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Cardiovasc Res. 2009 Feb 1;81(2):310-8. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvn312. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Overexpression of prostaglandin EP3 receptors activates calcineurin and promotes hypertrophy in the murine heart.

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Institut für Pharmakologie und Klinische Pharmakologie, Universitätsklinikum, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Moorenstr. 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.



Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) has been shown to mediate anti-ischaemic effects and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and there is evidence for an involvement of the prostaglandin EP(3)-receptor subtype. This study focuses on the EP(3)-mediated hypertrophic action and investigates intracellular signalling pathways of the EP(3)-receptor subtype in the murine heart.


Cardiac function was analyzed in vivo by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in transgenic (tg) mice with cardio-specific overexpression of the EP(3) receptor in comparison with wild-type (wt) mice. Left ventricular (LV) function was determined in isolated perfused hearts subjected to 60 min of zero-flow ischaemia and 45 min of reperfusion. Calcineurin activity and nuclear activity of nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) were determined by a modified malachite green assay and ELISA, respectively. Extracellular matrix compounds were analyzed by RT-PCR and histology. MRI indicated a significant increase in end-diastolic and end-systolic volume in tg hearts. LV ejection fraction was severely decreased in tg hearts while the relative LV mass was significantly increased. In Langendorff perfused hearts, EP(3)-receptor overexpression resulted in a marked blunting of the ischaemia-induced increase in LV end-diastolic pressure and creatine kinase release. Analysis of EP(3)-receptor-mediated signalling revealed significantly increased calcineurin activity and nuclear activity of NFAT in tg hearts. Moreover, elevated mRNA levels of collagen types I and III as well as the collagen-binding proteoglycans biglycan and decorin were detected in tg hearts.


EP(3)-receptor-mediated signalling results in a significant anti-ischaemic action and activation of the pro-hypertrophic calcineurin signalling pathway, suggesting the involvement of the EP(3) subtype in both PGE(2)-mediated cardioprotection as well as cardiac hypertrophy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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