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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2012 Jan;52(1):165-74. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2011.10.021. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Loss of receptor activity-modifying protein 3 exacerbates cardiac hypertrophy and transition to heart failure in a sex-dependent manner.

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  • 1Department of Cell & Molecular Physiology, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Sex differences exist in the hypertrophic response, cardiac remodeling, and transition to heart failure of hypertensive patients, and while some of these differences are likely influenced by estrogen, the genetic pathways downstream of estrogen that impact on cardioprotection have yet to be fully elucidated. We have previously shown that the cardioprotective effects of adrenomedullin (AM), an emerging clinical biomarker for cardiovascular disease severity, vary with sex in mouse models. AM signaling during cardiovascular stress is strongly modulated by receptor activity-modifying protein 3 (RAMP3) via its interaction with the G protein-coupled receptor calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR). Like AM, RAMP3 expression is potently regulated by estrogen, and so we sought to determine the consequences of genetic Ramp3 loss on cardiac adaptation to chronic hypertension, with a particular focus on characterizing potential sex differences. We generated and bred RAMP3(-/-) mice to RenTgMK mice that consistently display severe angiotensin II-mediated CV disease and compared CV disease progression in RenTgMK to that of RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) offspring. As expected, RAMP3 gene expression was higher in cardiovascular tissues of RenTgMK mice and more strongly up-regulated in female RenTgMK mice relative to wildtype controls. RAMP3 loss did not affect the development of hypertension or the presence and severity of perivascular and interstitial fibrosis in the left ventricle (LV). However, echocardiography revealed that while RenTgMK mice developed concentric cardiac hypertrophy with sustained systolic function, male RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) mice showed evidence of LV chamber dilatation and depressed systolic function, suggestive of cardiac decompensation. Consistent with these measures of heart failure, male RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) mice had increased cardiac apoptosis and elevated activation of Akt. These phenotypes were not present in female RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) mice. Collectively, these data demonstrate a sex-dependant, cardioprotective role of RAMP3 in the setting of chronic hypertension.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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