Up-regulation of proapoptotic genes has been reported in heart failure and myocardial infarction. To determine whether caspase genes can affect cardiac function, a transgenic mouse was generated. Cardiac tissue-specific overexpression of the proapoptotic gene Caspase3 was induced by using the rat promoter of α-myosin heavy chain, a model that may represent a unique tool for investigating new molecules and antiapoptotic therapeutic strategies. Cardiac-specific Caspase3 expression induced transient depression of cardiac function and abnormal nuclear and myofibrillar ultrastructural damage. When subjected to myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, Caspase3 transgenic mice showed increased infarct size and a pronounced susceptibility to die. In this report, we document an unexpected property of the proapoptotic gene caspase3 on cardiac contractility. Despite inducing ultrastructural damage, Caspase3 does not trigger a full apoptotic response in the cardiomyocyte. We also implicate Caspase3 in determining myocardial infarct size after ischemia-reperfusion injury, because its cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression increases infarct size.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 14 2001|
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