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Intracellular PKCε-ALDH2 axis as a key mechanism in exercise-mediated cardioprotection.

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Laís Santos Domingues
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira; Valerio Garrone Barauna; Gabriela Placoná Diniz; Maria Claudia Costa Irigoyen
Advisor: Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira

Ischemic diseases are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Thus, a better understanding of the intracellular signals involved in the establishment and propagation of damage induced by ischemia-reperfusion is essential to the development of new strategies that can be used in the prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction, stroke and renal ischemia. The process known as ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) causes irreparable damage to the affected tissues due to the wide variation in tissue oxygen tension. Reperfusion of the affected tissue, which had been temporarily maintained at hypoxia (low oxygen tension), results in abrupt oxygen supply (high oxygen tension) and consequent metabolic collapse, characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction associated with high production of free radicals. We recently demonstrated that cardioprotective stimuli (i.e. ischemic preconditioning and ethanol) are accompanied by increased translocation of protein kinase C isoform epsilon (PKCε) to the mitochondria and subsequent phosphorylation-activation of mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme 2 (ALDH2), which has an inverse correlation with myocardial injury. ALDH2 is a key enzyme in the protection against ischemic damage due to its capacity to oxidize aldehydes (i.e. acetaldehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal) produced during oxidative stress. Similar to ischemic preconditioning, exercise promotes increased myocardial tolerance to ischemia-reperfusion injury; however, the cellular mechanisms involved in this process are still poorly understood. We proposed to validate the intracellular PKCε-ALDH2 axis as a possible exercise-mediated cardioprotective mechanism upon ischemia-reperfusion. Firstly, using wild-type mice, we evaluated whether exercise (7 consecutive days) modulates the activity of PKCε and ALDH2 (transient vs. sustained). Then, through the ex vivo ischemia-reperfusion technique (Langendorff), we evaluated the individual participation of PKCε and ALDH2 in exercise-mediated cardioprotection. Our results show that physical exercise increases the cardiomyocyte PKCε levels in a transient way, since this response was reestablished 24h after the last physical exercise session. Moreover, ALDH2 showed a sustained increase in its activity, which was maintained even 24h after the last session. In addition, seven days of physical exercise was able to protect the heart from ischemia and reperfusion injury, whereas this cardioprotection was lost when specific inhibitors or genetically modified animals (PKCε knockout mice and ALDH2 knock-in mice) were used. Thus, our results suggest an important role of the PKCε-ALDH2 axis in the cardioprotection induced by exercise against ischemia/reperfusion injury. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/04462-4 - Intracelullar PKCepsilon-ALDH2 axis as a key mechanism in exercise-mediated cardioprotection
Grantee:Laís Santos Domingues
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master