We previously found that in the hearts of hypertensive Dahl salt-sensitive rats, βIIPKC levels increase during the transition from compensated cardiac hypertrophy to cardiac dysfunction. Here we showed that a six-week treatment of these hypertensive rats with a βIIPKC-specific inhibitor, βIIV5-3, prolonged their survival by at least six weeks, suppressed myocardial fibrosis and inflammation, and delayed the transition from compensated hypertrophy to cardiac dysfunction. In addition, changes in the levels of the Ca2+-handling proteins, SERCA2 and the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger, as well as troponin I phosphorylation, seen in the control-treated hypertensive rats were not observed in the βIIPKC-treated rats, suggesting that βIIPKC contributes to the regulation of calcium levels in the myocardium. In contrast, treatment with the selective inhibitor of βIPKC, an alternative spliced form of βIIPKC, had no beneficial effects in these rats. We also found that βIIV5-3, but not βIV5-3, improved calcium handling in isolated rat cardiomyocytes and enhanced contractility in isolated rat hearts. In conclusion, our data using an in vivo model of cardiac dysfunction (late-phase hypertrophy), suggest that βIIPKC contributes to the pathology associated with heart failure and thus an inhibitor of βIIPKC may be a potential treatment for this disease.
Heart failure (HF) afflicts about 5 million people and causes 300 000 deaths a year in the United States alone. An integral part of the pathogenesis of HF is cardiac remodelling, and the signalling events that regulate it are a subject of intense research. Cardiac remodelling is the sum of responses of the heart to causes of HF, such as ischaemia, myocardial infarction, volume and pressure overload, infection, inflammation, and mechanical injury. These responses, including cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, myocardial fibrosis, and inflammation, involve numerous cellular and structural changes and ultimately result in a progressive decline in cardiac performance. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of cultured heart cells and animal models of HF and the analysis of cardiac samples from patients with HF are all used to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the disease. Protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes, a family of serine–threonine protein kinase enzymes, were found to regulate a number of cardiac responses, including those associated with HF. In this review, we describe the PKC isozymes that play critical roles in specific aspects of cardiac remodelling and dysfunction in HF.
Protein kinase C; Heart failure; Cardiac remodeling; Hypertrophy; Fibrosis and inflammation
A variety of stress signals stimulate cardiac myocytes to undergo hypertrophy. Persistent cardiac hypertrophy is associated with elevated risk for the development of heart failure. Recently, we showed that class II histone deacetylases (HDACs) suppress cardiac hypertrophy and that stress signals neutralize this repressive function by triggering phosphorylation- and CRM1-dependent nuclear export of these chromatin-modifying enzymes. However, the identities of cardiac HDAC kinases have remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that signaling by protein kinase C (PKC) is sufficient and, in some cases, necessary to drive nuclear export of class II HDAC5 in cardiomyocytes. Inhibition of PKC prevents nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of HDAC5 in response to a subset of hypertrophic agonists. Moreover, a nonphosphorylatable HDAC5 mutant is refractory to PKC signaling and blocks cardiomyocyte hypertrophy mediated by pharmacological activators of PKC. We also demonstrate that protein kinase D (PKD), a downstream effector of PKC, directly phosphorylates HDAC5 and stimulates its nuclear export. These findings reveal a novel function for the PKC/PKD axis in coupling extracellular cues to chromatin modifications that control cellular growth, and they suggest potential utility for small-molecule inhibitors of this pathway in the treatment of pathological cardiac gene expression.
Protein kinase Cs (PKCs) constitute a family of serine/threonine kinases, which has distinguished and specific roles in regulating cardiac responses, including those associated with heart failure. We found that the PKCθ isoform is expressed at considerable levels in the cardiac muscle in mouse, and that it is rapidly activated after pressure overload. To investigate the role of PKCθ in cardiac remodeling, we used PKCθ−/− mice. In vivo analyses of PKCθ−/− hearts showed that the lack of PKCθ expression leads to left ventricular dilation and reduced function. Histological analyses showed a reduction in the number of cardiomyocytes, combined with hypertrophy of the remaining cardiomyocytes, cardiac fibrosis, myofibroblast hyper-proliferation and matrix deposition. We also observed p38 and JunK activation, known to promote cell death in response to stress, combined with upregulation of the fetal pattern of gene expression, considered to be a feature of the hemodynamically or metabolically stressed heart. In keeping with these observations, cultured PKCθ−/− cardiomyocytes were less viable than wild-type cardiomyocytes, and, unlike wild-type cardiomyocytes, underwent programmed cell death upon stimulation with α1-adrenergic agonists and hypoxia. Taken together, these results show that PKCθ maintains the correct structure and function of the heart by preventing cardiomyocyte cell death in response to work demand and to neuro-hormonal signals, to which heart cells are continuously exposed.
protein kinase C theta; dilated cardiomyopathy; cardiomyocyte survival; alpha1-adrenergic agonists; protein kinases C
In response to pathological stresses such as hypertension or myocardial infarction, the heart undergoes a remodeling process that is associated with myocyte hypertrophy, myocyte death, and fibrosis. Histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) is a transcriptional repressor of cardiac remodeling that is subject to phosphorylation-dependent neutralization in response to stress signaling. Recent studies have suggested a role for protein kinase C (PKC) and its downstream effector, protein kinase D1 (PKD1), in the control of HDAC5 phosphorylation. While PKCs are well-documented regulators of cardiac signaling, the function of PKD1 in heart muscle remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that PKD1 catalytic activity is stimulated in cardiac myocytes by diverse hypertrophic agonists that signal through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and Rho GTPases. PKD1 activation in cardiomyocytes occurs through PKC-dependent and -independent mechanisms. In vivo, cardiac PKD1 is activated in multiple rodent models of pathological cardiac remodeling. PKD1 activation correlates with phosphorylation-dependent nuclear export of HDAC5, and reduction of endogenous PKD1 expression with small interfering RNA suppresses HDAC5 shuttling and associated cardiomyocyte growth. Conversely, ectopic overexpression of constitutively active PKD1 in mouse heart leads to dilated cardiomyopathy. These findings support a role for PKD1 in the control of pathological remodeling of the heart via its ability to phosphorylate and neutralize HDAC5.
Cardiac hypertrophy is the predominant compensatory response of the heart to a wide variety of biomechanical stressors, including exercise, hypertension, myocardial infarction, intrinsic cardiomyopathy or congenital heart disease. Although cardiac hypertrophy can maintain cardiac output in response to elevated wall stress, sustained cardiac hypertrophy is often accompanied by maladaptive remodeling which can ultimately lead to heart failure. Cultured cardiac myocytes, transgenic and knock-out animal models, and pharmacological studies have not only revealed key molecules involved in hypertrophic signaling, but have also highlighted the redundancy in the hypertrophic signaling cascade. Currently, the majority of existing therapies for inhibition of pathologic cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure target molecules on the surface of cardiac myocytes, such as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. Because these molecules are upstream of multiple intracellular signaling pathways, however, current therapy is often accompanied by significant off-target effects and toxicity. More recently, research has focused on identifying the intracellular effectors of these signaling cascades in the hope that more selective drugs may be rationally designed for therapeutic intervention.
Within the cardiac myocyte, the formation of discrete multimolecular complexes, or ‘signalosomes’, is an important mechanism for increasing the specificity and efficiency of hypertrophic signal transduction. In response to extracellular stimuli, these signalosomes can alter gene and protein expression, cell size, and chamber remodeling, such as in the case of the signalosomes formed by the mAKAPβ and AKAP-lbc scaffold proteins. A better understanding of the basic molecular mechanisms regulating the compartmentation and scaffolding of signaling molecules could lead to the development of new clinical tools that may prevent the development of heart failure and minimize negative impacts on physiological processes.
