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Circ Res. 2010 May 28;106(10):1635-45. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.211482. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Glycogen synthase kinase-3beta regulates post-myocardial infarction remodeling and stress-induced cardiomyocyte proliferation in vivo.

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  • 1Center for Translational Medicine and Cardiology Division, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.



Numerous studies have proposed that glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3beta is a central regulator of the hypertrophic response of cardiomyocytes. However, all of this work has relied on overexpression of GSK-3beta, expression of constitutively active mutants, or small molecule inhibitors with documented off-target effects. Genetic loss of function approaches have not been used in the adult mouse because germ-line deletion of GSK-3beta is embryonic-lethal.


This study was designed to define the role played by GSK-3beta in pressure overload (PO)-induced hypertrophy and remodeling following myocardial infarction (MI).


We used a mouse model that allows inducible, cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of GSK-3beta in the adult knockout. Surprisingly, we find that knockout mice exposed to PO induced by thoracic aortic constriction exhibit a normal hypertrophic response. Thus, in contrast to virtually all prior published studies, GSK-3beta appears to play at most a minor role in the hypertrophic response to PO stress. However, GSK-3beta does regulate post-MI remodeling because the GSK-3beta knockouts had less left ventricular dilatation and better-preserved left ventricular function at up to 8 weeks post-MI despite demonstrating significantly more hypertrophy in the remote myocardium. Deletion of GSK-3beta also led to increased cardiomyocyte proliferation following PO and MI.


Deletion of GSK-3beta protects against post-MI remodeling and promotes stress-induced cardiomyocyte proliferation in the adult heart. These studies suggest that inhibition of GSK-3beta could be a strategy to both prevent remodeling and to promote cardiac regeneration in pathological states.

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