Notch3 Ameliorates Cardiac Fibrosis After Myocardial Infarction by Inhibiting the TGF-β1/Smad3 Pathway
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Notch3 and TGF-β1 signaling play a key role in the pathogenesis and progression of chronic cardiovascular disease. However, whether Notch3 protects against myocardial infarction (MI) and the underlying mechanisms remains unknown. C57BL/6 mice were randomized to be treated with Notch3 siRNA (siNotch3) or lentivirus carrying Notch3 cDNA (Notch3) before coronary artery ligation. Four weeks after constructing MI model, cardiac function and fibrosis were compared between groups. The cardiac fibroblast cells (CFs) were isolated from newborn C57BL/6 mice (1–3 days old) and transfected with lentivirus carrying Notch3 cDNA. TGF-β1 (5 ng/ml), a well-known pro-fibrotic factor, was administered 72 h after Notch3 cDNA administration in CFs. The related proteins of fibrosis such as a-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA), Type I collagen, metalloprotease (MMP)-9 and the tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-2 were examined by western blot analysis. Notch3 cDNA treatment attenuated cardiac damage and inhibited fibrosis in mice with MI. Meanwhile, Notch3 siRNA administration aggravated cardiac function damage and markedly enhanced cardiac fibrosis in mice with MI. Overexpression of Notch3 inhibited TGF-β1-induced fibroblast–myofibroblast transition of mouse cardiac fibroblast cells, as evidenced by down-regulating a-SMA and Type I collagen expression. Notch3 cDNA treatment also increased MMP-9 expression and decreased TIMP-2 expression in the TGF-β1-stimulated cells. This study indicates that Notch3 is an important protective factor for cardiac fibrosis in a MI model, and the protective effect of Notch3 is attributable to its action on TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling.
KeywordsNotch3 Myocardial infarction (MI) Cardiac fibrosis TGF-β1 Smad3
This work was supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81570318, 81300149, 81270263) and Shaanxi Social Development and Scientific Problem Tackling Program (2015SF097).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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