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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.

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

Abstract

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.

PMID:
22753500
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3406816
Free PMC Article

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