signalosome; mAKAP; AKAP-lbc; heart; therapeutic
Cardiac excitability and electrical activity are determined by the sum of individual ion channels, gap junctions and exchanger activities. Electrophysiological remodeling during heart disease involves changes in membrane properties of cardiomyocytes and is related to higher prevalence of arrhythmia-associated morbidity and mortality. Pharmacological and genetic manipulation of cardiac cells as well as animal models of cardiovascular diseases are used to identity changes in electrophysiological properties and the molecular mechanisms associated with the disease. Protein kinase C (PKC) and several other kinases play a pivotal role in cardiac electrophysiological remodeling. Therefore, identifying specific therapies that regulate these kinases is the main focus of current research. PKC, a family of serine/threonine kinases, has been implicated as potential signaling nodes associated with biochemical and biophysical stress in cardiovascular diseases. Thus, the role of PKC isozymes in regulating cardiac excitability has been a subject of great attention. In this review, we describe the role of PKC isozymes that are involved in cardiac excitability and discuss both genetic and pharmacological tools that were used, their attributes and limitations. Selective and effective pharmacological interventions to normalize cardiac electrical activities and correct cardiac arrhythmias will be of great clinical benefit.
Heart failure (HF) is a chronic syndrome in which pathological cardiac remodeling is an integral part of the disease and mast cell (MC) degranulation-derived mediators have been suggested to play a role in its progression. Protein kinase C (PKC) signaling is a key event in the signal transduction pathway of MC degranulation. We recently found that inhibition of εPKC slows down the progression of hypertension-induced HF in salt-sensitive Dahl rats fed a high-salt diet. We therefore determined whether εPKC inhibition affects MC degranulation in this model. Six week-old male Dahl rats were fed with a high-salt diet to induce systemic hypertension, which resulted in concentric left ventricular hypertrophy at the age of 11 weeks, followed by myocardial dilatation and HF at the age of 17 weeks. We administered εV1-2 an εPKC-selective inhibitor peptide (3 mg/Kg/day), δV1-1, a δPKC-selective inhibitor peptide (3 mg/Kg/day), TAT (negative control; at equimolar concentration; 1.6 mg/Kg/day) or olmesartan (angiotensin receptor blocker [ARB] as a positive control; 3mg/Kg/day) between 11 weeks and 17 weeks. Treatment with εV1-2 attenuated cardiac MC degranulation without affecting MC density, myocardial fibrosis, microvessel patency, vascular thickening and cardiac inflammation in comparison to TAT- or δV1-1-treatment. Treatment with ARB also attenuated MC degranulation and cardiac remodeling, but to a lesser extent when compared to εV1-2. Finally, εV1-2 treatment inhibited MC degranulation in isolated peritoneal MCs. Together, our data suggest that εPKC inhibition attenuates pathological remodeling in hypertension-induced HF, at least in part, by preventing cardiac MC degranulation.
Mast cell degranulation; protein kinase C; PKC-selective inhibitor peptide; cardiac remodeling; heart failure
Protein Kinase C (PKC) is a family of serine/threonine-isozymes that are involved in many signaling events in normal and disease states. Previous studies from our lab have demonstrated that εPKC plays a pivotal role in neuroprotection induced by ischemic preconditioning. However, the role of εPKC during and after brain ischemia is not clearly defined. Therefore, in the present study, we tested the hypothesis that activation of εPKC during an ischemic event is neuroprotective. Furthermore, other studies have demonstrated that εPKC mediates cerebral ischemic tolerance in the rat brain by decreasing vascular tone. Thus, we also tested the effects of εPKC activation during ischemia on cerebral blood flow (CBF). We found that ψε-Receptors for activated C kinase (RACK), a εPKC-selective peptide activator, injected intravenously 30 minutes before induction of global cerebral ischemia conferred neuroprotection in the CA1 region of the rat hippocampus. Moreover, measurements of CBF before, during and after cerebral ischemia revealed a significant reduction in the reperfusion phase of rats pretreated with ψεRACK compared to Tat peptide (vehicle). Our results suggest that εPKC can protect the rat brain against ischemic damage by regulating CBF. Thus, εPKC may be one of the treatment modalities against ischemic injury.
Ischemia; epsilon Protein Kinase C; Cerebral Blood Flow; Neuroprotection
Cardiac hypertrophy is a common response to circulatory or neurohumoral stressors as a mechanism to augment contractility. When the heart is under sustained stress, the hypertrophic response can evolve into decompensated heart failure, although the mechanism(s) underlying this transition remain largely unknown. Because phosphorylation of cardiac myosin light chain 2 (MLC2v), bound to myosin at the head-rod junction, facilitates actin-myosin interactions and enhances contractility, we hypothesized that phosphorylation of MLC2v plays a role in adaptation of the heart to stress. We previously identified an enzyme that predominantly phosphorylates MLC2v in cardiomyocytes, cardiac-MLCK (cMLCK); yet the role(s) played by cMLCK in regulating cardiac function in health and disease remain to be determined.
