1. Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine. Shanghai, 200025, China
2. State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Shanghai Cancer Institute, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 20032, China
3. Pathology Center, Shanghai General Hospital/Faculty of Basic Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, No.280, South Chong-Qing Road, Shanghai 200025, People's Republic of China
Objective: Integrin β3 is one of the main integrin heterodimer receptors on the surface of cardiac myocytes. Our previous studies showed that hypoxia induces apoptosis and increases integrin β3 expression in cardiomyocytes. However, the exact mechanism by which integrin β3 protects against apoptosis remains unclear. Hence, the present investigation aimed to explore the mechanism of integrin β3 in cardiomyocyte proliferation and hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis.
Methods: Stable cells and in vivo acute and chronic heart failure rat models were generated to reveal the essential role of integrin β3 in cardiomyocyte proliferation and apoptosis. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were employed to detect the expression of integrin β3 in the stable cells and rat cardiac tissue. Flow cytometer was used to investigate the role of integrin β3 in hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Confocal microscopy was used to detect the localization of integrin β3 and integrin αv in cardiomyocytes.
Results: A cobaltous chloride-induced hypoxic microenvironment stimulated cardiomyocyte apoptosis and increased integrin β3 expression in H9C2 cells, AC16 cells, and cardiac tissue from acute and chronic heart failure rats. The overexpression of integrin β3 promoted cardiomyocyte proliferation, whereas silencing integrin β3 expression resulted in decreased cell proliferation in vitro. Furthermore, knocking down integrin β3 expression using shRNA or the integrin β3 inhibitor cilengitide exacerbated cobaltous chloride-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, whereas overexpression of integrin β3 weakened cobaltous chloride-induced cardiomyocytes apoptosis. We found that integrin β3 promoted cardiomyocytes proliferation through the regulation of the PTEN/Akt/mTOR and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. In addition, we found that knockdown of integrin αv or integrin β1 weakened the effect of integrin β3 in cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Conclusion: Our findings revealed the molecular mechanism of the role of integrin β3 in cardiomyocyte proliferation and hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, providing new insights into the mechanisms underlying myocardial protection.
Keywords: integrin β3, PTEN/Akt/mTOR, apoptosis, cardiomyocytes, hypoxia