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Diabetologia. 2006 Jun;49(6):1434-46. Epub 2006 Apr 13.

Cardiac contractile dysfunction in Lep/Lep obesity is accompanied by NADPH oxidase activation, oxidative modification of sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase and myosin heavy chain isozyme switch.

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Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Center for Cardiovascular Research and Alternative Medicine, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Avenue, Laramie, WY 82071, USA.



Obesity is an independent risk factor for heart diseases but the underlying mechanism is not clear. This study examined cardiac contraction, oxidative stress, oxidative modification of sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) and the myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform switch in obese mice.


Mechanical properties were evaluated in ventricular myocytes from C57BL/6J lean and Lep/Lep obese mice (formerly known as ob/ob mice), including peak shortening (PS), time to 50 or 90% PS, time to 50 or 90% relengthening (TR50, TR90), maximal velocity of shortening/relengthening (+/-dL/dt), intracellular Ca2+ and its decay (tau). Oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, protein damage and SERCA activity were assessed by glutathione/glutathione disulfide, malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl and 45Ca2+ uptake, respectively. NADPH oxidase was determined by immunoblotting.


Myocytes from Lep/Lep mice displayed depressed PS and +/- dL/dt, prolonged TR50, TR90, elevated resting [Ca2+]i, prolonged tau, reduced contractile capacity at high stimulus frequencies and diminished responsiveness to extracellular Ca2+ compared with lean controls. Cardiac glutathione/glutathione disulfide was decreased whereas malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl, membrane p47(phox) and membrane gp91(phox) were increased in the Lep/Lep group. SERCA isoenzyme 2a was markedly modified by oxidation in Lep/Lep hearts and associated with decreased 45Ca2+ uptake. The MHC isozyme displayed a shift from the alpha to the beta isoform in Lep/Lep hearts. Short-term incubation of angiotensin II with myocytes mimicked the mechanical defects, SERCA oxidation and 45Ca2+ uptake seen in Lep/Lep myocytes. Incubation of the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin with Lep/Lep myocytes alleviated contractile defects without reversing SERCA oxidation or activity.


These data indicate that obesity-related cardiac defects may be related to NADPH oxidase activation, oxidative damage to SERCA and the MHC isozyme switch.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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