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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009 Feb;296(2):H404-12. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00747.2008. Epub 2008 Dec 19.

N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline prevents cardiac remodeling and dysfunction induced by galectin-3, a mammalian adhesion/growth-regulatory lectin.

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Hypertension and Vascular Research Division, Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA.


Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is secreted by activated macrophages. In hypertension, Gal-3 is a marker for hypertrophic hearts prone to develop heart failure. Gal-3 infused in pericardial sac leads to cardiac inflammation, remodeling, and dysfunction. N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline (Ac-SDKP), a naturally occurring tetrapeptide, prevents and reverses inflammation and collagen deposition in the heart in hypertension and heart failure postmyocardial infarction. In the present study, we hypothesize that Ac-SDKP prevents Gal-3-induced cardiac inflammation, remodeling, and dysfunction, and these effects are mediated by the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta/Smad3 signaling pathway. Adult male rats were divided into four groups and received the following intrapericardial infusion for 4 wk: 1) vehicle (saline, n = 8); 2) Ac-SDKP (800 microg x kg(-1) x day(-1), n = 8); 3) Gal-3 (12 microg/day, n = 7); and 4) Ac-SDKP + Gal-3 (n = 7). Left ventricular ejection fraction, cardiac output, and transmitral velocity were measured by echocardiography; inflammatory cell infiltration, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, and collagen deposition in the heart by histological and immunohistochemical staining; and TGF-beta expression and Smad3 phosphorylation by Western blot. We found that, in the left ventricle, Gal-3 1) enhanced macrophage and mast cell infiltration, increased cardiac interstitial and perivascular fibrosis, and causes cardiac hypertrophy; 2) increased TGF-beta expression and Smad3 phosphorylation; and 3) decreased negative change in pressure over time response to isoproterenol challenge, ratio of early left ventricular filling phase to atrial contraction phase, and left ventricular ejection fraction. Ac-SDKP partially or completely prevented these effects. We conclude that Ac-SDKP prevents Gal-3-induced cardiac inflammation, fibrosis, hypertrophy, and dysfunction, possibly via inhibition of the TGF-beta/Smad3 signaling pathway.

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