Methods and Results
We found that pressure-overload induced by transaortic constriction in wildtype mice reduced phosphorylated-MLC2v levels by ~40% and cMLCK levels by ~85%. To examine how a reduction in cMLCK and the corresponding reduction in pMLC2v affect function, we generated Mylk3 gene-targeted mice as well as transgenic mice overexpressing cMLCK specifically in cardiomyocytes. Pressure-overload led to severe heart failure in cMLCK knockout mice, but not in mice with cMLCK overexpression in which cMLCK protein synthesis exceeded degradation. The reduction in cMLCK protein during pressure-overload was attenuated by inhibition of ubiquitin-proteasome protein degradation systems.
Our results suggest the novel idea that accelerated cMLCK-protein turnover by the ubiquitin-proteasome system underlie the transition from compensated hypertrophy to decompensated heart failure due to reduced phosphorylation of MLC2v.
myosin light chain; phosphorylation; heart failure
Fibroblasts, which are the most numerous cell type in the heart, interact with cardiomyocytes in vitro and affect their function; however, they are considered to play a secondary role in cardiac hypertrophy and failure. Here we have shown that cardiac fibroblasts are essential for the protective and hypertrophic myocardial responses to pressure overload in vivo in mice. Haploinsufficiency of the transcription factor–encoding gene Krüppel-like factor 5 (Klf5) suppressed cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy elicited by moderate-intensity pressure overload, whereas cardiomyocyte-specific Klf5 deletion did not alter the hypertrophic responses. By contrast, cardiac fibroblast–specific Klf5 deletion ameliorated cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, indicating that KLF5 in fibroblasts is important for the response to pressure overload and that cardiac fibroblasts are required for cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. High-intensity pressure overload caused severe heart failure and early death in mice with Klf5-null fibroblasts. KLF5 transactivated Igf1 in cardiac fibroblasts, and IGF-1 subsequently acted in a paracrine fashion to induce hypertrophic responses in cardiomyocytes. Igf1 induction was essential for cardioprotective responses, as administration of a peptide inhibitor of IGF-1 severely exacerbated heart failure induced by high-intensity pressure overload. Thus, cardiac fibroblasts play a pivotal role in the myocardial adaptive response to pressure overload, and this role is partly controlled by KLF5. Modulation of cardiac fibroblast function may provide a novel strategy for treating heart failure, with KLF5 serving as an attractive target.
AKT is a serine/threonine protein kinase, also known as protein kinase B, which regulates cardiac growth, myocardial angiogenesis, glucose metabolism, and cell death in cardiac myocytes. AKT is activated by its phosphorylation at Thr 308 and ser 473 by PDK1 and mTORC2, respectively, in response to trophic stimuli such as insulin and insulin growth factor. c-Jun N-Terminal Kinases (JNKs) phosphorylate AKT at Thr 450 and potentiate its interaction with its downstream effectors. The short-term activation of AKT promotes physiological hypertrophy and protection from myocardial injury; whereas, its long-term activation causes pathological hypertrophy and heart failure. In this review we will discuss the role of AKT in regulating signalling pathways in the heart with special emphasis on the role of AKT in modulating stress induced autophagic cell death in cardiomyocytes in vitro.
Protein kinase; AKT; Signaling pathways
Heart failure (HF) is often the end-phase of maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy. A contributing factor is activation of a hypertrophic gene expression program controlled by decreased class II histone deacetylase (HDAC) transcriptional repression via HDAC phosphorylation. Cardiac-specific overexpression of G protein-coupled receptor kinase-5 (GRK5), has previously been shown to possess nuclear activity as a HDAC5 kinase, promoting an intolerance to in vivo ventricular pressure-overload, however, its endogenous requirement in adaptive and maladaptive hypertrophy remains unknown.
We used mouse models with global or cardiomyocyte-specific GRK5 gene deletion to determine the absolute requirement of endogenous GRK5 for cardiac hypertrophy and HF development following chronic hypertrophic stimuli.
Methods and Results
Mice with global deletion of GRK5 were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC). At 12 weeks, these mice showed attenuated hypertrophy, remodeling, and hypertrophic gene transcription along with preserved cardiac function. Global GRK5 deletion also diminished hypertrophy and related gene expression due to chronic phenylephrine infusion. We then generated mice with conditional, cardiac-specific deletion of GRK5 that also demonstrated similar protection from pathological cardiac hypertrophy and HF following TAC.
These results define myocyte GRK5 as a critical regulator of pathological cardiac growth following ventricular pressure-overload, supporting its role as an endogenous (patho)-physiological HDAC kinase. Further, these results define GRK5 as a potential therapeutic target to limit HF development after hypertrophic stress.
G protein-coupled receptor kinase; hypertrophy; heart failure
Cardiac hypertrophy is triggered in response to mechanical stress and various neurohumoral factors, such as G-protein coupling receptor (GPCR) and gp130 cytokine receptor agonists. Recent studies have suggested cardiac Z-disc plays a pivotal role to regulate these cellular responses. Here, we demonstrate stimulations with GPCR agonists (norepinephrine, angiotensin II, and endothelin 1) and phorbol ester activated and translocated protein kinase D1 (PKD1) to the Z-discs in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes in a protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent manner, whereas gp130 agonist did not. Especially, upon the α-adrenergic receptor agonist stimulations, following the PKCε–PKD1 complex formation, PKCε-dependent activation of PKD1 was essential to induce hypertrophic responses. Constitutively active mutant of either PKD1 or PKCε also induced cardiac hypertrophy ex vivo. Taken together, the PKCε–PKD1 complex at Z-discs could play a pivotal role in the cardiac hypertrophy induced by GPCR agonists, at least α-adrenergic receptor agonist.
PKD1; PKC; Hypertrophy; Cardiomyocyte; Z-disc; G-protein coupling receptor; Gp130; α-Adrenergic receptor; Phorbol ester
The response of the myocardium to an ischaemic insult is regulated by two highly homologous protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes, δ and εPKC. Here, we determined the spatial and temporal relationships between these two isozymes in the context of ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) and ischaemic preconditioning (IPC) to better understand their roles in cardioprotection.
Methods and results
Using an ex vivo rat model of myocardial infarction, we found that short bouts of ischaemia and reperfusion prior to the prolonged ischaemic event (IPC) diminished δPKC translocation by 3.8-fold and increased εPKC accumulation at mitochondria by 16-fold during reperfusion. In addition, total cellular levels of δPKC decreased by 60 ± 2.7% in response to IPC, whereas the levels of εPKC did not significantly change. Prolonged ischaemia induced a 48 ± 11% decline in the ATP-dependent proteasomal activity and increased the accumulation of misfolded proteins during reperfusion by 192 ± 32%; both of these events were completely prevented by IPC. Pharmacological inhibition of the proteasome or selective inhibition of εPKC during IPC restored δPKC levels at the mitochondria while decreasing εPKC levels, resulting in a loss of IPC-induced protection from I/R. Importantly, increased myocardial injury was the result, in part, of restoring a δPKC-mediated I/R pro-apoptotic phenotype by decreasing pro-survival signalling and increasing cytochrome c release into the cytosol.
Taken together, our findings indicate that IPC prevents I/R injury at reperfusion by protecting ATP-dependent 26S proteasomal function. This decreases the accumulation of the pro-apoptotic kinase, δPKC, at cardiac mitochondria, resulting in the accumulation of the pro-survival kinase, εPKC.
Cardioprotection; Ischaemia/reperfusion; Apoptosis; Proteasome; PKC; Ischaemic preconditioning
Cardiac hypertrophy often presages the development of heart failure. Numerous cytosolic signaling pathways have been implicated in the hypertrophic response in cardiomyocytes in culture, but their roles in the hypertrophic response to physiologically relevant stimuli in vivo is unclear. We previously reported that adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of SEK-1(KR), a dominant inhibitory mutant of the immediate upstream activator of the stress-activated protein kinases (SAPKs), abrogates the hypertrophic response of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes to endothelin-1 in culture. We now report that gene transfer of SEK-1(KR) to the adult rat heart blocks SAPK activation by pressure overload, demonstrating that the activity of cytosolic signaling pathways can be inhibited by gene transfer of loss-of-function mutants in vivo. Furthermore, gene transfer of SEK-1(KR) inhibited pressure overload–induced cardiac hypertrophy, as determined by echocardiography and several postmortem measures including left ventricular (LV) wall thickness, the ratio of LV weight to body weight, cardiomyocyte diameter, and inhibition of atrial natriuretic factor expression. Our data suggest that the SAPKs are critical regulators of cardiac hypertrophy in vivo, and therefore may serve as novel drug targets in the treatment of hypertrophy and heart failure.
