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UBC Theses and Dissertations

AMP-activated protein kinase and hypertrophic remodeling of heart muscle cells Saeedi, Ramesh


Introduction: Cardiac hypertrophy is an adaptive response to increased myocardial workload that becomes maladaptive when hypertrophied hearts are exposed to an acute metabolic stress, such as ischemia/reperfusion. Acceleration of glycolysis occurs as part of the hypertrophic response and may be maladaptive because it enhances glycolytic metabolite accumulation and proton production. Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a kinase involved in the regulation of energy metabolism, is proposed as a mechanism for the acceleration of glycolysis in hypertrophied hearts. However, this concept has not yet been proven conclusively. Additionally, several studies suggest that AMPK is involved in hypertrophic remodeling of the heart by influencing cardiac myocyte growth, a suggestion that remains controversial. Hypothesis: AMPK mediates hypertrophic remodeling in response to pressure overload. Specifically, AMPK activation is a cellular signal responsible for accelerated rates of glycolysis in hypertrophied hearts. Additionally, AMPK influences myocardial structural remodeling and gene expression by limiting hypertrophic growth. Experimental Approach: To test this hypothesis, H9c2 cells, derived from embryonic rat hearts, were treated with (1 µM) arginine vasopressin (AVP) to induce hypertrophy. Substrate utilization was measured and the effects of AMPK inhibition by either Compound C or by adenovirus-mediated transfer of dominant negative AMPK were determined. Subsequently, adenovirus-mediated transfer of constitutively active form of AMPK (CA-AMPK) was expressed in H9c2 to specifically increase AMPK activity and, thereby, further characterize the role of AMPK in hypertrophic remodeling. Results: AVP induced a metabolic profile in hypertrophied H9c2 cells similar to that in intact hypertrophied hearts. Glycolysis was accelerated and palmitate oxidation was reduced with no significant alteration in glucose oxidation. These changes were associated with AMPK activation, and inhibition of AMPK ameliorated but did not normalize the hypertrophy-associated increase in glycolysis. CA-AMPK stimulated both glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation, and also increased protein synthesis and content. Howver, CA-AMPK did not induce a pathological hypertrophic phenotype as assessed by atrial natriuretic peptide expression. Conclusion: Acceleration of glycolysis in AVP-treated hypertrophied heart muscle cells is partially dependent on AMPK. AMPK is a positive regulator of cell growth in these cells, but does not induce pathological hypertrophy when acting alone.

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