Elevated levels of homocysteine (Hcy) known as hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) are associated with cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death (SCO). Hey increases the iNOS, activates matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), disrupts connexin-43 and increases collagen/elastin ratio. The disruption of connexin-43 and accumulation of collagen (fibrosis) interrupts cardiac conduction and attenuate NO transport from endothelium to myocyte (E-M) causing E-M uncoupling. The novelty of this proposal is that Hcy behaves as an agonist to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA, an excitatory neurotransmitter) receptor-1, and blockade of NMDA-R1 reduces SCO. The central hypothesis of this proposal is that Hcy increases iNOS, mtNOS activities, superoxide levels, metalloproteinase activity, disrupts connexin-43, exacerbates endothelial-myocyte uncoupling, and induces cardiac failure by activating NMDA-R1.
Specific Aim #1 : To determine whether Hey exacerbates heart failure and endothelial-myocyte uncoupling by increasing iNOS and rendering ineffective eNOS and nNOS by behaving as an agonist to NMDA-R1. CBS heterozygote (-/+) knockout (CBSKO) mice will be crossbred with iNOS homozygote (-/-) knockout (iNOSKO) mice, producing wild type (WT), CBSKO, iNOSKO and CBS/iNOS (-/+;-/-) double knockout (doubleKO). In these mice, chronic volume overload heart failure will be created by aorta-venacava (AV) fistula. NMDA-R1 will be blocked by dizocilpine (MK-801). The endothelial-myocyte coupling will be determined in cardiac rings. LV levels of NMDA-R1, iNOS, nNOS and eNOS will be measured.
Specific Aim #2 : To determine whether Hey increases MMP-2, -9, -13, ADAM-12, decreases TIMP-4, and degrades connexin-43 in heart failure by inducing NMDA-R1. MMP and TIMP activities will be measured by innovative 2-zymography (MMP functional proteomics) and reverse zymography, respectively. The degradation of connexin-43, collagen and elastin will be measured by Western analysis.
Specific Aim #3 : To determine whether Hey decreases LV mitochondrial thioredoxin, peroxiredoxin, and SOD, and increases NADH oxidase and mtNOS activity in heart failure by activating NMDA-R1. In hearts, in situ labeling will be performed for thioredoxin, peroxiredoxin, SOD, and NADH oxidase. These studies will delineate the mechanism of Hcy-dependent endothelial-myocyte uncoupling in cardiac arrhythmia and failure, and will have therapeutic ramifications for sudden cardiac death.
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