This study addresses the individual and combined effects of HIV-1 and methamphetamine (N-methyl-1-phenylpropan-2-amine, METH) on cardiac dysfunction in a transgenic mouse model of HIV/AIDS. METH is abused epidemically and is frequently associated with acquisition of HIV-1 infection or AIDS. We employed microarrays to identify mRNA differences in cardiac left ventricle (LV) gene expression following METH administration (10d, 3mg/kg/d, subcutaneously) in C57Bl/6 wild-type littermates (WT) and Tat-expressing transgenic (TG) mice. Arrays identified 880 differentially expressed genes (expression fold change>1.5, p<0.05) following METH exposure, Tat expression, or both. Using pathway enrichment analysis, mRNAs encoding polypeptides for calcium signaling and contractility were altered in the LV samples. Correlative DNA methylation analysis revealed significant LV DNA methylation changes following METH exposure and Tat expression. By combining these data sets, 38 gene promoters (27 related to METH, 11 related to Tat) exhibited differences by both methods of analysis. Among those, only the promoter for CACNA1C that encodes L-type calcium channel Cav1.2 displayed DNA methylation changes concordant with its gene expression change. Quantitative PCR verified that Cav1.2 LV mRNA abundance doubled following METH. Correlative immunoblots specific for Cav1.2 revealed a 3.5-fold increase in protein abundance in METH LVs. Data implicate Cav1.2 in calcium dysregulation and hypercontractility in the murine LV exposed to METH. They suggest a pathogenetic role for METH exposure to promote LV dysfunction that outweighs Tat-induced effects.
Keywords: AIDS; Epigenetics; HIV-1; Heart; Methamphetamine.
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