The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-129) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Giuseppe Alloatti and Giampiero Muccioli contributed equally to this work.
No conflict of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the authors.
Authors’ contribution: experiments planning and manuscript drafting: MA, GA and GM; cell culture and animal treatment: CG, EA and RM; cardiac contractility studies: EB and GA; biochemical parameters detection, western blot and PCR: MA and RM. All author read and approved the final manuscript.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether obestatin (OB), a peptide mediator encoded by the ghrelin gene exerting a protective effect in ischemic reperfused heart, is able to reduce cardiac dysfunctions in adult diabetic rats.
Diabetes was induced by STZ injection (50 mg/kg) in Wistar rats (DM). OB was administered (25 μg/kg) twice a day for 6 weeks. Non-diabetic (ND) rats and DM rats were distributed into four groups: untreated ND, OB-treated ND, untreated DM, OB-treated DM. Cardiac contractility and ß-adrenergic response were studied on isolated papillary muscles. Phosphorylation of AMPK, Akt, ERK1/2 and GSK3ß as well ß-1 adrenoreceptors levels were detected by western blot, while α-MHC was measured by RT-PCR.
OB preserved papillary muscle contractility (85 vs 27% of ND), ß-adrenergic response (103 vs 65% of ND), as well ß1-adrenoreceptors and α-MHC levels in diabetic myocardial tissue. Moreover, OB up-regulated the survival kinases Akt and ERK1/2, and enhanced AMPK and GSK3ß phosphorylation. OB corrected oxidative unbalance, reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α plasma levels, NFkB translocation and pro-fibrogenic factors expression in diabetic myocardium.
OB displays a significant beneficial effect against the alterations of contractility and ß-adrenergic response in the heart of STZ-treated diabetic rats, which was mainly associated with the ability of OB to up-regulate the transcription of ß1-adrenergic receptors and α-MHC; this protective effect was accompanied by the ability to restore oxidative balance and to promote phosphorylation/modulation of AMPK and pro-survival kinases such as Akt, ERK1/2 and GSK3ß.
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