J. Clin. Invest. 104:391–398 (1999).
The development of left ventricular cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in response to increased hemodynamic load and neurohormonal stress is initially a compensatory response. However, persistent stress eventually leads to dilated heart failure, which is a common cause of heart failure in human hypertensive and valvular heart disease. We have recently reported that Rho-associated coiled-coil containing protein kinase 1 (ROCK1) homozygous knockout mice exhibited reduced cardiac fibrosis and cardiomyocyte apoptosis, while displaying a preserved compensatory hypertrophic response to pressure overload. In this study, we have tested the effects of ROCK1 deficiency on cardiac hypertrophy, dilation, and dysfunction. We have shown that ROCK1 deletion attenuated left ventricular dilation and contractile dysfunction, but not hypertrophy, in a transgenic model of Gαq overexpression-induced hypertrophy which represents a well-characterized and highly relevant genetic mouse model of pathological hypertrophy. Although the development of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy was not affected, ROCK1 deletion in Gαq mice resulted in a concentric hypertrophic phenotype associated with reduced induction of hypertrophic markers indicating that ROCK1 deletion could favorably modify hypertrophy without inhibiting it. Furthermore, ROCK1 deletion also improved contractile response to β-adrenergic stimulation in Gαq transgenic mice. Consistent with this observation, ROCK1 deletion prevented down-regulation of type V/VI adenylyl cyclase expression, which is associated with the impaired β-adrenergic signaling in Gαq mice. The present study establishes for the first time a role for ROCK1 in cardiac dilation and contractile dysfunction.
Rho kinase; ROCK1 knockout mice; cardiac dilation; pathological cardiac hypertrophy; contractile dysfunction
Congestive heart failure is a leading cause of mortality in developed countries. Myocardial hypertrophy resulting from hypertension often precedes heart failure. Understanding the signaling underlying cardiac hypertrophy and failure is of major interest. Here, we identified Fas receptor activation, a classical death signal causing apoptosis via activation of the caspase cascade in many cell types, as a novel pathway mediating cardiomyocyte hypertrophy in vitro and in vivo. Fas activation by Fas ligand induced a hypertrophic response in cultured cardiomyocytes, which was dependent on the inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) by phosphorylation. In vivo, lpr (lymphoproliferative disease) mice lacking a functional Fas receptor demonstrated rapid-onset left ventricular dilatation and failure, absence of compensatory hypertrophy, and significantly increased mortality in response to pressure overload induction that was accompanied by a failure to inhibit GSK3β activity. In contrast, Fas ligand was dispensable for the development of pressure overload hypertrophy in vivo. In vitro, neonatal cardiomyocytes from lpr mice showed a completely abrogated or significantly blunted hypertrophic response after stimulation with Fas ligand or angiotensin II, respectively. These findings indicate that Fas receptor signaling inhibits GSK3β activity in cardiomyocytes and is required for compensation of pressure overload in vivo.
