Original Article

Activation of AMPK inhibits cardiomyocyte hypertrophy by modulating of the FOXO1/MuRF1 signaling pathway in vitro

Authors: Bao-lin Chen, Yue-dong Ma, Rong-sen Meng, Zhao-jun Xiong, Hai-ning Wang, Jun-yi Zeng, Chen Liu, Yu-gang Dong
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2010.73


Aim: To examine the inhibitory effects of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation on cardiac hypertrophy in vitro and to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms.
Methods: Cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were treated with the specific AMPK activator 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR) and the specific AMPK antagonist Compound C, and then stimulated with phenylephrine (PE). The Muscle RING finger 1 (MuRF1)-small interfering RNA (siRNA) was transfected into cardiomyocytes using Lipofectamine 2000. The surface area of cultured cardiomyocytes was measured using planimetry. The protein degradation was determined using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The expression of β-myosin heavy chain (β-MHC) and MuRF1, as well as the phosphorylation levels of AMPK and Forkhead box O 1 (FOXO1), were separately measured using Western blot or real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Activation of AMPK by AICAR 0.5 mmol/L inhibited PE-induced increase in cardiomyocyte area and β-MHC protein expression and PE-induced decrease in protein degradation. Furthermore, AMPK activation increased the activity of transcription factor FOXO1 and up-regulated downstream atrogene MuRF1 mRNA and protein expression. Treatment of hypertrophied cardiomyocytes with Compound C 1 μmol/L blunted the effects of AMPK on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and changes to the FOXO1/MuRF1 pathway. The effects of AICAR on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy were also blocked after MuRF1 was silenced by transfection of cardiomyocytes with MuRF1-siRNA.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that AMPK activation attenuates cardiomyocyte hypertrophy by modulating the atrophy-related FOXO1/MuRF1 signaling pathway in vitro.

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