic cardiomyopathy.
87 raise specific pathogen SPF healthy 6-week-old male Sprague–Dawley rats, fed 6 weeks with high-fat diet for rats were used, and a diabetic model was established by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin – randomly selected 43 rats were divided into Diabetic control group (DCG, n = 10), Diabetic exercise group 1 (DEG1, n = 11), Diabetic exercise group 2 (DEG2, n = 11) and Diabetic exercise group 3 (DEG3, n = 11). The rats in DEG1 were forced to run on a motorized treadmill, the exercise load consisted of running at a speed of 10 m/min, the exercise load of the rats in DEG2 were running at a speed of 15 m/min, the exercise load of the rats in DEG3 were running at a speed of 20 m/min, for one hour once a day for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks of exercise intervention, glucose metabolism-related indexes in rats such as blood glucose (FBG), glycosylated serum protein (GSP) and insulin (FINS); cardiac fibrinolytic system parameters such as PAI-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor 1), Von Willebrand factor (vWF), protein kinase C (PKC) and diacylglycerol (DAG); and serum level of NO, eNOS and T-NOS were measured.
Compared with DCG, fasting blood glucose and GSP were decreased, while insulin sensitivity index and insulin level were increased in all rats of the three exercise groups. FBG decrease was statistically significant (P < 0.01), only GSP decrease was statistically significant (P < 0.05) in DEG1 and DEG2, PAI-1 in three exercise groups were significantly reduced (P < 0.05), plasma vWF levels in the three exercise groups were significantly lower than those in the DCG group (P < 0.01); PKC levels decreased dramatically in the three exercise groups and DAG levels decrease slightly (P < 0.05), but with no significant difference. Compared with DCG, the serum level of NO was significantly higher (P < 0.05), and eNOS level was significantly elevated (P < 0.05). T-NOS elevation was statistically significant in DEG1 (P < 0.05).
Low- and moderate-intensity exercise can better control blood glucose level in diabetic rats; myocardial PAI-1 in DEG1, DEG2 and DEG3 rats decreased significantly (P < 0.05), serum NO increased (P < 0.05) and eNOS increased (P < 0.05) significantly. Therefore, it is inferred that exercise improves the biological mechanism of diabetic cardiomyopathy by affecting the levels of PAI-1 and eNOS, and there is a dependence on intensity.
Satoshi Higuchi, Hideki Ota, Takuya Ueda, Yuta Tezuka, Kei Omata, Yoshikiyo Ono, Ryo Morimoto, Masataka Kudo, Fumitoshi Satoh and Kei Takase
Regional differences in cardiac magnetic resonance, which can reveal catecholamine-induced myocardial injury in patients with pheochromocytoma, have not yet been assessed using 3T magnetic resonance imaging. We evaluated these differences using myocardial T1-mapping and strain analysis.
Design and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed 16 patients newly diagnosed with catecholamine-producing tumors (CPT group) and 16 patients with essential hypertension (EH group), who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging between May 2016 and March 2018. We acquired 3T magnetic resonance cine and native T1-mapping images and performed feature-tracking-based strain analysis in the former.
Global cardiac function, morphology, global strain and peak strain rate were similar, but end-diastolic wall thickness differed between groups (CPT vs EH: 10.5 ± 1.7 vs 12.6 ± 2.8 mm; P < 0.05). Basal, but not apical, circumferential strain was significantly higher in the CPT than the EH group (19.4 ± 3.2 vs 16.8 ± 3.6 %; P < 0.05). Native T1 values were significantly higher in CPT than in EH patients, in both the basal septum (1307 ± 48 vs 1241 ± 45 ms; P < 0.01) and the apical septum (1377 ± 59 vs 1265 ± 58 ms; P < 0.01) mid-walls. In the CPT, but not in the EH group, native T1 values in the apical wall were significantly higher than those in the basal wall (P < 0.01).
3T magnetic resonance-based T1-mapping can sensitively detect subclinical catecholamine-induced myocardial injury; the influence of catecholamines may be greater in the apical than in the basal wall.
Tsuneo Ogawa and Adolfo J de Bold
The concept of the heart as an endocrine organ arises from the observation that the atrial cardiomyocytes in the mammalian heart display a phenotype that is partly that of endocrine cells. Investigations carried out between 1971 and 1983 characterised, by virtue of its natriuretic properties, a polypeptide referred to atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). Another polypeptide isolated from brain in 1988, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), was subsequently characterised as a second hormone produced by the mammalian heart atria. These peptides were associated with the maintenance of extracellular fluid volume and blood pressure. Later work demonstrated a plethora of other properties for ANF and BNP, now designated cardiac natriuretic peptides (cNPs). In addition to the cNPs, other polypeptide hormones are expressed in the heart that likely act upon the myocardium in a paracrine or autocrine fashion. These include the C-type natriuretic peptide, adrenomedullin, proadrenomedullin N-terminal peptide and endothelin-1. Expression and secretion of ANF and BNP are increased in various cardiovascular pathologies and their levels in blood are used in the diagnosis and prognosis of cardiovascular disease. In addition, therapeutic uses for these peptides or related substances have been found. In all, the discovery of the endocrine heart provided a shift from the classical functional paradigm of the heart that regarded this organ solely as a blood pump to one that regards this organ as self-regulating its workload humorally and that also influences the function of several other organs that control cardiovascular function.
