Involvement of reductive stress in the cardiomyopathy in transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of heat shock protein 27.

Xia Zhang, Xiaoyan Min, Chuanfu Li, Ivor J Benjamin, Bo Qian, Xiaojin Zhang, Zhengnian Ding, Xiang Gao, Yuzhen Yao, Yujie Ma, Yunling Cheng, Li Liu
Oxidative stress plays an important role in cardiac diseases, which has been well demonstrated, whereas the role of reductive stress has been poorly investigated. We and others have shown previously that heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) plays a role as an antioxidant. To investigate whether overexpression of Hsp27 could lead to reductive stress and result in cardiomyopathy, we generated transgenic mice with different expression levels of Hsp27. We observed that transgenic mice with high levels of Hsp27 developed cardiomyopathy. The myopathic hearts were under reductive stress, which was evidenced by an increased ratio of reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione and a decreased level of reactive oxygen species. In addition, upregulated glutathione peroxidase 1 and decreased iron content were revealed in the myopathic hearts. More importantly, inhibition of glutathione peroxidase 1 significantly attenuated the development of cardiomyopathy. The data indicate that the Hsp27-induced cardiomyopathy could be attributed to, at least in part, upregulation of glutathione peroxidase 1. Our findings suggest that reductive stress plays an important role in the development of cardiomyopathy and that Hsp27 may serve as a potential target for the treatment of patients with cardiomyopathy.

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