Abstract 28: In Vivo Knockdown of Mirna-15b Results in Increased Cardiac Hypertrophy and Fibrosis in Response to Pressure Overload of the Mouse Heart
MiRNAs play an important role in the control of diverse aspects of cardiac function. MiR-15b is highly expressed in the heart and is found consistently upregulated in hypertrophic and failing hearts. To investigate the function of miR-15b in the heart we set out two experiments. In the first experiment we generated two independent transgenic mouse lines that drive miR-15b expression under the αMHC-promotor and show a three and four fold overexpression of miR-15b. Strikingly, both lines show a decrease in heart weight/tibia length of 20% in adult and aged mice when compared to littermate controls. We investigated the response of these transgenic mice to thoracic aorta constriction (TAC) and found no differences in the hypertrophic response or in cardiac function measured by echocardiography between wild-type and transgenic mice. In a second experiment, we inhibited miR-15b using LNA-based antimiRs. In these mice, TAC resulted in an increased hypertrophic response and increased cardiac fibrosis when compared to a negative control antimiR.
A wide range of predicted targets of miR-15 belong to the pathways of the TGFβ-superfamily and using a smad-dependent reporter we show that miR-15b inhibits TGFβ-induced Smad activity in HepG2 cells. One of the predicted targets in the TGFβ pathway is TGFβ receptor 1 (TGFβR1), of which the 3’UTR contains six predicted miR-15 binding sites. This suggests that the phenotype in the transgenic mice and after knockdown of miR-15b may be (partly) mediated by repression of TGFβR1. Indeed, in the adult miR-15b transgenic hearts we found a downregulation of TGFβR1 mRNA and protein and we confirmed binding of miR-15 to the TGFβR1 3’UTR by luciferase assays.
In conclusion, miR-15b causes a cardiac hypotrophic phenotype at baseline in transgenic mice and inhibition of miR-15b leads to a stronger hypertrophic and fibrotic response after TAC. Furthermore miR-15b inhibits the TGFβ pathway by targeting the TGFβR1 and possibly other targets in this pathway.
This research is funded by the Dutch Heart Foundation (NHF grant #2007B077).
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.