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Exendin-4 Attenuates Remodeling in the Remote Myocardium of Rats After an Acute Myocardial ...

Exendin-4 Attenuates Remodeling in the Remote Myocardium of Rats After an Acute Myocardial Infarction by Activating β-Arrestin-2, Protein Phosphatase 2A, and Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 and Inhibiting β-Catenin

Purpose: This study tested if the protective anti-remodeling effect of GLP-1 agonist Exendin-4 after an acute myocardial infarction (MI) in rats involves inhibition of the Wnt1/β-catenin signaling pathway.

Methods: Rats were divided into sham, sham + Exendin-4 (10 μg/day, i.p), MI, and MI + Exendin-4. MI was introduced to rats by permanent left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) ligation.

Results: On day 7 post-infraction, MI rats showed LV dysfunction with higher serum levels of cardiac markers. Their remote myocardia showed increased mRNA and protein levels of collagen I/III with higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory cytokines, as well as protein levels of Wnt1, phospho-Akt, transforming growth factor (TGF-β1), Smad, phospho-Smad3, α-SMA, caspase-3, and Bax. They also showed higher protein levels of phospho-glycogen synthase kinase-3β (p-GSK3β), as well as total, phosphorylated, and nuclear β-catenin with a concomitant decrease in the levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), mRNA of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and protein levels of Bcl-2, β-arrestin-2, and protein phosphatase-2 (PP2A). Administration of Exendin-4 to MI rats reduced the infarct size and reversed the aforementioned signaling molecules without altering protein levels of TGF-1β and Wnt1 or Akt activation. Interestingly, Exendin-4 increased mRNA levels of MnSOD, protein levels of β-arrestin-2 and PP2A, and β-catenin phosphorylation but reduced the phosphorylation of GSK3β and Smad3, and total β-catenin levels in the LV of control rats.

Conclusion: Exendin-4 inhibits the remodeling in the remote myocardium of rats following acute MI by attenuating β-catenin activation and activating β-arrestin-2, PP2A, and GSK3β. Graphical Abstract A graphical abstract that illustrates the mechanisms by which Exendin-4 inhibits cardiac remodeling in remote myocardium of left ventricle MI-induced rats. Mechanisms are assumed to occur in the cardiomyocytes and/or other resident cells such as fibroblast. Β-catenin activation and nuclear translocation are associated with increased synthesis of inflammatory cytokines and transforming growth factor β-1 (TGF-β1). GSK3β is inhibited by phosphorylation at Ser9. Under normal conditions, β-catenin is degraded in the cytoplasm by the active GSK3β-dependent degradation complex (un-phosphorylated) which usually phosphorylates β-catenin at Ser33/37/Thr41. After MI, TGF-β1, and Wnt 1 levels are significantly increased, the overproduction of Wnt1 induces β-catenin stabilization and nuclear translocation through increasing the phosphorylation of disheveled (DVL) protein which in turn phosphorylates and inhibits GSK3β. TGF-β1 stimulates the phosphorylation of Smad-3 and subsequent nuclear translocation to activate the transcription of collage 1/III and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Besides, TGF-β1 stabilizes cytoplasmic β-catenin levels indirectly by phosphorylation of Akt at Thr308-induced inhibition of GSK3β by increasing phosphorylation of Ser9. Exendin-4, and possibly through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), increases levels of cAMP and upregulates β-arrestin-2 levels. Both can result in a positive inotropic effect. Besides, β-arrestin-2 can stimulate PP2A to dephosphorylation Smad3 (inhibition) and GSK3β (activation), thus reduces fibrosis and prevents the activation of β-catenin and collagen deposition.

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