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Cardiac‐specific overexpression of caveolin‐3 preserves t‐tubular ICa during heart failure in mice

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What is the central question of this study? What is the cellular basis of the protection conferred on the heart by overexpression of caveolin-3 (Cav-3 OE) against many of the features of heart failure normally observed in vivo? What is the main finding and its importance? Cav-3 overexpression has little effect in normal ventricular myocytes but reduces cellular hypertrophy and preserves t-tubular ICa , but not local t-tubular Ca2+ release, in heart failure induced by pressure overload in mice. Thus Cav-3 overexpression provides specific but limited protection following induction of heart failure, although other factors disrupt Ca2+ release.


Caveolin-3 (Cav-3) is an 18 kDa protein that has been implicated in t-tubule formation and function in cardiac ventricular myocytes. During cardiac hypertrophy and failure, Cav-3 expression decreases, t-tubule structure is disrupted and excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) is impaired. Previous work has suggested that Cav-3 overexpression (OE) is cardio-protective, but the effect of Cav-3 OE on these cellular changes is unknown. We therefore investigated whether Cav-3 OE in mice is protective against the cellular effects of pressure overload induced by 8 weeks' transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Cav-3 OE mice developed cardiac dilatation, decreased stroke volume and ejection fraction, and hypertrophy and pulmonary congestion in response to TAC. These changes were accompanied by cellular hypertrophy, a decrease in t-tubule regularity and density, and impaired local Ca2+ release at the t-tubules. However, the extent of cardiac and cellular hypertrophy was reduced in Cav-3 OE compared to WT mice, and t-tubular Ca2+ current (ICa ) density was maintained. These data suggest that Cav-3 OE helps prevent hypertrophy and loss of t-tubular ICa following TAC, but that other factors disrupt local Ca2+ release.

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