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FASEB J. 2002 Oct;16(12):1657-9. Epub 2002 Aug 21.

Transgenic overexpression of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ATPase improves reticular Ca2+ handling in normal and diabetic rat hearts.

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Department of Toxicology, Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Benjamin Franklin Medical Center, Freie Universität Berlin, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.


Slowed relaxation in diabetic cardiomyopathy (CM) is partially related to diminished expression of the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+-ATPase SERCA2a. To evaluate the impact of SERCA2a overexpression on SR Ca2+ handling in diabetic CM, we 1) generated transgenic rats harboring a human cytomegalovirus enhancer/chicken beta-actin promotor-controlled rat SERCA2 transgene (SERCA2-TGR), 2) characterized their SR phenotype, and 3) examined whether transgene expression may rescue SR Ca2+ transport in streptozotocin-induced diabetes. The transgene was expressed in all heart chambers. Compared to wild-type (WT) rats, a heterozygous line exhibited increased SERCA2 mRNA (1.5-fold), SERCA2 protein (+26%) and SR Ca2+ uptake (+37%). Phospholamban expression was not altered. In SERCA2-TGR, contraction amplitude (+48%) and rates of contraction (+34%) and relaxation (+35%) of isolated papillary muscles (PM) were increased (P2+ uptake and SERCA2 protein of SERCA2-TGR were 1.3-fold higher (P2+ uptake, accelerates relaxation and compensates, in part, for depressed Ca2+ uptake in diabetic CM. Therefore, SERCA2 expression might constitute an important therapeutic target to rescue cardiac SR Ca2+ handling in diabetes.

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