Aims: Heart failure (HF) is characterized by an overactivation of β-adrenergic signalling that directly contributes to impairment of myocardial function. Moreover, β-adrenergic overactivation induces adipose tissue lipolysis, which may further worsen the development of HF. Recently, we demonstrated that adipose tissue-specific deletion of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) prevents pressure-mediated HF in mice. In this study, we investigated the cardioprotective effects of a new pharmacological inhibitor of ATGL, Atglistatin, predominantly targeting ATGL in adipose tissue, on catecholamine-induced cardiac damage.
Methods and results: Male 129/Sv mice received repeated injections of isoproterenol (ISO, 25 mg/kg BW) to induce cardiac damage. Five days prior to ISO application, oral Atglistatin (2 mmol/kg diet) or control treatment was started. Two and twelve days after the last ISO injection cardiac function was analysed by echocardiography. The myocardial deformation was evaluated using speckle-tracking-technique. Twelve days after the last ISO injection, echocardiographic analysis revealed a markedly impaired global longitudinal strain, which was significantly improved by the application of Atglistatin. No changes in ejection fraction were observed. Further studies included histological-, WB-, and RT-qPCR-based analysis of cardiac tissue, followed by cell culture experiments and mass spectrometry-based lipidome analysis. ISO application induced subendocardial fibrosis and a profound pro-apoptotic cardiac response, as demonstrated using an apoptosis-specific gene expression-array. Atglistatin treatment led to a dramatic reduction of these pro-fibrotic and pro-apoptotic processes. We then identified a specific set of fatty acids (FAs) liberated from adipocytes under ISO stimulation (palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, and oleic acid), which induced pro-apoptotic effects in cardiomyocytes. Atglistatin significantly blocked this adipocytic FA secretion.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates cardioprotective effects of Atglistatin in a mouse model of catecholamine-induced cardiac damage/dysfunction, involving anti-apoptotic and anti-fibrotic actions. Notably, beneficial cardioprotective effects of Atglistatin are likely mediated by non-cardiac actions, supporting the concept that pharmacological targeting of adipose tissue may provide an effective way to treat cardiac dysfunction.
Keywords: ATGL; Adipose tissue; Atglistatin; Cardiac apoptosis; Cardioprotection; Catecholamine; Fibrosis; Heart failure; Lipolysis.
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