Myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor expression and signal transduction after chronic volume-overload hypertrophy and circulatory congestion.
BACKGROUND The volume-overload, high-output state induced by aortocaval fistula is unique because it is not generally associated with marked abnormalities of contractile function. Thus, changes in beta-adrenergic receptor (beta AR) expression should reflect more directly the influence of neurohumoral adrenergic tone, clarifying the manner in which peripheral (neurohumoral) versus primary myocardial factors are operative in decreased beta AR-dependent signal transduction.
METHODS AND RESULTS We examined the beta-adrenergic receptor-responsive adenylyl cyclase pathway in hearts from pigs subjected to volume-overload hypertrophy with circulatory congestion. Nine pigs underwent initial pharmacological and hemodynamic studies, and, 5 weeks after aortocaval fistula placement, when signs of circulatory congestion were evident, these measurements were repeated. Biochemical analyses of plasma and myocardium from these animals and seven normal animals were compared. Experimental animals showed signs of circulatory congestion (tachypnea, weight gain, pulmonary rales) within 3-4 weeks of fistula placement. Necropsy showed ascites and biventricular cardiac hypertrophy, but no fibrosis or inflammation was present on histological inspection. Heart rate responsiveness to beta AR stimulation was blunted, with ED50, for isoproterenol increased 133% (p less than 0.001) after development of circulatory congestion. Biochemical analyses of the beta AR-responsive adenylyl cyclase pathway showed uniform decreases in beta AR number in right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle (36-41% decreases, p less than 0.005). Downregulation was selective for beta 1-receptors, and remaining receptors in the right and left ventricles showed low-affinity agonist binding, suggesting an uncoupling from Gs. All measures of adenylyl cyclase activity were diminished significantly in membrane homogenates from the right atrium (mean reduction, 50 +/- 10%) and left ventricle (mean reduction, 44 +/- 8%) after volume overload. Finally, we found that amounts of cardiac Gs, as measured in reconstitution assays, were decreased in both the right atrium (p less than 0.02) and the left ventricle (p less than 0.01) of volume-overloaded animals but that levels of pertussis toxin substrate were unchanged.
CONCLUSIONS Biochemical findings occurred in the absence of myocardial inflammation or fibrosis and without pharmacological interventions, suggesting that circulatory congestion, with attendant elevation in plasma norepinephrine, may be a sufficient stimulus to induce such changes. The data are compatible with a catecholamine-driven beta AR pathway desensitization. Thus, a primary defect in intrinsic contractile function is not a necessary component for abnormalities of the myocardial beta AR-responsive adenylyl cyclase pathway.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association