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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2005 Feb;288(2):C314-20. Epub 2004 Oct 20.

Expression of constitutively stable hybrid hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha protects cultured rat cardiomyocytes against simulated ischemia-reperfusion injury.

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Genzyme Corporation, Framingham, Massachusetts 01701-9322, USA.


Preconditioning in cultured cardiomyocytes elevates the expression of several protective genes including Glut-4 and heat shock protein (HSP)70. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) is known to mediate the transcriptional activation of hypoxia-responsive genes. In this study, we examined the effect of adenovirus-mediated expression of constitutively stable hybrid forms of HIF-1alpha on cardiomyocyte viability and gene expression. Cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were subjected to simulated ischemia-reperfusion with or without preinfection with recombinant adenoviral vectors [Ad2/HIF-1alpha/herpes simplex virus protein VP16 and Ad2/HIF-1alpha/nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB)]. Cellular viability and mRNA levels of several cardioprotective genes were measured. We demonstrated that infection with Ad2/HIF-1alpha/VP16 and Ad2/HIF-1alpha/NF-kappaB mimicked the upregulation of the mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), Glut-1, Glut-4, HSP70, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and the protection of cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes by late-phase preconditioning against simulated ischemia-reperfusion. The same dose of a control viral vector expressing no transgene had no effect. Preconditioning also elevated HIF-1alpha protein levels. These results suggest that adenovirus-mediated expression of HIF-1alpha/VP16 or HIF-1alpha/NF-kappaB, a constitutively stable hybrid transcriptional factor, protected cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes against simulated ischemia-reperfusion injury by inducing multiple protective genes.

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