There is increasing evidence that the membrane-bound thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) may be mediating clinically important direct effects of thyrotropin (TSH) and of TSHR antibodies (TSHRab) in extra-thyroidal tissues. TSHR mRNA has formerly been detected in thyroid, retroorbital muscle and fibroblasts, peripheral lymphocytes and rodent fat. It is well known that thyroid disease may aggravate or induce heart disease, but the pathophysiological role of TSH and TSHRab is not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate if TSHR is present in cardiac muscle. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions revealed TSHR in human heart and Northern blot on extracted RNA showed a RNA species of 4.4 kb. TSH stimulation of cultured mouse AT-1 cardiomyocytes elevated the levels of intracellular second messenger 3',5'-cyclic AMP. This effect of TSH could be inhibited by TSHR antibodies. In solution hybridization levels of TSHR mRNA in AT-1 cells were 50% of mRNA in crude mouse heart. In conclusion functional TSHR is present in cardiomyocytes.