Enhanced endothelium epithelial sodium channel signaling prompts left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in obese female mice

Metabolism. 2018 Jan;78:69-79. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2017.08.008. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


Objective: Enhanced activation of cell specific mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) in obesity plays a key role in the development of cardiovascular disease including cardiac diastolic dysfunction as a critical prognosticator. Our previous investigations demonstrated that selective endothelium MR activation promotes a maladaptive inflammatory response and fibrosis in cardiovascular tissue in female mice fed a western diet (WD), and this was associated with expression and activation of the epithelial sodium channel on the surface of endothelial cells (EnNaC). However, the specific role of EnNaC signaling in the development of cardiac stiffness and diastolic dysfunction has not been examined. We hypothesized that targeted inhibition of EnNaC with low dose amiloride would prevent WD-induced diastolic dysfunction by suppressing abnormal endothelial permeability, inflammation and oxidative stress, and myocardial fibrosis.

Materials/methods: Four week-old female C57BL6/J mice were fed a WD with or without a low dose of amiloride (1mg/kg/day) for 16weeks. Left ventricular cardiac function was evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, we examined coronary vessel and cardiac remodeling, fibrosis, macrophage infiltration using immunohistochemistry, western blot and real time PCR.

Results: Amiloride, an antagonist of EnNaC, attenuated WD-induced impairment of left ventricular initial filling rate and relaxation time. Cardiac diastolic dysfunction was associated with increases in coronary endothelium remodeling and permeability that paralleled WD-induced increases in F-actin and fibronectin, decreased expression of claudin-5 and occludin, and increased macrophage recruitment, M1 polarization, cardiac oxidative stress, fibrosis and maladaptive remodeling.

Conclusion: Our data support the concept that EnNaC activation mediates endothelium permeability which, in turn, promotes macrophage infiltration, M1 polarization, and oxidative stress, resulting in cardiac fibrosis and diastolic dysfunction in females with diet induced obesity.

Keywords: Cardiac diastolic dysfunction; Epithelial sodium channel; Inflammation; Obesity; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet, Western / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / pathology
  • Endothelium / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Sodium Channels / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Heart Ventricles / metabolism*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / metabolism*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Epithelial Sodium Channels