Drp1-Dependent Mitochondrial Autophagy Plays a Protective Role Against Pressure-Overload-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Heart Failure
Background—Mitochondrial autophagy is an important mediator of mitochondrial quality control in cardiomyocytes. The occurrence of mitochondrial autophagy and its significance during cardiac hypertrophy are not well understood.
Methods and Results—Mice were subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and observed at multiple time points up to 30 days. Cardiac hypertrophy developed after 5 days, the ejection fraction was reduced after 14 days, and heart failure (HF) was observed 30 days after TAC. General autophagy was upregulated between 1 and 12 hours after TAC but was downregulated below physiological levels 5 days after TAC. Mitochondrial autophagy, evaluated by electron microscopy, mitochondrial content, and Mito-Keima, was transiently activated around 3-7 days post-TAC, coinciding with mitochondrial translocation of Drp1. However, it was downregulated thereafter, followed by mitochondrial dysfunction. Haploinsufficiency of Drp1 abolished mitochondrial autophagy and exacerbated the development of both mitochondrial dysfunction and HF after TAC. Injection of Tat-Beclin 1, a potent inducer of autophagy, but not control peptide, on Day 7 after TAC partially rescued mitochondrial autophagy, and attenuated mitochondrial dysfunction and HF induced by pressure overload (PO). Haploinsufficiency of either drp1 or beclin 1 prevented the rescue by Tat-Beclin 1, suggesting that its effect is mediated in part through autophagy, including mitochondrial autophagy.
Conclusions—Mitochondrial autophagy is transiently activated and then downregulated in the mouse heart in response to PO. Downregulation of mitochondrial autophagy plays an important role in mediating the development of mitochondrial dysfunction and HF, whereas restoration of mitochondrial autophagy attenuates dysfunction in the heart during PO.
- Received November 20, 2015.
- Revision received January 28, 2016.
- Accepted January 29, 2016.