The possibility that alterations in the rate or efficiency of energy utilization could be involved in the control of cellular oxygen consumption by thyroid hormone was examined in right ventricular papillary muscles isolated from normal euthyroid cats and cats with experimentally induced hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Energy production in the muscles was inhibited and isolated from the process of energy utilization by exposure to iodoacetic acid and nitrogen. After resting or performing variable amounts of contractile element work under isometric conditions, muscles were frozen, and the total amount of chemical energy (∼ P = creatine phosphate + ATP) used was determined. The resting rate of energy utilization in muscles from euthyroid animals was 0.78±0.07 μmoles/g per min of ∼ P. This rate was elevated in muscles from hyperthyroid cats to 1.00±0.09 μmoles/g per min and decreased in muscles from hypothyroid cats to 0.23±0.14 μmoles/g per min. Isometrically contracting muscles from cats with hypothyroidism utilized only 64% as much energy as muscles from euthyroid cats while performing 81% as much contractile element work at a moderately decreased level of contractile state. Muscles from hyperthyroid cats utilized an average of 41% more energy than did muscles from euthyroid cats while contracting an identical number of times and performing an equal amount of contractile element work at a slightly increased level of contractile state. These results suggest that thyroid hormone directly influences the rate of cellular energy utilization. Furthermore, the increase in energy utilization in muscles from hyperthyroid cats could not be attributed entirely to observed alterations in contractile behavior, which indicates that excess thyroid hormone may decrease the efficiency of the conversion of cellular energy to work. However, the opposite effect, an increased efficiency of energy utilization, was not observed in muscles from hypothyroid cats. Thus, it is concluded that the calorigenic effects of thyroid hormone may be explained, at least in part, by alterations in the process of energy utilization.
C. Lynn Skelton, Peter E. Pool, Shirley C. Seagren, Eugene Braunwald