Author(s): Akazawa H, Komazaki S, Shimomura H, Terasaki F, Zou Y,
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Abstract It is still not clear whether loss of cardiomyocytes through programmed cell death causes heart failure. To clarify the role of cell death in heart failure, we generated transgenic mice (TG) that express human diphtheria toxin receptor in the hearts. A mosaic expression pattern of the transgene was observed, and the transgene-expressing cardiomyocytes (17.3\% of the total cardiomyocytes) were diffusely scattered throughout the ventricles. Intramuscular injection of diphtheria toxin induced complete elimination of the transgene-expressing cardiomyocytes within 7 days, and approximately 80\% of TG showed pathophysiological features characteristic of heart failure and were dead within 14 days. Degenerated cardiomyocytes of the TG heart showed characteristic features indicative of autophagic cell death such as up-regulated lysosomal markers and abundant autophagosomes containing cytosolic organelles like cardiomyocytes of human dilated cardiomyopathy. The heart failure-inducible TG are a useful model for dilated cardiomyopathy, and provided evidence indicating that myocardial cell loss through autophagic cell death plays of a causal role in the pathogenesis heart failure. Copyright 2004 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology