IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 18 / DOI: 10.2741/3192

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Inhibition of PI3K improves contractility in alpha1-adrenergically stimulated myocardium

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1 Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, Heart Center, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Goettingen, Germany

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(18), 6841–6849;
Published: 1 May 2008

Recent studies have demonstrated that phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) play a fundamental role in regulating myocardial contractility. However, even though α1-adrenergic receptor stimulation is known to activate PI3Ks, the impact of this pathway on the inotropic effects of alpha1-stimulation is unclear. Isolated rabbit ventricular myocytes were preincubated with the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin (WM, 0.1 µmol/L). The alpha1 agonist phenylephrine (PE, 10 µmol/L) induced a significantly stronger increase in contractility in WM-treated versus control myocytes (Fractional shortening in % of resting cell length: 6.14+/-0.33 percent; n=26 versus 4.85+/-0.33 percent; n=26, P less than 0.05). Furthermore, pretreatment with WM significantly increased the positive inotropic effect of PE in intact muscle strips from rabbit hearts. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that in WM-treated myocytes PE increased phospholamban (PLN) phosphorylation and intracellular Ca2+ transients to a significantly greater extent than in control myocytes. In summary, this is the first study to demonstrate that inhibition of PI3K by increasing PLN phosphorylation and Ca2+ transients significantly improves contractility in alpha1-adrenergically stimulated myocardium. This may have clinical implications for the treatment of decreased cardiac function in acute heart failure.

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