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Intravenous gene therapy with PIM-1 via a cardiotropic viral vector halts the progression of diabetic cardiomyopathy through promotion of prosurvival signaling.

Katare R., Caporali A., Zentilin L., Avolio E., Sala-Newby G., Oikawa A., Cesselli D., Beltrami A.P., Giacca M., Emanueli C., Madeddu P.

Studies in transgenic mice showed the key role of (Pim-1) (proviral integration site for Moloney murine leukemia virus-1) in the control of cardiomyocyte function and viability.We investigated whether Pim-1 represents a novel mechanistic target for the cure of diabetic cardiomyopathy, a steadily increasing cause of nonischemic heart failure.In streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic mice, Pim-1 protein levels declined during progression of cardiomyopathy, along with upregulation of Pim-1 inhibitors, protein phosphatase 2A, and microRNA-1. Moreover, diabetic hearts showed low levels of antiapoptotic B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) protein and increased proapoptotic caspase-3 activity. Studies on adult rat cardiomyocytes and murine cardiac progenitor cells challenged with high glucose confirmed the in vivo expressional changes. In rescue studies, anti-microRNA-1 boosted Pim-1 and Bcl-2 expression and promoted cardiomyocyte and cardiac progenitor cell survival under high glucose conditions. Similarly, transfection with Pim-1 plasmid prevented high glucose-induced cardiomyocyte and cardiac progenitor cell apoptosis. Finally, a single intravenous injection of human PIM-1 via cardiotropic serotype-9 adeno-associated virus (1 × 10(10) or 5 × 10(10) plaque-forming units per animal) at 4 weeks after diabetes induction led to sustained cardiac overexpression of Pim-1 and improved diastolic function and prevented left ventricular dilation and failure. Histological examination showed reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and fibrosis in association with increased c-kit(+) cells and cardiomyocyte proliferation, whereas molecular analysis confirmed activation of the prosurvival pathway and conservation of sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase and α-myosin heavy chain in Pim-1-treated hearts.Pim-1 downregulation contributes in the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy. Systemic delivery of human PIM-1 via cardiotropic adeno-associated virus serotype-9 represents a novel and effective approach to treat diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Circ. Res. 108:1238-1251(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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