This study aimed to evaluate the effects of thyroid hormone on the decidua and metrial gland of rats and to examine the expression of angiogenic factors. 72 adult, female rats were divided into hypothyroid, T4-treated2, and control groups. At 10, 14 and 19 days of gestation (DG), the decidua and metrial gland were collected for histomorphometric and immunohistochemical evaluation of the expression of VEGF, Flk-1 and Tie-2. Hypothyroidism reduced the area of the decidua at 10 and 19 DG. Furthermore, VEGF was increased at 10 and 14 DG, and Flk-1 only at 14 DG, but both was reduced at 19 DG in the metrial gland without significantly changing the area occupied by blood vessels. Rats treated with T4 showed an increase in the decidua blood vessels at 10 and 19 DG. However, at 10 DG, excess T4 resulted in increased of Flk-1 in the decidua and metrial gland. Hypothyroidism increased the Tie-2 at 10 and 19 DG in the decidua and metrial gland. In conclusion, hypothyroidism reduces the area of the decidua and increases the expression of VEGF, Tie-2 and Flk-1. The excess of T4 promotes tissue angiogenesis by increasing the number of vessels in the decidua because of the increased expression of Flk-1.
Thyroid hormones; decidualization; angiogenesis; decidua; metrial gland; rats. thyroxine; PTU