Aims TNF-alpha (TNF-α) causes left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Down-regulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+- ATPase 2a protein (SERCA2a) expression is one of the major mechanisms underlying diastolic dysfunction. We investigated whether TNF- α modulates SERCA2a expression and alters cardiac diastolic function, and its detailed signalling pathway. Methods and results We used both in vitro cellular cardiomyocyte model and in vivo rat model to address this issue. We found that TNF- α decreased the levels of both SERCA2a mRNA and protein in the cardiomyocytes, with corresponding impairment of diastolic calcium reuptake, a cellular phenotype of cardiac diastolic function. An -2 kb promoter of the SERCA2a gene (atp2a2) along with its serial deletions was cloned into the luciferase reporter system. TNF- α significantly decreased the promoter activity, and truncation of the SERCA2a gene promoter with the putative nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) response element abolished TNF- α-induced SERCA2a gene suppression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and gel retardation also confirmed the binding of NF-κB to this putative-binding site. TNF- α increased the phosphorylation of IKK and the degradation of IκB, resulted in NF-κB nuclear translocation, and decreasedSERCA2a gene promoter activity. This process was attenuated by NF-κB blockers and simvastatin. In the in vivo rat model, lipopolysaccharide treatment significantly elevated the serum TNF-α level, as well as phosphorylation of IKK, resulting in a decrease in myocardial SERCA2a expression, diastolic calcium reuptake, and diastolic dysfunction. Oral treatment with simvastatin led to an increase in SERCA2a expression, alleviation, and prevention of the diastolic dysfunction. Conclusions TNF-α suppresses SERCA2a gene expression via the IKK/IκB/NF-κB pathway and binding of NF-κB to the SERCA2a gene promoter, and its effect is blocked by simvastatin, demonstrating the potential therapeutic effect of statins in treating inflammation-related diastolic dysfunction.
- Diastolic dysfunction
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