Abstract 16161: GSK-3β Activates Autophagy and Protects Against Cardiac Aging Through Ulk1
Accumulating lines of evidence suggest that glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) is involved in aging. However, the effects of GSK-3β on cardiac aging and the underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Autophagy, a protective mechanism in aging, decreases with age. We hypothesized that GSK-3β attenuates cardiac aging via Ulk1, a regulator of autophagy, and studied constitutively active GSK-3βS9A knock-in mice (βKI), GSK-3βS9A/Ulk1+/- bigenic mice (Bigenic), and GSK-3β+/- mice (βKO) up to 24 months (M) of age. Left ventricular (LV) weight/body weight (LVW/BW, mg/g) was not significantly different among wild-type mice (WT), βKI and βKO at 6M. It was lower in βKI (2.4±0.1, p<0.005) and higher in βKO (4.8±0.8, p<0.05) than in WT (3.8±0.2) at 24M. Cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area (CSA, μm2) was smaller in βKI (360±9, p<0.001) but bigger in βKO (540±11, p<0.01) than in WT (502±5) at 24M. The LVW/BW was greater (3.5±0.2, p<0.001) and the CSA was bigger (527±4, p<0.001) in Bigenic than in βKI at 24M. These data demonstrate that GSK-3β inhibits age-dependent cardiac hypertrophy via Ulk1. Cardiac fibrosis (%) was more in βKO (5.4±0.1, p<0.001) and less in βKI (2.4±0.1, p<0.001) than in WT (4.0±0.3) at 24M. There was much more fibrosis in Bigenic (5.5±0.6, p<0.001) than in βKI at 24M. These data show that GSK-3β reduces age-related cardiac fibrosis via Ulk1. LV end-systolic elastance (Ees, mmHg/μl) and chamber stiffness constant (CSC, μl-1) were not significantly different among WT, βKI, and βKO at 6M. At 24M, the Ees was lower in βKO (4±1, p<0.05) and higher in βKI (12±3, p<0.05) than in WT (7±0), and the CSC was higher in βKO (0.19±0.01, p<0.001) and lower in βKI (0.06±0.01, p<0.001) than in WT (0.14±0.01). The beneficial effects of GSK-3β on cardiac function were abolished in the Bigenic, indicating that GSK-3β prevents age-specific cardiac dysfunction via Ulk1. The level of p62, a protein degraded by autophagy, was lower in βKI and higher in βKO than in WT. The numbers of autophagosomes and autolysosomes were significantly greater in βKI/tfLC3 (tandem fluorescent mRFP-GFP-LC3) mice than in tfLC3 or βKI/tfLC3/Ulk1+/- mice. These data suggest that GSK-3β activates autophagy via Ulk1. In conclusion, GSK-3β attenuates cardiac aging by activating Ulk1-dependent autophagy.
Author Disclosures: P. Zhai: None. A. Shirakabe: None. T. Yamamoto: None. Y. Ikeda: None. B. Magrys: None. Y. Maejima: None. J. Sadoshima: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.