Tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) as well as 3,5-di-iodothyronine (T2) stimulated O2 consumption by isolated perfused livers from hypothyroid rats at a concentration as low as 1 pM by about 30% within 90 min. Application of T2 resulted in a faster stimulation than with application of T3 or T4. Inhibition of iodothyronine monodeiodinase by propylthiouracil, thereby blocking the degradation of T4 to T3 and of T3 to T2, demonstrated that only T2 is the active hormone for the rapid stimulation of hepatic O2 consumption: T3 and T4 lost all of their stimulative activity, whereas T2 was as potent as in the absence of propylthiouracil. Perfusion experiments with thyroid-hormone analogues confirmed the specificity of the T2 effect. The nucleus is unlikely to contribute to the rapid T2 effect, as can be deduced from perfusion experiments with cycloheximide and lack of induction of malic enzyme by T2. In conclusion, a new scheme of regulation of mitochondrial activity is proposed: T2 acts rapidly and directly via a mitochondrial pathway, whereas T3 exerts its long-term action indirectly by induction of specific enzymes.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.