HTR2A promotes the development of cardiac hypertrophy by activating PI3K-PDK1-AKT-mTOR signaling

Cell Stress Chaperones. 2020 Nov;25(6):899-908. doi: 10.1007/s12192-020-01124-x. Epub 2020 Jun 9.


5-Hydroxytryptamine receptor 2A (HTR2A) is a central regulator of fetal brain development and cognitive function in adults. However, the roles of HTR2A in the cardiovascular system are not fully understood. Here in this study, we explored the function of HTR2A in cardiac hypertrophy. Significantly, the expression levels of HTR2A mRNA and protein levels were upregulated in hypertrophic hearts of human patients. Besides, the expression of HTR2A was also upregulated in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced cardiac hypertrophy in the mouse. Next, the expression of HTR2A was knocked down with shRNA or overexpressed with adenovirus in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, and ISO was used to induce cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. We showed that HTR2A knockdown repressed ISO-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, which was demonstrated by decreased cardiomyocyte size and repressed expression of hypertrophic fetal genes (e.g., myosin heavy chain beta (β-Mhc), atrial natriuretic peptide (Anp), and brain natriuretic peptide (Bnp)). By contrast, HTR2A overexpression promoted cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Of note, we observed that HTR2A promoted the activation (phosphorylation) of AKT-mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signaling in cardiomyocytes, and repression of AKT-mTOR with perifosine or rapamycin blocked the effects of HTR2A on cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Finally, we showed that HTR2A regulated AKT-mTOR signaling through activating the PI3K-PDK1 pathway, and inhibition of either PI3K or PDK1 blocked the roles of HTR2A in regulating AKT-mTOR signaling and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Altogether, these findings demonstrated that HTR2A activated PI3K-PDK1-AKT-mTOR signaling and promoted cardiac hypertrophy.

Keywords: Akt; Cardiac hypertrophy; HTR2A; PDK1; PI3K; mTOR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3-Phosphoinositide-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cardiomegaly / genetics
  • Cardiomegaly / metabolism*
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Isoproterenol
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Biological
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A / genetics
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT2A
  • 3-Phosphoinositide-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Isoproterenol