Studies have shown a link between the downregulation of connexin 43 (Cx43), the predominant isoform in cardiac gap junctions, and high susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmias and cardiomyocyte death. Non-myocytic cells (NMCs), the most abundant component of the heart, exert multiple cardiac functions and represent an important therapeutic target for diseased cardiac tissue. A few studies have investigated the effect of Apelin-13, an endogenous peptide with a key role in various cardiovascular functions, on Cx43 expression in cardiomyocytes. However, it remained unknown whether Apelin-13 influences Cx43 expression in NMCs. Here, we found that in NMCs, Cx43 protein expression increased after Apelin-13 treatment (100 nM for 48 h). Furthermore, dye transfer assays proved that Apelin-13-treated NMCs had a greater ability to communicate with surrounding cardiomyocytes, and this effect was abrogated by carbenoxolone, a gap junction inhibitor. Interestingly, we showed that Apelin-13 increased Cx43 through autophagy inhibition, as proved by the upregulation of p62 and LC3I, acting as 3-MA, a well-known autophagy inhibitor. In addition, Apelin-13-induced AKT and mTOR phosphorylation was abolished by LY294002 and rapamycin inhibitors resulting in Cx43 increased suppression. These results open the possibility of targeting gap junctions in NMCs with Apelin-13 as an exciting therapeutic approach with great potential.

Apelin-13 Increases Functional Connexin-43 through Autophagy Inhibition via AKT/mTOR Pathway in the Non-Myocytic Cell Population of the Heart

Vitale E.;Rosso R.;Lo Iacono M.;Giachino C.
Co-last
;
Rastaldo R.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Studies have shown a link between the downregulation of connexin 43 (Cx43), the predominant isoform in cardiac gap junctions, and high susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmias and cardiomyocyte death. Non-myocytic cells (NMCs), the most abundant component of the heart, exert multiple cardiac functions and represent an important therapeutic target for diseased cardiac tissue. A few studies have investigated the effect of Apelin-13, an endogenous peptide with a key role in various cardiovascular functions, on Cx43 expression in cardiomyocytes. However, it remained unknown whether Apelin-13 influences Cx43 expression in NMCs. Here, we found that in NMCs, Cx43 protein expression increased after Apelin-13 treatment (100 nM for 48 h). Furthermore, dye transfer assays proved that Apelin-13-treated NMCs had a greater ability to communicate with surrounding cardiomyocytes, and this effect was abrogated by carbenoxolone, a gap junction inhibitor. Interestingly, we showed that Apelin-13 increased Cx43 through autophagy inhibition, as proved by the upregulation of p62 and LC3I, acting as 3-MA, a well-known autophagy inhibitor. In addition, Apelin-13-induced AKT and mTOR phosphorylation was abolished by LY294002 and rapamycin inhibitors resulting in Cx43 increased suppression. These results open the possibility of targeting gap junctions in NMCs with Apelin-13 as an exciting therapeutic approach with great potential.
23
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13073
13088
AKT/mTOR pathway, H9C2 cells, LC3; apelin-13, autophagy, connexin-43, gap junction, non-myocytic cells, p62
Vitale E.; Rosso R.; Lo Iacono M.; Cristallini C.; Giachino C.; Rastaldo R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1880435
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