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Apoptosis. 2013 Jul;18(7):800-10. doi: 10.1007/s10495-013-0843-5.

Isoproterenol instigates cardiomyocyte apoptosis and heart failure via AMPK inactivation-mediated endoplasmic reticulum stress.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, School of Medicine, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China.


A prolonged or excessive adrenergic activation leads to myocyte loss and heart dysfunction; however, how it contributes to heart failure remains poorly defined. Here we show that isoproterenol (ISO) induced aberrant endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and apoptotic cell death, which was inhibited by activating the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in vitro and in vivo. Persistent ISO stimulation suppressed the AMPK phosphorylation and function, resulting in enhanced ER stress and the subsequent cell apoptosis in cardiomyocytes in vitro and in vivo. AMPK activation decreased the aberrant ER stress, apoptosis, and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) release in ISO-treated cardiomyocytes, which was blocked by AMPK inhibitor Compound C. Importantly, increased ER stress and apoptosis were observed in ISO-treated cardiomyocytes isolated from AMPK╬▒2(-/-) mice. Inhibition of ER stress attenuated the apoptosis but failed to reverse AMPK inhibition in ISO-treated cardiomyocytes. Moreover, metformin administration activated AMPK and reduced both ER stress and apoptosis in ISO-induced rat heart failure in vivo. We conclude that ISO, via AMPK inactivation, causes aberrant ER stress, cardiomyocyte injury, BNP release, apoptosis, and hence heart failure in vivo, all of which are inhibited by AMPK activation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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