Recently, it has been reported that the protein kinase C (PKC) beta isoform plays a critical role in the development of hypertrophy and heart failure. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the mechanism by which activation of PKCbeta led to depressed cardiac function. Thus, we used a PKCbeta2 overexpressing mouse, an animal model of heart failure, to examine mechanical properties and Ca2+ signals of isolated left ventricular cardiomyocytes. The percentage of shortening, rate of shortening, and rate of relengthening of cardiomyocytes were markedly reduced in PKCbeta2 overexpression mice compared to wild-type control mice, although the baseline level and amplitude of Ca2+ signals were similar. These findings suggested a decreased myofilament responsiveness to Ca2+ in transgenic hearts. Therefore, the incorporation of [32P] inorganic phosphate into cardiac myofibrillar proteins was studied in Langendorff-perfused hearts. There was a significant increase in the degree of phosphorylation of troponin I in PKCbeta2-overexpressing transgenic mice. The depressed cardiomyocyte function improved after the superfusion of a PKCbeta selective inhibitor. These findings indicate that in vivo PKCbeta2-mediated phosphorylation of troponin I may decrease myofilament Ca2+ responsiveness, and thus causes cardiomyocyte dysfunction. Since chronic and excess activation of PKCbeta2 plays a direct and contributory role in the progression of cardiac dysfunction, the PKCbeta selective inhibitor may provide a new therapeutic modality in the setting of heart failure.
Cyclophilin D (which is encoded by the Ppif gene) is a mitochondrial matrix peptidyl-prolyl isomerase known to modulate opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). Apart from regulating necrotic cell death, the physiologic function of the MPTP is largely unknown. Here we have shown that Ppif–/– mice exhibit substantially greater cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and reduction in myocardial function in response to pressure overload stimulation than control mice. In addition, Ppif–/– mice showed greater hypertrophy and lung edema as well as reduced survival in response to sustained exercise stimulation. Cardiomyocyte-specific transgene expression of cyclophilin D in Ppif–/– mice rescued the enhanced hypertrophy, reduction in cardiac function, and rapid onset of heart failure following pressure overload stimulation. Mechanistically, the maladaptive phenotype in the hearts of Ppif–/– mice was associated with an alteration in MPTP-mediated Ca2+ efflux resulting in elevated levels of mitochondrial matrix Ca2+ and enhanced activation of Ca2+-dependent dehydrogenases. Elevated matrix Ca2+ led to increased glucose oxidation relative to fatty acids, thereby limiting the metabolic flexibility of the heart that is critically involved in compensation during stress. These findings suggest that the MPTP maintains homeostatic mitochondrial Ca2+ levels to match metabolism with alterations in myocardial workload, thereby suggesting a physiologic function for the MPTP.
Heart failure is a systemic disorder characterised by tissue hypoxia and secondary organ dysfunction which occurs in response to various myocardial insults that include ischaemia, viral infections, and toxins. In addition to maladaptive neurohumoral activation, heart failure is associated with an inflammatory state that appears to have a detrimental effect on cardiac function and prognosis. This has led to the suggestion that anti-inflammatory interventions may have therapeutic potential in the symptomatic and prognostic treatment of patients with heart failure. This review considers the role of inhibition of the cytokine tumour necrosis factor α in the treatment of heart failure.
tumour necrosis factor α; heart failure
Left ventricular hypertrophy is a maladaptive response to pressure overload and an important risk factor for heart failure. Intermedin (IMD), a multi-functional peptide, plays important roles in cardiovascular protection. In this study, we revealed an autophagy-dependent mechanism involved in IMD’s protection against cardiac remodeling and cardiomyocyte death in heart hypertrophy. We observed that transverse aortic contraction (TAC) induction, Ang II or ISO exposure induced remarkable increase in the expression of endogenous IMD and its receptor components, CRLR, RAMP1 and RAMP3, in mouse hearts and H9c2 cell cultures, respectively. Furthermore, the heart size, heart weight/body weight ratios, cardiomyocyte size and apoptosis, interstitial collagen, hypertrophic markers including ANP and BNP expression were also significantly increased, which were effectively suppressed by IMD supplementation. In addition, IMD induced capillary angiogenesis and improved functions in hypertrophic hearts. We further observed that IMD induced strong autophagy in hypertrophic hearts and cultured cells, which was paralleling with the decrease in cardiomyocyte size and apoptosis. Furthermore, an autophagy inhibitor, 3-MA, was used to block the IMD-augmented autophagy level, and then the protection of IMD on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and apoptosis was almost abrogated. We also observed that IMD supplementation stirred intracellular cAMP production, and augmented the ERK1/2 phosphorylation induced by Ang II/ISO exposure in H9c2 cells. In addition, we inhibited PI3K, PKA and MAPK/ERK1/2 signaling pathways by using wortamannin, H89 and PD98059, respectively, in H9c2 cells co-incubating with both IMD and Ang II or ISO, and observed that these inhibitors effectively reduced IMD-augmented autophagy level, but only H89 and PD98059 pre-incubation abrogated the anti-apoptotic action of IMD. These results indicate that the endogenous IMD and its receptor complexes are induced in hypertrophic cardiomyocytes and proposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy, and the autophagy stirred by IMD supplementation is involved in its protection against cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and apoptosis through the activation of both cAMP/PKA and MAPK/ERK1/2 pathways.
