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PLoS One. 2010 Feb 22;5(2):e9350. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009350.

PI3Kgamma protects from myocardial ischemia and reperfusion injury through a kinase-independent pathway.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III (Cardiology), Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.



PI3Kgamma functions in the immune compartment to promote inflammation in response to G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) agonists and PI3Kgamma also acts within the heart itself both as a negative regulator of cardiac contractility and as a pro-survival factor. Thus, PI3Kgamma has the potential to both promote and limit M I/R injury.


Complete PI3Kgamma-/- mutant mice, catalytically inactive PI3KgammaKD/KD (KD) knock-in mice, and control wild type (WT) mice were subjected to in vivo myocardial ischemia and reperfusion (M I/R) injury. Additionally, bone-marrow chimeric mice were constructed to elucidate the contribution of the inflammatory response to cardiac damage. PI3Kgamma-/- mice exhibited a significantly increased infarction size following reperfusion. Mechanistically, PI3Kgamma is required for activation of the Reperfusion Injury Salvage Kinase (RISK) pathway (AKT/ERK1/2) and regulates phospholamban phosphorylation in the acute injury response. Using bone marrow chimeras, the cardioprotective role of PI3Kgamma was mapped to non-haematopoietic cells. Importantly, this massive increase in M I/R injury in PI3Kgamma-/- mice was rescued in PI3Kgamma kinase-dead (PI3KgammaKD/KD) knock-in mice. However, PI3KgammaKD/KD mice exhibited a cardiac injury similar to wild type animals, suggesting that specific blockade of PI3Kgamma catalytic activity has no beneficial effects.


Our data show that PI3Kgamma is cardioprotective during M I/R injury independent of its catalytic kinase activity and that loss of PI3Kgamma function in the hematopoietic compartment does not affect disease outcome. Thus, clinical development of specific PI3Kgamma blockers should proceed with caution.

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