Abstract Title:

Copper reverses cardiomyocyte hypertrophy through vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated reduction in the cell size.

Abstract Source:

J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2008 Jul;45(1):106-17. Epub 2008 Apr 9. PMID: 18495151

Abstract Author(s):

Yang Zhou, Youchun Jiang, Y James Kang


Previous studies have shown that dietary copper supplementation reversed heart hypertrophy induced by pressure overload in a mouse model. The present study was undertaken to understand the cellular basis of copper-induced regression of cardiac hypertrophy. Primary cultures of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were treated with phenylephrine (PE) at a final concentration of 100 microM in cultures for 48 h to induce cellular hypertrophy. The hypertrophied cardiomyocytes were exposed to copper sulfate at a final concentration of 5 microM in cultures for additional 24 h. This copper treatment reduced the size of the hypertrophied cardiomyocytes, as measured by flow cytometry, protein content in cells, cell volume and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy markers including beta-myosin heavy chain protein, skeletal alpha-actin, and atrial natriuretic peptide. Cell cycle analysis and cell sorting of p-histone-3 labeled cardiomyocytes indicated that cell division was not involved in the copper-induced regression of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Copper also inhibited PE-induced apoptosis, determined by a TUNEL assay. Because copper stimulates vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production through activation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor, an anti-VEGF antibody at a final concentration of 2 ng/ml in cultures was used and shown to blunt copper-induced regression of cell hypertrophy. Conversely, VEGF alone at a final concentration of 0.2 microg/ml reversed cell hypertrophy as the same as copper did. This study demonstrates that both copper and VEGF reduce the size of hypertrophied cardiomyocytes, and copper regression of cardiac hypertrophy is VEGF-dependent.

Study Type : Animal Study

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