Androgen receptor gene knockout male mice exhibit impaired cardiac growth and exacerbation of angiotensin II-induced cardiac fibrosis

Yasumasa Ikeda, Ken-Ichi Aihara, Takashi Sato, Masashi Akaike, Masanori Yoshizumi, Yuki Suzaki, Yuki Izawa, Mitsunori Fujimura, Shunji Hashizume, Midori Kato, Shusuke Yagi, Toshiaki Tamaki, Hirotaka Kawano, Takahiro Matsumoto, Hiroyuki Azuma, Shigeaki Kato, Toshio Matsumoto
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2005 August 19, 280 (33): 29661-6
Androgen has anabolic effects on cardiac myocytes and has been shown to enhance left ventricular enlargement and function. However, the physiological and patho-physiological roles of androgen in cardiac growth and cardiac stress-induced remodeling remains unclear. We aimed to clarify whether the androgen-nuclear androgen receptor (AR) system contributes to the cardiac growth and angiotensin II (Ang II)-stimulated cardiac remodeling by using systemic AR-null male mice. AR knock-out (ARKO) male mice, at 25 weeks of age, and age-matched wild-type (WT) male mice were treated with or without Ang II stimulation (2.0 mg/kg/day) for 2 weeks. ARKO mice with or without Ang II stimulation showed a significant reduction in the heart-to-body weight ratio compared with those of WT mice. In addition, echocardiographic analysis demonstrated impairments of both the concentric hypertrophic response and left ventricular function in Ang II-stimulated ARKO mice. Western blot analysis of the myocardium revealed that activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2 and ERK5 by Ang II stimulation were lower in ARKO mice than those of WT mice. Ang II stimulation caused more prominent cardiac fibrosis in ARKO mice than in WT mice with enhanced expression of types I and III collagen and transforming growth factor-beta1 genes and with increased Smad2 activation. These results suggest that, in male mice, the androgen-AR system participates in normal cardiac growth and modulates cardiac adaptive hypertrophy and fibrosis during the process of cardiac remodeling under hypertrophic stress.

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