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 a-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.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.