• Trasduzione del segnale e poliamine nell'apoptosi di cellule cardiache
  • Cetrullo, Silvia <1979>


  • BIO/10 Biochimica


  • Introduction: Apoptotic cell death of cardiomyocytes is involved in several cardiovascular diseases including ischemia, hypertrophy and heart failure, thus representing a potential therapeutic target. Apoptosis of cardiac cells can be induced experimentally by several stimuli including hypoxia, serum withdrawal or combination of both. Several lines of research suggest that neurohormonal mechanisms play a central role in the progression of heart failure. In particular, excessive activation of the sympathetic nervous system or the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is known to have deleterious effects on the heart. Recent studies report that norepinephrine (NE), the primary transmitter of sympathetic nervous system, and aldosterone (ALD), which is actively produced in failing human heart, are able to induce apoptosis of rat cardiomyocytes. Polyamines are biogenic amines involved in many cellular processes, including apoptosis. Actually it appears that these molecules can act as promoting, modulating or protective agents in apoptosis depending on apoptotic stimulus and cellular model. We have studied the involvement of polyamines in the apoptosis of cardiac cells induced in a model of simulated ischemia and following treatment with NE or ALD. Methods: H9c2 cardiomyoblasts were exposed to a condition of simulated ischemia, consisting of hypoxia plus serum deprivation. Cardiomyocyte cultures were prepared from 1-3 day-old neonatal Wistar rat hearts. Polyamine depletion was obtained by culturing the cells in the presence of ╬▒-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO). Polyamines were separated and quantified in acidic cellular extracts by HPLC after derivatization with dansyl chloride. Caspase activity was measured by the cleavage of the fluorogenic peptide substrate. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity was measured by estimation of the release of 14C-CO2 from 14C-ornithine. DNA fragmentation was visualized by the method of terminal transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL), and DNA laddering on agarose gel electophoresis. Cytochrome c was detected by immunoflorescent staining. Activation of signal transduction pathways was investigated by western blotting. Results: The results indicate that simulated ischemia, NE and ALD cause an early induction of the activity of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the first enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis, followed by a later increase of caspase activity, a family of proteases that execute the death program and induce cell death. This effect was prevented in the presence of DFMO, an irreversible inhibitor of ODC, thus suggesting that polyamines are involved in the execution of the death program activated by these stimuli. In H9c2 cells DFMO inhibits several molecular events related to apoptosis that follow simulated ischemia, such as the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, down-regulation of Bcl-xL, and DNA fragmentation. The anti-apoptotic protein survivin is down-regulated after ALD or NE treatement and polyamine depletion obtained by DFMO partially opposes survivin decrease. Moreover, a study of key signal transduction pathways governing cell death and survival, revealed an involvement of AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) and AKT kinase, in the modulation by polyamines of the response of cardiomyocytes to NE. In fact polyamine depleted cells show an altered pattern of AMPK and AKT activation that may contrast apoptosis and appears to result from a differential effect on the specific phosphatases that dephosphorylate and switch off these signaling proteins. Conclusions: These results indicate that polyamines are involved in the execution of the death program activated in cardiac cells by heart failure-related stimuli, like ischemia, ALD and NE, and suggest that their apoptosis facilitating action is mediated by a network of specific phosphatases and kinases.


  • 2009-04-23


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Cetrullo, Silvia (2009) Trasduzione del segnale e poliamine nell'apoptosi di cellule cardiache, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biochimica , 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1577.