Heart failure is a major clinical problem worldwide. Previous studies have demonstrated an important role for G protein-coupled receptors, including protease-activated receptors (PARs), in the pathology of heart hypertrophy and failure. Activation of PAR-2 on cardiomyocytes has been shown to induce hypertrophic growth in vitro. PAR-2 also contributes to myocardial infarction and heart remodeling after ischemia/reperfusion injury. In this study, we found that PAR-2 induced hypertrophic growth of cultured rat neonatal cardiomyocytes in a MEK1/2 and p38 dependent manner. In addition, PAR-2 activation on mouse cardiomyocytes increased expression of the pro-fibrotic chemokine MCP-1. Furthermore, cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of PAR-2 in mice induced heart hypertrophy, cardiac fibrosis, inflammation and heart failure. Finally, in a mouse model of myocardial infarction induced by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery, PAR-2 deficiency attenuated heart remodeling and improved heart function independently of its contribution to the size of the initial infarct. Taken together, our data indicate that PAR-2 signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of hypertrophy and heart failure.
Heart failure can be caused by pro-hypertrophic humoral factors such as angiotensin II (Ang II), which regulates protein kinase activities. The intermingled responses of these kinases lead to the early compensated cardiac hypertrophy, but later to the uncompensated phase of heart failure. We have shown that although beneficial, cardiac hypertrophy is associated with modifications in ion channels that are mainly mediated through mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activation. This study evaluates the control of L-type Ca2+ current (ICa,L) by the Ang II/PI3K pathway in hypertrophied ventricular myocytes from volume-overload rats using the perforated patch-clamp technique. To assess activation of the ICa,L in cardiomyocytes, voltages of 350 ms in 10 mV increments from a holding potential of −85 mV were applied to cardiocytes, with a pre-pulse to −45 mV for 300 ms. Volume overload-induced hypertrophy reduces ICa,L, whereas addition of Ang II alleviates the hypertrophic-induced decrease in a PI3K-dependent manner. Acute administration of Ang II (10−6 mol/L) to normal adult cardiomyocytes had no effect; however, captopril reduced their basal ICa,L. In parallel, captopril regressed the hypertrophy and inverted the Ang II effect on ICa,L seemingly through a PI3K upstream effector. Thus, it seems that regression of cardiac hypertrophy by captopril improved ICa,L partly through PI3K.
cardiac hypertrophy; Ang II; L-type calcium channel; captopril; PI 3-kinase
Hypertrophy is a basic cellular response to a variety of stressors and growth factors, and has been best characterized in myocytes. Pathologic hypertrophy of cardiac myocytes leads to heart failure, a major cause of death and disability in the developed world. Several cytosolic signaling pathways have been identified that transduce prohypertrophic signals, but to date, little work has focused on signaling pathways that might negatively regulate hypertrophy. Herein, we report that glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), a protein kinase previously implicated in processes as diverse as development and tumorigenesis, is inactivated by hypertrophic stimuli via a phosphoinositide 3-kinase–dependent protein kinase that phosphorylates GSK-3β on ser 9. Using adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of GSK-3β containing a ser 9 to alanine mutation, which prevents inactivation by hypertrophic stimuli, we demonstrate that inactivation of GSK-3β is required for cardiomyocytes to undergo hypertrophy. Furthermore, our data suggest that GSK-3β regulates the hypertrophic response, at least in part, by modulating the nuclear/cytoplasmic partitioning of a member of the nuclear factor of activated T cells family of transcription factors. The identification of GSK-3β as a transducer of antihypertrophic signals suggests that novel therapeutic strategies to treat hypertrophic diseases of the heart could be designed that target components of the GSK-3 pathway.
heart; nuclear factor of activated T cells; adenovirus; endothelin-1; protein kinase B