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Nat Med. 2007 Mar;13(3):315-23. Epub 2007 Feb 18.

Adrenal GRK2 upregulation mediates sympathetic overdrive in heart failure.

Author information

1
Center for Translational Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.

Abstract

Cardiac overstimulation by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is a salient characteristic of heart failure, reflected by elevated circulating levels of catecholamines. The success of beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) antagonists in heart failure argues for SNS hyperactivity being pathogenic; however, sympatholytic agents targeting alpha2AR-mediated catecholamine inhibition have been unsuccessful. By investigating adrenal adrenergic receptor signaling in heart failure models, we found molecular mechanisms to explain the failure of sympatholytic agents and discovered a new strategy to lower SNS activity. During heart failure, there is substantial alpha2AR dysregulation in the adrenal gland, triggered by increased expression and activity of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2). Adrenal gland-specific GRK2 inhibition reversed alpha2AR dysregulation in heart failure, resulting in lowered plasma catecholamine levels, improved cardiac betaAR signaling and function, and increased sympatholytic efficacy of a alpha2AR agonist. This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of a molecular mechanism for SNS hyperactivity in heart failure, and our study identifies adrenal GRK2 activity as a new sympatholytic target.

PMID:
17322894
DOI:
10.1038/nm1553
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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