University of Oulu

The expression of novel, load-induced extracellular matrix modulating factors in cardiac remodeling

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Author: Mustonen, Erja1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
2University of Oulu, Biocenter Oulu
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2010
Publish Date: 2010-09-07
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu for public defence in the Auditorium of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, on 17 September 2010, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Docent Jyri Lommi
Docent Paavo Uusimaa


Cardiac remodeling is defined as changes in the size, shape and function of the heart, caused most commonly by hypertension-induced left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and myocardial infarction (MI). It is characterized by changes in cellular and extracellular compartments regulated by e.g. neurohumoral and inflammatory factors. In the present study the expression of novel, load induced factors, thrombospondin (TSP)-1 and -4, matrix Gla protein (MGP), tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) and its receptor Fn14, was investigated during cardiac remodeling. Their expression in the heart was characterized using experimental models of pressure overload, hypertensive hypertrophy and MI, and the effect of hypertrophic agonists and cellular stretch was studied in vitro. The effect of beta-blocker treatment on TSP expression was also examined.

TSP-1 and -4 were rapidly upregulated in response to pressure overload, and the induction of TSP-4 gene expression was attenuated in hypertrophied heart. After MI, TSP-1 and -4 mRNA and TSP-1 protein levels were increased, and the induction was attenuated by metoprolol. TSP-1 and -4 expression correlated with natriuretic peptide expression and LV remodeling after MI. In hypertensive hypertrophy, only TSP-4 expression decreased after metoprolol treatment and was correlated with LV remodeling.

MGP gene expression was increased in response to pressure overload and MI both in the early and late phase of cardiac remodeling. MGP protein levels were increased in the acute phase of post-MI remodeling and in hypertensive hypertrophy. In vitro, angiotensin II increased MGP gene expression in myocytes and fibroblasts, whereas expression decreased in response to mechanical stretch.

In response to increased cardiac load Fn14 expression was upregulated both acutely and chronically while TWEAK expression remained relatively constant. Fn14 localized mainly to fibroblasts in the inflammatory area while TWEAK localized to myocytes and endothelial cells. In myocytes, Fn14 expression was induced by hypertrophic agonists and mechanical stretch in contrast to stabile or decreased TWEAK expression.

This study provides new insights into the expression of the studied novel factors in cardiac remodeling. The distinct expression of TSPs in pressure overload and post-MI suggests that TSP-1 and -4 may have unique roles in the remodeling process. The results also imply that MGP is part of the common gene program of hypertrophic remodeling in vivo and contributes to the molecular basis of cardiac hypertrophy. Finally, the study demonstrates differential regulation of TWEAK and Fn14 expression in the heart and emphasizes the importance of Fn14 as a mediator of TWEAK/Fn14 signaling and as a potential target of therapeutic interventions.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 978-951-42-6278-4
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-6277-7
Issue: 1066
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2010. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.