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Circ Res. 2000 Dec 8;87(12):1172-9.

The beta(2)-adrenergic receptor delivers an antiapoptotic signal to cardiac myocytes through G(i)-dependent coupling to phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, Gerontology Research Center, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Recent studies have shown that chronic beta-adrenergic receptor (beta-AR) stimulation alters cardiac myocyte survival in a receptor subtype-specific manner. We examined the effect of selective beta(1)- and beta(2)-AR subtype stimulation on apoptosis induced by hypoxia or H(2)O(2) in rat neonatal cardiac myocytes. Although neither beta(1)- nor beta(2)-AR stimulation had any significant effect on the basal level of apoptosis, selective beta(2)-AR stimulation protected myocytes from apoptosis. beta(2)-AR stimulation markedly increased mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (MAPK/ERK) activation as well as phosphatidylinositol-3'-kinase (PI-3K) activity and Akt/protein kinase B phosphorylation. beta(1)-AR stimulation also markedly increased MAPK/ERK activation but only minimally activated PI-3K and Akt. Pretreatment with pertussis toxin blocked beta(2)-AR-mediated protection from apoptosis as well as the beta(2)-AR-stimulated changes in MAPK/ERK, PI-3K, and Akt/protein kinase B. The selective PI-3K inhibitor, LY 294002, also blocked beta(2)-AR-mediated protection, whereas inhibition of MAPK/ERK activation at an inhibitor concentration that blocked agonist-induced activation but not the basal level of activation had no effect on beta(2)-AR-mediated protection. These findings demonstrate that beta(2)-ARs activate a PI-3K-dependent, pertussis toxin-sensitive signaling pathway in cardiac myocytes that is required for protection from apoptosis-inducing stimuli often associated with ischemic stress.

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