Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jul 17;109(29):11794-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116584109. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Cardiomyocyte-specific IκB kinase (IKK)/NF-κB activation induces reversible inflammatory cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University of Ulm, 89081 Ulm, Germany.


Inflammation is a major factor in heart disease. IκB kinase (IKK) and its downstream target NF-κB are regulators of inflammation and are activated in cardiac disorders, but their precise contributions and targets are unclear. We analyzed IKK/NF-κB function in the heart by a gain-of-function approach, generating an inducible transgenic mouse model with cardiomyocyte-specific expression of constitutively active IKK2. In adult animals, IKK2 activation led to inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Transgenic hearts showed infiltration with CD11b(+) cells, fibrosis, fetal reprogramming, and atrophy of myocytes with strong constitutively active IKK2 expression. Upon transgene inactivation, the disease was reversible even at an advanced stage. IKK-induced cardiomyopathy was dependent on NF-κB activation, as in vivo expression of IκBα superrepressor, an inhibitor of NF-κB, prevented the development of disease. Gene expression and proteomic analyses revealed enhanced expression of inflammatory cytokines, and an IFN type I signature with activation of the IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) pathway. In that respect, IKK-induced cardiomyopathy resembled Coxsackievirus-induced myocarditis, during which the NF-κB and ISG15 pathways were also activated. Vice versa, in cardiomyocytes lacking the regulatory subunit of IKK (IKKγ/NEMO), the induction of ISG15 was attenuated. We conclude that IKK/NF-κB activation in cardiomyocytes is sufficient to cause cardiomyopathy and heart failure by inducing an excessive inflammatory response and myocyte atrophy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk