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Current Vascular Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-1611
ISSN (Online): 1875-6212

Therapeutic Potential for Thyroid Hormone Receptor-β Selective Agonists for Treating Obesity, Hyperlipidemia and Diabetes

Author(s): Gary J. Grover, Karin Mellstrom and Johan Malm

Volume 5, Issue 2, 2007

Page: [141 - 154] Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/157016107780368271

Price: $65


Obesity and metabolic syndrome are increasing dramatically worldwide, contributing to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. There are currently few safe and efficacious therapeutics for obesity and most strategies are focused on appetite suppression. Thyroid hormones reduce adiposity via increased metabolic rate, but unfortunately they cause large changes in metabolic rate and direct cardiac acceleration, making them useless for treating obesity. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) work as transcription factors and two subtypes exist: TRβ and TRβ . TRβ mediates tachycardia and much of the metabolic rate effect, while TRβ mediates cholesterol and TSH lowering effects of thyroid hormones. TR activation modestly increases metabolic rate such that a therapeutic window of 5-10 fold increases in metabolic rate can be seen without tachycardia. This was initially studied in TRα 1 -/- mice. Recent structure activity work has resulted in the discovery of several TRβ selective thyromimetics such as KB-141. Studies with KB-141 show that it has a 10-fold window in which therapeutic increases in metabolic rate are seen without tachycardia or cardiac hypertrophy. This agent lowers cholesterol in rats and primates. In primates, KB-141 causes significant weight and cholesterol reduction in addition to the independent risk factor Lp(a). These effects were seen without any effect on heart rate, unlike thyroid hormone (T3). Further work with TR selective agents is warranted and recent work suggests the possibility of developing compounds that selectively penetrate different tissues which may have an even more desirable therapeutic window. Selective thyromimetics, therefore, may be useful as adjunctive therapy to appetite suppressants along with exercise and diet restriction.

Keywords: Thyroid hormone agonists, obesity, KB-141, thyroid hormone receptorβ, cholesterol

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