Differential roles of gsk-3β during myocardial ischemia and ischemia/reperfusion

Peiyong Zhai, Sebastiano Sciarretta, Jonathan Galeotti, Massimo Volpe, Junichi Sadoshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) protects the heart during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), yet the underlying mechanisms of cardioprotection afforded by beta isoform-specific inhibition GSK-3 remain to be elucidated. Objective: We studied the molecular mechanism mediating the effect of GSK-3β activation/inhibition upon myocardial injury during prolonged ischemia and I/R. Methods and results: Beta isoform-specific inhibition of GSK-3 by dominant negative GSK-3β in transgenic mice (Tg-DnGSK-3β) or in heterozygous GSK-3β knock-out mice (GSK-3β+/-) significantly increased, whereas activation of GSK-3β in constitutively active GSK-3β knock-in mice (βKI) significantly decreased, myocardial ischemic injury after prolonged ischemia. In contrast, inhibition of GSK-3β in Tg-DnGSK-3β or GSK-3β+/-significantly reduced, while activation of GSK-3β in βKI significantly enhanced, myocardial I/R injury. Inhibition of GSK-3β stimulated mTOR signaling and inhibited autophagy through a rapamycin-sensitive (mTOR dependent) mechanism. Rapamycin enhanced autophagy and, at the same time, abolished the effects of GSK-3β inhibition on both prolonged ischemic injury and I/R injury. Importantly, the influence of rapamycin over the effects of GSK-3β inhibition on myocardial injury was reversed by inhibition of autophagy. Conclusions: Our results suggest that beta isoform-specific inhibition of GSK-3 exacerbates ischemic injury but protects against I/R injury by modulating mTOR and autophagy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-511
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 19 2011


  • apoptosis
  • autophagy
  • Beclin 1
  • GSK-3
  • ischemia
  • mTOR
  • rapamycin
  • reperfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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