Objective: To evaluate whether cardiomyocyte membrane structure and cell/extracellular matrix adhesion alterations perturb the cadherin/catenin complex in the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Methods: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathic hamster (UM-X7.1 strain) and human hearts were studied by light and electron microscopy, Northern and Western blot analyses and immunohistochemistry. Results: Intercalated disks are disorganized in both hamster and human cardiomyopathic hearts; β-catenin is increased and accumulated in intercalated disks depriving cardiomyocyte nuclei of fundamental signals. The accumulation of β-catenin is post-translationally regulated by an increased Wnt expression, a simultaneous decrease in glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) expression and a different expression pattern of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) isoforms. Conclusion: The reorganization of cell/cell adhesion in cardiomyopathic hearts is mainly contributed by the cadherin/catenin system, which is differently regulated to sustain cell structural rather than signalling needs causing considerable consequences in the determination of cardiomyocyte phenotype and clinical outcome. The accumulation of β-catenin in intercalated disks could concur to increase myocardial wall stiffness and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathic hamster and human hearts.
- Cell adhesion
- Intercalated disks
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine