To determine whether intracerebrally localized iodothyronines produce thyroid hormone-related functional effects, heart rate responses were compared in conscious hypothyroid rats given triiodothyronine (T3) by either the intrathecal or the intravenous route. A significant increase in heart rate occurred within 18 h after 1.5 nmol T3/100 g body wt was delivered intrathecally through a cannula previously placed in the lateral cerebral ventricle. Injection of the same T3 dose intravenously through an indwelling jugular catheter or injection of vehicle only by either route produced no significant increase in heart rate during the 48-h postinjection period of observation. These differences were observed even though integrated serum T3 concentrations were significantly lower after intrathecal than after intravenous T3 injection. The results indicate that thyroid hormone effects on heart rate are exerted within the brain as well as within the heart.
M Goldman, M B Dratman, F L Crutchfield, A S Jennings, J A Maruniak, R Gibbons