BACKGROUND - Desensitization of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate signal protects cardiac myocytes against catecholamine stress, thus preventing the development of apoptosis. Molecular mechanisms of desensitization have been well studied at the level of adrenergic receptors but less so at the level of the effector enzyme, adenylyl cyclase (AC). METHODS AND RESULTS - When the effects of long-term (1 to 2 weeks) isoproterenol infusion were compared between type 5 AC-null mice (AC5KO) and wild-type controls, we found that the subsequent responses of left ventricular ejection fraction to sudden intravenous isoproterenol challenge were reduced in AC5KO compared with wild-type mice (ie, physiological desensitization was more effective in AC5KO), consistent with enhanced downregulation of AC catalytic activity in AC5KO. One mechanism for the less effective desensitization in wild-type mice was paradoxical upregulation of type 5 AC protein expression. The number of apoptotic myocytes was similar at baseline but was significantly less in AC5KO after infusion. This was accompanied by a 4-fold greater increase in Bcl-2 and a 3-fold greater increase in phospho-Akt in AC5KO. The latter is most likely mediated by increased membrane localization of phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1, which is known to be inhibited by the cyclic adenosine monophosphate signal. CONCLUSIONS - The absence of type 5 AC results in more effective desensitization after long-term catecholamine stress and protects against the development of myocyte apoptosis and deterioration of cardiac function, potentially elucidating a novel approach to the therapy of heart failure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)
- Heart failure
- Signal transduction