In an earlier study, we proposed that thyroid hormone stimulation of energy utilization by the Na+ pump mediates the calorigenic response. In this study, the effects of triiodothyronine (T3) on total oxygen consumption (QOO2), the ouabain-sensitive oxygen consumption [QOO2(t)], and NaK-ATPase in liver, kidney, and cerebrum were measured. In liver, ∼90% of the increase in QOO2 produced by T3 in either thyroidectomized or euthyroid rats was attributable to the increase in QOO2(t). In kidney, the increase in QOO2(t) accounted for 29% of the increase in QOO2 in thyroidectomized and 46% of the increase in QOO2 in euthyroid rats. There was no demonstrable effect of T3 in euthyroid rats on QOO2 or QOO2(t) of cerebral slices. The effects of T3 on NaK-ATPase activity in homogenates were as follows: In liver +81% from euthyroid rats and +54% from hypothyroid rats. In kidney, +21% from euthyroid rats and +69% from hypothyroid rats. T3 in euthyroid rats produced no significant changes in NaK-ATPase or Mg-ATPase activity of cerebral homogenates. Liver plasma membrane fractions showed a 69% increase in NaK-ATPase and no significant changes in either Mg-ATPase or 5'-nucleotidase activities after T3 injection. These results indicate that thyroid hormones stimulate NaK-ATPase activity differentially. This effect may account, at least in part, for the calorigenic effects of these hormones.

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