Thyroid Hormone Receptor Alpha Deletion in ApoE–/– Mice Alters the Arterial Renin-Angiotensin System and Vascular Smooth Muscular Cell Cholesterol Metabolism

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Thyroid hormone (TH) regulates gene transcription by binding to TH receptors (TRs). TRs regulate the genes of lipid metabolism and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). We examined the effect of TRα deletion in ApoE–/– mice (DKO mice) on the following: (i) the expression of genes controlling cholesterol metabolism and tissue (t)RAS in the liver and aorta and (ii) the expression of these genes and the regulation of cholesterol content in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). TRα deletion in ApoE–/– mice led to the repression of genes involved in the synthesis and influx of cholesterol in the liver. However, TRα deletion in the arterial wall suppressed the expression of genes involved in the esterification and excretion of cholesterol and enhanced the expression of angiotensinogen (AGT). The VSMCs of the ApoE–/– and DKO mice increased their cholesterol content during cholesterol loading, but failed to increase the expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1). T3 addition partially corrected these abnormalities in the cells of the ApoE–/– mice but not those of the DKO mice. In conclusion, TRα deletion in ApoE–/– mice slightly increases the expression of tRAS in the aorta and aggravates the dysregulation of cholesterol content in the VSMCs.

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