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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2010 Jun;48(6):1290-7. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.10.024. Epub 2009 Nov 12.

Attenuated hypertrophic response to pressure overload in a lamin A/C haploinsufficiency mouse.

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Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 65 Landsdowne St., Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Inherited mutations cause approximately 30% of all dilated cardiomyopathy cases, with autosomal dominant mutations in the LMNA gene accounting for more than one third of these. The LMNA gene encodes the nuclear envelope proteins lamins A and C, which provide structural support to the nucleus and also play critical roles in transcriptional regulation. Functional deletion of a single allele is sufficient to trigger dilated cardiomyopathy in humans and mice. However, whereas Lmna(-/-) mice develop severe muscular dystrophy and dilated cardiomyopathy and die by 8 weeks of age, heterozygous Lmna(+/-) mice have a much milder phenotype, with changes in ventricular function and morphology only becoming apparent at 1 year of age. Here, we studied 8- to 20-week-old Lmna(+/-) mice and wild-type littermates in a pressure overload model to examine whether increased mechanical load can accelerate or exacerbate myocardial dysfunction in the heterozygotes. While overall survival was similar between genotypes, Lmna(+/-) animals had a significantly attenuated hypertrophic response to pressure overload as evidenced by reduced ventricular mass and myocyte size. Analysis of pressure overload-induced transcriptional changes suggested that the reduced hypertrophy in the Lmna(+/-) mice was accompanied by impaired activation of the mechanosensitive gene Egr-1. In conclusion, our findings provide further support for a critical role of lamins A and C in regulating the cellular response to mechanical stress in cardiomyocytes and demonstrate that haploinsufficiency of lamins A and C alone is sufficient to alter hypertrophic responses and cardiac function in the face of pressure overload in the heart.

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