[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare progressive, usually fatal lung disease of different ethiologies. Endothelial cell dysfunction contributes to the pathogenesis, although the specific mechanisms are not clear. Impaired vascular cGMP signaling seems to be involved in the development of pulmonary vascular remodeling and constriction, because drugs preventing cGMP degradation or stimulating cGMP production showed beneficial effects. Atrial (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptides (BNP) both act through the guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor and stimulate cGMP production in all vascular cell types (i.e. endothelial cells (EC), smooth muscle cells (SMC) and fibroblasts). The purpose of the study was to analyze whether mice with global or conditional, EC- or SMC-restricted GC-A ablation develop PH under normoxic conditions and which genes are differentially expressed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims
Cardiac hypertrophy is a common and often lethal complication of arterial hypertension. Elevation of myocyte cyclic GMP levels by local actions of endogenous atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) or by pharmacological inhibition of phosphodiesterase-5 was shown to counter-regulate pathological hypertrophy. It was suggested that cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (cGKI) mediates this protective effect, although the role in vivo is under debate. Here, we investigated whether cGKI modulates myocyte growth and/or function in the intact organism.
Methods and results
To circumvent the systemic phenotype associated with germline ablation of cGKI, we inactivated the murine cGKI gene selectively in cardiomyocytes by Cre/loxP-mediated recombination. Mice with cardiomyocyte-restricted cGKI deletion exhibited unaltered cardiac morphology and function under resting conditions. Also, cardiac hypertrophic and contractile responses to β-adrenoreceptor stimulation by isoprenaline (at 40 mg/kg/day during 1 week) were unaltered. However, angiotensin II (Ang II, at 1000 ng/kg/min for 2 weeks) or transverse aortic constriction (for 3 weeks) provoked dilated cardiomyopathy with marked deterioration of cardiac function. This was accompanied by diminished expression of the [Ca2+]i-regulating proteins SERCA2a and phospholamban (PLB) and a reduction in PLB phosphorylation at Ser16, the specific target site for cGKI, resulting in altered myocyte Ca2+i homeostasis. In isolated adult myocytes, CNP, but not ANP, stimulated PLB phosphorylation, Ca2+i-handling, and contractility via cGKI.
These results indicate that the loss of cGKI in cardiac myocytes compromises the hypertrophic program to pathological stimulation, rendering the heart more susceptible to dysfunction. In particular, cGKI mediates stimulatory effects of CNP on myocyte Ca2+i handling and contractility.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · European Heart Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) regulates arterial blood pressure, moderates cardiomyocyte growth, and stimulates angiogenesis and metabolism. ANP binds to the transmembrane guanylyl cyclase (GC) receptor, GC-A, to exert its diverse functions. This process involves a cGMP-dependent signaling pathway preventing pathological [Ca(2+)](i) increases in myocytes. In chronic cardiac hypertrophy, however, ANP levels are markedly increased and GC-A/cGMP responses to ANP are blunted due to receptor desensitization. Here we show that, in this situation, ANP binding to GC-A stimulates a unique cGMP-independent signaling pathway in cardiac myocytes, resulting in pathologically elevated intracellular Ca(2+) levels. This pathway involves the activation of Ca(2+)-permeable transient receptor potential canonical 3/6 (TRPC3/C6) cation channels by GC-A, which forms a stable complex with TRPC3/C6 channels. Our results indicate that the resulting cation influx activates voltage-dependent L-type Ca(2+) channels and ultimately increases myocyte Ca(2)(+)(i) levels. These observations reveal a dual role of the ANP/GC-A-signaling pathway in the regulation of cardiac myocyte Ca(2+)(i) homeostasis. Under physiological conditions, activation of a cGMP-dependent pathway moderates the Ca(2+)(i)-enhancing action of hypertrophic factors such as angiotensin II. By contrast, a cGMP-independent pathway predominates under pathophysiological conditions when GC-A is desensitized by high ANP levels. The concomitant rise in [Ca(2+)](i) might increase the propensity to cardiac hypertrophy and arrhythmias.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) locally counteracts cardiac hypertrophy via the guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor and cGMP production, but the downstream signalling pathways are unknown. Here, we examined the influence of ANP on beta-adrenergic versus Angiotensin II (Ang II)-dependent (G(s) vs. G(alphaq) mediated) modulation of Ca(2+) (i)-handling in cardiomyocytes and of hypertrophy in intact hearts. L-type Ca(2+) currents and Ca(2+) (i) transients in adult isolated murine ventricular myocytes were studied by voltage-clamp recordings and fluorescence microscopy. ANP suppressed Ang II-stimulated Ca(2+) currents and transients, but had no effect on isoproterenol stimulation. Ang II suppression by ANP was abolished in cardiomyocytes of mice deficient in GC-A, in cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase I (PKG I) or in the regulator of G protein signalling (RGS) 2, a target of PKG I. Cardiac hypertrophy in response to exogenous Ang II was significantly exacerbated in mice with conditional, cardiomyocyte-restricted GC-A deletion (CM GC-A KO). This was concomitant to increased activation of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent prohypertrophic signal transducer CaMKII. In contrast, beta-adrenoreceptor-induced hypertrophy was not enhanced in CM GC-A KO mice. Lastly, while the stimulatory effects of Ang II on Ca(2+)-handling were absent in myocytes of mice deficient in TRPC3/TRPC6, the effects of isoproterenol were unchanged. Our data demonstrate a direct myocardial role for ANP/GC-A/cGMP to antagonize the Ca(2+) (i)-dependent hypertrophic growth response to Ang II, but not to beta-adrenergic stimulation. The selectivity of this interaction is determined by PKG I and RGS2-dependent modulation of Ang II/AT(1) signalling. Furthermore, they strengthen published observations in neonatal cardiomyocytes showing that TRPC3/TRPC6 channels are essential for Ang II, but not for beta-adrenergic Ca(2+) (i)-stimulation in adult myocytes.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Archiv für Kreislaufforschung
