Hammer K.B., Holt D.E. and Ward C.R.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether expression of G proteins (G(i) and G(s)) is altered in thyroid gland adenomas obtained from hyperthyroid cats. SAMPLE POPULATION: Adenomatous thyroid glands obtained from 8 hyperthyroid cats and thyroid glands obtained from 4 age-matched euthyroid cats. PROCEDURE: Expression of G(i) and G(s) was quantified in enriched membrane preparations of thyroid gland tissue, using immunoblotting with G(i) and G(s) antibodies and toxin-catalyzed ADP-ribosylation. RESULTS: Expression of G(i) was significantly reduced in thyroid gland adenomas from hyperthyroid cats, compared with normal thyroid gland tissue from euthyroid cats. Expression of G(s) was similar between the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: A decrease in expression of G in adenomatous thyroid glands of cats may reduce the negative inhibition of the cAMP cascade in thyroid cells, leading to autonomous growth and hypersecretion of thyroxine. Understanding the molecular mechanisms for hyperthyroidism in cats may lead to better treatment or, ultimately, prevention of the disease.