Programmed cell death of cardiomyocytes following myocardial ischemia increases biomechanical stress on the remaining myocardium, leading to myocardial dysfunction that may result in congestive heart failure or sudden death. Nogo-A is well characterized as a potent inhibitor of axonal regeneration and plasticity in the central nervous system, however, the role of Nogo-A in non-nervous tissues is essentially unknown. In this study, Nogo-A expression was shown to be significantly increased in cardiac tissue from patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and from patients who have experienced an ischemic event. Nogo-A expression was clearly associated with cardiomyocytes in culture and was localized predominantly in the endoplasmic reticulum. In agreement with the findings from human tissue, Nogo-A expression was significantly increased in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes subjected to hypoxia/reoxygenation. Knockdown of Nogo-A in cardiomyocytes markedly attenuated hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis, as indicated by the significant reduction of DNA fragmentation, phosphatidylserine translocation, and caspase-3 cleavage, by a mechanism involving the preservation of mitochondrial membrane potential, the inhibition of ROS accumulation, and the improvement of intracellular calcium regulation. Together, these data demonstrate that knockdown of Nogo-A may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent the loss of cardiomyocytes following ischemic/hypoxic injury.
- Cell death
- Ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Myocardial infarction
- Sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine