Background: Beta-catenin has been implicated in cell-cell communication in a wide variety of developmental and physiological processes. Defective Wnt signaling could result in various cardiac and vascular abnormalities. Little is known regarding Wnt/frizzled pathway in cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Methods: In this study, the role of b-catenin in apoptosis was investigated in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and primary cardiomyocytes isolated in diabetic Wistar rats. The cardiomyocytes were transfected with porcine cytomegalovirus (pCMV)-b-catenin plasmid in order to overexpress b-catenin. Results: The transcription factor displayed a significant nuclear localization in Wistar rats with cardiac hypertension. Transfection of b-catenin plasmid induced apoptosis and reduced expression of survival pathway markers in cardiomyocytes in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, expression of fibrosis protein markers was upregulated by the overexpression. Conclusions: Taken together, these results revealed that altered Wnt/b-catenin signaling might provoke heart failure.
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