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Am J Physiol. 1999 Oct;277(4 Pt 2):H1553-61.

Emotional stress induces immediate-early gene expression in rat heart via activation of alpha- and beta-adrenoceptors.

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Department of Anatomy, Wakayama Medical College, Wakayama 641-8509, Japan.


We have studied the adrenergic mechanisms of immediate-early gene (IEG) induction in the discrete types of cardiac cells with the use of in situ hybridization histochemistry in an immobilization-stress model in conscious rats. Expression of c-fos, fos B, c-jun, jun B, NGFI-A, and NGFI-B mRNA was rapidly upregulated in the endothelial, myocardial, and smooth muscle cells of coronary vessels by 15-45 min after the onset of immobilization. Simultaneous blockade of both alpha- and beta-adrenoceptors completely abolished expression of IEGs in these cardiac cells. Application of an alpha-agonist or beta-agonist alone to the perfused rat heart under constant pressure elicited the upregulation of IEGs in a fashion similar to that of emotional stress. These data suggest that activation of either alpha- or beta-adrenoceptor is sufficient to evoke expression of these genes and that there may be cross talk in signal transduction downstream from alpha- and beta-adrenoceptors in cardiac cells.

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