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Differential ERK1/2 Signaling and Hypertrophic Response to Endothelin-1 in Cardiomyocytes from SHR and Wistar-Kyoto Rats: A Potential Target for Combination Therapy of Hypertension

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 4 ]


Li-an Zhu, Ning-yuan Fang, Ping-jin Gao, Xian Jin, Hai-ya Wang and Zhenguo Liu   Pages 467 - 474 ( 8 )


Extracellular signal regulated kinase½ (ERK1/2) signaling is critical to endothelin-1 (ET-1)-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. This study was to investigate ERK1/2 signaling and hypertrophic response to ET-1 stimulation in cardiomyocytes (CMs) from spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY). Primary neonatal SHR and WKY CMs were exposed to ET-1 for up to 24 hrs. Minimal basal ERK1/2 phosphorylation was present in WKY CMs, while a significant baseline ERK1/2 phosphorylation was observed in SHR CMs. ET-1 induced a time- and dose-dependent increase in ERK1/2 phosphorylation in both SHR and WKY CMs. However, ET-1-induced ERK1/2 activation occurred much earlier with significantly higher peak phosphorylation level, and stayed elevated for longer duration in SHR CMs than that in WKY CMs. ET-1-induced hypertrophic response was more prominent in SHR CMs than that in WKY CMs as reflected by increased cell surface area, intracellular actin density, and protein synthesis. Pre-treatment with ERK1/2 phosphorylation inhibitor PD98059 completely prevented ET-1-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and increases in cell surface area and protein synthesis in SHR and WKY CMs. The specific PI3 kinase inhibitor LY294002 blocked ET-1-induced Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and protein synthesis in CMs. These data indicated that ERK1/2 signaling was differentially enhanced in CMs, and was associated with increased cardiac hypertrophic response to ET-1 in SHR. ET-1-induced ERK1/2 activation and cardiac hypertrophy appeared to be mediated via PI3 kinase/Akt signaling in SHR and WKY. The differential ERK1/2 activation in SHR CMs by ET-1 might represent a potential target for combination therapy of hypertension.


Akt, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, endothelin, ERK1/2, hypertension, spontaneous hypertensive rat.


Department of Geriatrics, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 145 Shan-Dong Middle Road, Shanghai 200001, China., Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, the Ohio State University Medical Center, DHLRI Suite 200; 473 West 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

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