Hugo R Ramos, Andreas L Birkenfeld and Adolfo J de Bold
Since their discovery in 1981, the cardiac natriuretic peptides (cNP) atrial natriuretic peptide (also referred to as atrial natriuretic factor) and brain natriuretic peptide have been well characterised in terms of their renal and cardiovascular actions. In addition, it has been shown that cNP plasma levels are strong predictors of cardiovascular events and mortality in populations with no apparent heart disease as well as in patients with established cardiac pathology. cNP secretion from the heart is increased by humoral and mechanical stimuli. The clinical significance of cNP plasma levels has been shown to differ in obese and non-obese subjects. Recent lines of evidence suggest important metabolic effects of the cNP system, which has been shown to activate lipolysis, enhance lipid oxidation and mitochondrial respiration. Clinically, these properties lead to browning of white adipose tissue and to increased muscular oxidative capacity. In human association studies in patients without heart disease higher cNP concentrations were observed in lean, insulin-sensitive subjects. Highly elevated cNP levels are generally observed in patients with systolic heart failure or high blood pressure, while obese and type-2 diabetics display reduced cNP levels. Together, these observations suggest that the cNP system plays a role in the pathophysiology of metabolic vascular disease. Understanding this role should help define novel principles in the treatment of cardiometabolic disease.
Adriana J van Ballegooijen, Marjolein Visser, Marieke B Snijder, Jacqueline M Dekker, Giel Nijpels, Coen D A Stehouwer, Michaela Diamant and Ingeborg A Brouwer
A disturbed vitamin D–parathyroid hormone (PTH)–calcium axis may play a role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. Therefore, we investigated whether lower 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and higher PTH are cross sectionally and after 8 years of follow-up associated with higher B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in older men and women.
Design and methods
We measured baseline 25(OH)D, PTH, and BNP in 502 subjects in 2000–2001 in the Hoorn Study, a population-based cohort. Follow-up BNP was available in 2007–2009 in 278 subjects. Subjects were categorized according to season- and sex-specific quartiles of 25(OH)D and PTH at baseline. We studied the association of 25(OH)D and PTH quartiles with BNP using linear regression analyses adjusting for confounders. Analyses were stratified by kidney function estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; ≤60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) because of significant interaction.
At baseline, subjects had a mean age of 69.9±6.6 years, mean 25(OH)D level was 52.2±19.5 nmol/l and mean PTH 6.1±2.4 pmol/l. Cross sectionally, 25(OH)D was associated with BNP in subjects with impaired kidney function (eGFR ≤60 ml/min) only. The association attenuated after adjustment for PTH. PTH was cross sectionally associated with BNP, also in subjects with impaired kidney function only: regression coefficient of highest quartile 9.9 pmol/l (95% confidence interval 2.5, 17.4) with a significant trend across quartiles. Neither 25(OH)D nor PTH was associated with BNP in longitudinal analyses.
This study showed overall no strong association between 25(OH)D and BNP. However, PTH was associated with BNP in subjects with impaired kidney function and may point to a potential role in myocardial function.
Frans H H Leenen, Mordecai P Blaustein and John M Hamlyn
In the brain, angiotensinergic pathways play a major role in chronic regulation of cardiovascular and electrolyte homeostasis. Increases in plasma angiotensin II (Ang II), aldosterone, [Na+] and cytokines can directly activate these pathways. Chronically, these stimuli also activate a slow neuromodulatory pathway involving local aldosterone, mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs), epithelial sodium channels and endogenous ouabain (EO). This pathway increases AT1R and NADPH oxidase subunits and maintains/further increases the activity of angiotensinergic pathways. These brain pathways not only increase the setpoint of sympathetic activity per se, but also enhance its effectiveness by increasing plasma EO and EO-dependent reprogramming of arterial and cardiac function. Blockade of any step in this slow pathway or of AT1R prevents Ang II-, aldosterone- or salt and renal injury-induced forms of hypertension. MR/AT1R activation in the CNS also contributes to the activation of sympathetic activity, the circulatory and cardiac RAAS and increase in circulating cytokines in HF post MI. Chronic central infusion of an aldosterone synthase inhibitor, MR blocker or AT1R blocker prevents a major part of the structural remodeling of the heart and the decrease in LV function post MI, indicating that MR activation in the CNS post MI depends on aldosterone, locally produced in the CNS. Thus, Ang II, aldosterone and EO are not simply circulating hormones that act on the CNS but rather they are also paracrine neurohormones, locally produced in the CNS, that exert powerful effects in key CNS pathways involved in the long-term control of sympathetic and neuro-endocrine function and cardiovascular homeostasis.