Background: Heart failure (HF) is associated with reduced expression of plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase 4 (PMCA4). Cardiac-specific overexpression of human PMCA4b in mice inhibited nNOS activity and reduced cardiac hypertrophy by inhibiting calcineurin. Here we examine temporally regulated cardiac-specific overexpression of hPMCA4b in mouse models of myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) ex vivo, and HF following experimental myocardial infarction (MI) in vivo.

Methods and results: Doxycycline-regulated cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression and activity of hPMCA4b produced adaptive changes in expression levels of Ca2+-regulatory genes, and induced hypertrophy without significant differences in Ca2+ transients or diastolic Ca2+ concentrations. Total cardiac NOS and nNOS-specific activities were reduced in mice with cardiac overexpression of hPMCA4b while nNOS, eNOS and iNOS protein levels did not differ. hMPCA4b-overexpressing mice also exhibited elevated systolic blood pressure vs. controls, with increased contractility and lusitropy in vivo. In isolated hearts undergoing IRI, hPMCA4b overexpression was cardioprotective. NO donor-treated hearts overexpressing hPMCA4b showed reduced LVDP and larger infarct size versus vehicle-treated hearts undergoing IRI, demonstrating that the cardioprotective benefits of hPMCA4b-repressed nNOS are lost by restoring NO availability. Finally, both pre-existing and post-MI induction of hPMCA4b overexpression reduced infarct expansion and improved survival from HF.

Conclusions: Cardiac PMCA4b regulates nNOS activity, cardiac mass and contractility, such that PMCA4b overexpression preserves cardiac function following IRI, heightens cardiac performance and limits infarct progression, cardiac hypertrophy and HF, even when induced late post-MI. These data identify PMCA4b as a novel therapeutic target for IRI and HF.

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