Abstract 14664: Reduced Activin Like Kinase 1 Activity Promotes Cardiac Fibrosis in Heart Failure
Introduction: Activin receptor like kinase 1 (ALK1) mediates signaling via transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFb1), a pro-fibrogenic cytokine. No studies have defined a role for ALK1 in heart failure. We tested the hypothesis that reduced ALK1 expression promotes maladaptive cardiac remodeling in heart failure.
Methods and Results: ALK1 mRNA expression was quantified by RT-PCR in left ventricular (LV) tissue from patients with end-stage heart failure and compared to control LV tissue obtained from the National Disease Research Interchange (n=8/group). Compared to controls, LV ALK1 mRNA levels were reduced by 85% in patients with heart failure. Next, using an siRNA approach, we tested whether reduced ALK1 levels promote TGFb1-mediated collagen production in human cardiac fibroblasts. Treatment with an ALK1 siRNA reduced ALK1 mRNA levels by 75%. Compared to control, TGFb1-mediated Type I collagen and pSmad-3 protein levels were 2.5-fold and 1.7-fold higher, respectively, after ALK1 depletion. To explore a role for ALK1 in heart failure, ALK1 haploinsufficient (ALK1) and wild-type mice (WT; n=8/group) were studied 2 weeks after thoracic aortic constriction (TAC). Compared to WT, baseline LV ALK1 mRNA levels were 50% lower in ALK1 mice. Both LV and lung weights were higher in ALK1 mice after TAC. Cardiomyocyte area and LV mRNA levels of BNP, RCAN, and b-MHC were increased similarly, while SERCa levels were reduced in both ALK1 and WT mice after TAC. Compared to WT, LV fibrosis (Figure) and Type 1 Collagen mRNA and protein levels were higher among ALK1 mice. Compared to WT, LV fractional shortening (48±12 vs 26±10%, p=0.01) and survival (Figure) were lower in ALK1 mice after TAC.
Conclusions: Reduced LV expression of ALK1 is associated with advanced heart failure in humans and promotes early mortality, impaired LV function, and cardiac fibrosis in a murine model of heart failure. Further studies examining the role of ALK1 and ALK1 inhibitors on cardiac remodeling are required.
Author Disclosures: K. Morine: None. V. Paruchuri: None. X. Qiao: None. E. Mackey: None. M. Aronovitz: None. P. Alcaide: None. R. Blanton: None. R. Karas: None. N.K. Kapur: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.