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Advanced glycation end product cross-link breaker attenuates diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction by improving sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium handling

Kranstuber, Allyson L.
del Rio, Carlos
Biesiadecki, Brandon J.
Hamlin, Robert L.
Ottobre, Joseph
Gyorke, Sandor
Lacombe, Veronique A.
Diabetic heart disease is a distinct clinical entity that can progress to heart failure and sudden death. However, the mechanisms responsible for the alterations in excitation-contraction coupling leading to cardiac dysfunction during diabetes are not well known. Hyperglycemia, the landmark of diabetes, leads to the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) on long-lived proteins, including sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ regulatory proteins. However, their pathogenic role on SR Ca2+ handling in cardiac myocytes is unknown. Therefore, we investigated whether an AGE cross-link breaker could prevent the alterations in SR Ca2+ cycling that lead to in vivo cardiac dysfunction during diabetes. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were treated with alagebrium chloride (ALT-711) for 8 weeks and compared to age-matched placebo-treated diabetic rats and healthy rats. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiographic examination. Ventricular myocytes were isolated to assess SR Ca2+ cycling by confocal imaging and quantitative Western blots. Diabetes resulted in in vivo cardiac dysfunction and ALT-711 therapy partially alleviated diastolic dysfunction by decreasing isovolumetric relaxation time and myocardial performance index (MPI) (by 27 and 41% vs. untreated diabetic rats, respectively, P < 0.05). In cardiac myocytes, diabetes-induced prolongation of cytosolic Ca2+ transient clearance by 43% and decreased SR Ca2+ load by 25% (P < 0.05); these parameters were partially improved after ALT-711 therapy. SERCA2a and RyR2 protein expression was significantly decreased in the myocardium of untreated diabetic rats (by 64 and 36% vs. controls, respectively, P < 0.05), but preserved in the treated diabetic group compared to controls. Collectively, our results suggest that, in a model of type 1 diabetes, AGE accumulation primarily impairs SR Ca2+ reuptake in cardiac myocytes and that long-term treatment with an AGE cross-link breaker partially normalized SR Ca2+ handling and improved diabetic cardiomyopathy.