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Obesity-induced cardiac lipid accumulation in adult mice is modulated by G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 levels

AuthorsLucas, Elisa ; Vila-Bedmar, Rocío ; Arcones, Alba C.; Cruces-Sande, Marta ; Cachofeiro, Victoria; Mayor Menéndez, Federico ; Murga, Cristina
KeywordsCardiac steatosis
Cardiac hypertrophy
Insulin resistance
G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2
Issue Date2016
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationCardiovascular Diabetology 15 (2016)
AbstractBackground: The leading cause of death among the obese population is heart failure and stroke prompted by structural and functional changes in the heart. The molecular mechanisms that underlie obesity-related cardiac remodeling are complex, and include hemodynamic and metabolic alterations that ultimately affect the functionality of the myocardium. G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) is an ubiquitous kinase able to desensitize the active form of several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) and is known to play an important role in cardiac GPCR modulation. GRK2 has also been recently identified as a negative modulator of insulin signaling and systemic insulin resistance. Methods: We investigated the effects elicited by GRK2 downregulation in obesity-related cardiac remodeling. For this aim, we used 9 month-old wild type (WT) and GRK2+/- mice, which display circa 50% lower levels of this kinase, fed with either a standard or a high fat diet (HFD) for 30 weeks. In these mice we studied different parameters related to cardiac growth and lipid accumulation. Results: We find that GRK2+/- mice are protected from obesity-promoted cardiac and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and fibrosis. Moreover, the marked intracellular lipid accumulation caused by a HFD in the heart is not observed in these mice. Interestingly, HFD significantly increases cardiac GRK2 levels in WT but not in GRK2+/- mice, suggesting that the beneficial phenotype observed in hemizygous animals correlates with the maintenance of GRK2 levels below a pathological threshold. Low GRK2 protein levels are able to keep the PKA/CREB pathway active and to prevent HFD-induced downregulation of key fatty acid metabolism modulators such as Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activators (PGC1), thus preserving the expression of cardioprotective proteins such as mitochondrial fusion markers mitofusin MFN1 and OPA1. Conclusions: Our data further define the cellular processes and molecular mechanisms by which GRK2 down-regulation is cardioprotective during diet-induced obesity, reinforcing the protective effect of maintaining low levels of GRK2 under nutritional stress, and showing a role for this kinase in obesity-induced cardiac remodeling and steatosis.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1186/s12933-016-0474-6
issn: 1475-2840
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