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) modulate blood pressure and volume by activation of the receptor guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) and subsequent intracellular cGMP formation. Here we report what we believe to be a novel function of these peptides as paracrine regulators of vascular regeneration. In mice with systemic deletion of the GC-A gene, vascular regeneration in response to critical hind limb ischemia was severely impaired. Similar attenuation of ischemic angiogenesis was observed in mice with conditional, endothelial cell-restricted GC-A deletion (here termed EC GC-A KO mice). In contrast, smooth muscle cell-restricted GC-A ablation did not affect ischemic neovascularization. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR revealed BNP expression in activated satellite cells within the ischemic muscle, suggesting that local BNP elicits protective endothelial effects. Since within the heart, BNP is mainly induced in cardiomyocytes by mechanical load, we investigated whether the natriuretic peptide/GC-A system also regulates angiogenesis accompanying load-induced cardiac hypertrophy. EC GC-A KO hearts showed diminished angiogenesis, mild fibrosis, and diastolic dysfunction. In vitro BNP/GC-A stimulated proliferation and migration of cultured microvascular endothelia by activating cGMP-dependent protein kinase I and phosphorylating vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein and p38 MAPK. We therefore conclude that BNP, produced by activated satellite cells within ischemic skeletal muscle or by cardiomyocytes in response to pressure load, regulates the regeneration of neighboring endothelia via GC-A. This paracrine communication might be critically involved in coordinating muscle regeneration/hypertrophy and angiogenesis.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · The Journal of clinical investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) regulates arterial blood pressure and volume. Its guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor is expressed in vascular endothelium and mediates increases in cGMP, but the functional relevance is controversial. Notably, mice with endothelial-restricted GC-A deletion [EC GC-A knockout (KO) mice] exhibit significant chronic hypervolemic hypertension. The present study aimed to characterize the endothelial effects of ANP and their relevance for the acute regulation of intravascular fluid volume. We studied the effect of ANP on microvascular permeability to fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled albumin (BSA) using intravital microscopy on mouse dorsal skinfold chambers. Local superfusion of ANP (100 nm) increased microvascular fluorescein isothiocyanate-BSA extravasation in control but not EC GC-A KO mice. Intravenous infusion of synthetic ANP (500 ng/kg x min) caused immediate increases in hematocrit in control mice, indicating intravascular volume contraction. In EC GC-A KO mice, the hematocrit responses were not only abolished but even reversed. Furthermore, acute vascular volume expansion, which caused release of endogenous cardiac ANP, did not affect resting central venous pressure of control mice but rapidly and significantly increased central venous pressure of EC GC-A KO mice. In cultured lung endothelial cells, ANP provoked cGMP-dependent protein kinase I-mediated phosphorylation of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein. We conclude that ANP, via GC-A, enhances microvascular endothelial macromolecule permeability in vivo. This effect might be mediated by cGMP-dependent protein kinase I-dependent phosphorylation of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein. Modulation of transcapillary protein and fluid transport may represent one of the most important hypovolemic actions of ANP.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: D-Serine selectively causes necrosis of S(3) segments of proximal tubules in rats. This leads to aminoaciduria and glucosuria. Coinjection of the nonmetabolizable amino acid alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (AIB) prevents the tubulopathy. D-serine is selectively reabsorbed in S(3), thereby gaining access to peroxisomal D-amino acid oxidase (D-AAO). D-AAO-mediated metabolism produces reactive oxygen species. We determined the fractional excretion of amino acids and glucose in rats after intraperitoneal injection of d-serine alone or together with reduced glutathione (GSH) or AIB. Both compounds prevented the hyperaminoaciduria. We measured GSH concentrations in renal tissue before (control) and after D-serine injection and found that GSH levels decreased to approximately 30% of control. This decrease was prevented when equimolar GSH was coinjected with D-serine. To find out why AIB protected the tubule from D-serine toxicity, we microinfused D-[(14)C]serine or [(14)C]AIB (0.36 mmol/l) together with [(3)H]inulin in late proximal tubules in vivo and measured the radioactivity in the final urine. Fractional reabsorption of D-[(14)C]serine and [(14)C]AIB amounted to 55 and 70%, respectively, and 80 mmol/l of AIB or D-serine mutually prevented reabsorption to a great extent. D-AAO activity measured in vitro (using D-serine as substrate) was not influenced by a 10-fold higher AIB concentration. We conclude from these results that 1) D-AAO-mediated d-serine metabolism lowers renal GSH concentrations and thereby provokes tubular damage because reduction of reactive oxygen species by GSH is diminished and 2) AIB prevents d-serine-induced tubulopathy by inhibition of D-serine uptake in S(3) segments rather than by interfering with intracellular D-AAO-mediated D-serine metabolism.
