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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1998 Nov;30(11):2449-59.

Apoptosis of skeletal muscle myofibers and interstitial cells in experimental heart failure.

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1
Internal Medicine I, Venice City Hospital, Italy.

Abstract

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is characterized by a limb skeletal muscle myopathy with shift from the slow aerobic, fatigue resistant fibers, to the fast, anaerobic ones, and muscle bulk loss. Apoptosis (A) has been recently demonstrated to play a role in several cardiovascular diseases.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

we have investigated the role of A in the skeletal muscle of the hindlimbs in an experimental model of CHF.

ANIMALS AND METHODS:

CHF was induced in 7 males 80-100 g Sprague-Dawley rats with 30 mg/kg monocrotaline. Five age and diet matched controls were also studied. The time course of A was also studied in additional animals at day 0, 17, 24 and 30 days.

RESULTS:

At day 27 the electrophoretic analysis of myosin heavy chains (MHCs) demonstrated in the CHF rats the occurrence of a myopathy, with disappearance of slow MHC1 in the Tibialis Anterior (TA), and a significant shift from the slow to the fast isoforms in the soleus and EDL. With in situ DNA nick-end labelling (TUNEL) we found in the TA of CHF animals a significantly higher number of TUNEL positive nuclei (0.43 +/- 0.24 v 0.08 +/- 0.02, P<0.02 and TUNEL positive myonuclei (0.031 +/- 0.012 v 0.0025 +/- 0.005, P<0.02). The time course of A showed a progressive rise in interstitial and myocyte A, accompanied by a drop in fibers cross-sectional area and muscle weight/body weight, that came out to be significant at 30 days. Western blot showed a lower expression of Bcl-2 at 27 days and a further drop at 30 days in the CHF rats. Double staining for TUNEL and antibody against anti-MHC2a and anti MHC2b + 2x showed that A occurs non-selectively in all the myofiber types. BetaANP and Right Ventricle Mass/Volume (RVM/V) correlated significantly with total apoptotic nuclei.

CONCLUSIONS:

In CHF myofibers A can lead to muscle atrophy. Endothelial cells A may produce an imbalance in myofibres nutrition with relative ischemia that triggers the preferential synthesis of fast anaerobic myosin as an adaptive mechanism or alternatively induce myofibres death.

PMID:
9925379
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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