Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT-3)-mediated signaling in relation to upregulated collagen expression in fibroblasts during cardiac hypertrophy is well defined. Our recent findings have identified heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) to be a critical modulator of fibrotic signaling in cardiac fibroblasts in this disease milieu. The present study was therefore intended to analyze the role of Hsp90 in the STAT-3-mediated collagen upregulation process. Our data revealed a significant difference between in vivo and in vitro results, pointing to a possible involvement of myocyte-fibroblast cross talk in this process. Cardiomyocyte-targeted knockdown of Hsp90 in rats (Rattus norvegicus) in which the renal artery was ligated showed downregulated collagen synthesis. Furthermore, the results obtained with cardiac fibroblasts conditioned with Hsp90-inhibited hypertrophied myocyte supernatant pointed toward cardiomyocytes' role in the regulation of collagen expression in fibroblasts during hypertrophy. Our study also revealed a novel signaling mechanism where myocyte-derived Hsp90 orchestrates not only p65-mediated interleukin-6 (IL-6) synthesis but also its release in exosomal vesicles. Such myocyte-derived exosomes and myocyte-secreted IL-6 are responsible in unison for the biphasic activation of STAT-3 signaling in cardiac fibroblasts that culminates in excess collagen synthesis, leading to severely compromised cardiac function during cardiac hypertrophy.
Keywords: Hsp90; STAT-3; cardiac hypertrophy; collagen; myocyte-fibroblast cross talk.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.