No preview · Article · Aug 2007 · American journal of physiology. Renal physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aldosterone plays a key role in cardiovascular and renal injury. The underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. Because the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is involved in the development of fibrosis and vascular dysfunction, upregulation of EGFR expression by aldosterone-bound mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) is an attractive hypothesis. We investigated the effect of aldosterone on EGFR expression in the aorta of adrenalectomized rats and in human aorta smooth muscle cells (HAoSMC) in primary culture. Aldosterone, but not dexamethasone, stimulated EGFR expression in vivo in the aorta as well as in HAoSMC. EGFR degradation was not affected. Aldosterone-induced EGFR expression in HAoSMC was dose dependent and prevented by spironolactone. Furthermore, incubation of HAoSMC with aldosterone led to enhanced EGF-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and an EGFR-dependent increase in media fibronectin. EGFR promoter reporter gene assay as well as chromatin immunoprecipitation data indicate that MR interacts with the EGFR promoter. With deletion constructs we gained evidence that this interaction takes place between the hMR and the EGFR promoter regions 316-163 (stronger activation site, EC50 approximately 1.0 nM) and 163-1 (weaker activation site, EC50 approximately 0.7 nM), which do not comprise canonical glucocorticoid response elements and are not activated by the human glucocorticoid receptor. The interactions require in part the NH2-terminal domains of MR. ELISA-based transcription factor DNA binding assay with in vitro synthesized hMR suggest direct binding to region 163-1. Our results indicate that aldosterone leads to enhanced EGFR expression via an interaction with the EGFR promoter, which is MR specific and could contribute to the aldosterone-induced increase in fibronectin abundance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice with genetic disruption of the guanylyl cyclase-A (GC-A) receptor for atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), have chronic arterial hypertension and marked cardiac hypertrophy. Intriguingly, despite pronounced remodeling, cardiac contractile functions and cardiomyocyte Ca(2+)-handling are preserved and even enhanced. The present study aimed to characterize the specific molecular mechanisms preventing cardiac failure.
Contractile function and expression as well as phosphorylation of regulatory proteins were evaluated in isolated perfused working hearts from wild-type and GC-A KO mice under baseline conditions and during beta(1)-adrenergic stimulation. Ca(i)(2+)-transients were monitored in Indo-1 loaded isolated adult cardiomyocytes. Cardiac contractile, especially lusitropic responsiveness to beta-adrenergic stimulation was significantly increased in GC-A KO mice. This was concomitant to enhanced expression and activation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), increased dual-site phosphorylation of phospholamban (PLB) at Ser(16) and Thr(17), enhanced amplitude of Ca(i)(2+) transients, and accelerated Ca(i)(2+) decay. In contrast, the expression of cardiac ryanodine receptors and phosphorylation at Ser(2809) and Ser(2815) was not altered. Pharmacological inhibition of CaMKII-but not of protein kinase A-mediated PLB phosphorylation totally abolished the increased effects of beta-adrenergic stimulation on cardiac contractility and Ca(i)(2+)-handling. Thus, acceleration of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-uptake and increased availability of Ca(2+) for contraction, both secondary to increased CaMKII-mediated PLB phosphorylation, seem to mediate the augmented responsiveness of GC-A KO hearts to catecholamines.
Our observations show that increased CaMKII activity enhances the contractile relaxation response of hypertrophic GC-A KO hearts to beta-adrenergic stimulation and emphasize the critical role of CaMKII-dependent pathways in beta(1)-adrenoreceptor modulation of myocardial Ca(2+)-homeostasis and contractility.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2007 · Cardiovascular Research