Abstract 215: The Role of Titin in Cardiac Function: Studies in Two Genetically Engineered Mouse Models With Disparate Titin’s Size
Titin, a myofilament that acts as a molecular spring in the sarcomere, is considered the main contributor to passive stiffness of cardiomyocytes and is responsible for cardiac diastolic function. Increased titin stiffness is related to diastolic dysfunction and HFpEF (Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction). Alteration in size of titin’s spring region leads to changes in cardiomyocyte and left ventricular (LV) chamber stiffness.
We tested the effect of alteration in titin’s size in two genetically engineered mouse models. We investigated the effect of shortening titin’s spring region in a mouse model in which I-band/A-band region of titin’s spring has been deleted (TtnΔIAjxn ), in comparison to the effect of lengthening titin’s spring region in a mouse model deficient in titin splicing factor (Rbm20ΔRRM). Integrative approaches were used from single cardiomyocyte mechanics to pressure-volume analysis and exercise study.
Study of skinned LV cardiomyocytes revealed that cellular passive stiffness was inversely related to the size of titin. Cellular passive stiffness was increased in TtnΔIAjxn homozygous (-/-) (~ 110 % higher than wildtype (WT)) and was reduced in a graded manner in Rbm20ΔRRM heterozygous (+/-) and -/- cardiomyocytes (~61% and ~87% less than WT). This effect was carried through at the LV chamber level which could be demonstrated in pressure volume (PV) analysis as an increased end-diastolic pressure-volume relationship (EDPVR) in TtnΔIAjxn -/- (~110% higher than WT’s hearts) and reduced EDPVR in Rbm20ΔRRM +/- and -/- (~57% and ~48% less than WT’s hearts). Free-wheel running studies revealed a running deficiency in TtnΔIAjxn -/- mice but an increase in exercise capacity in Rbm20ΔRRM +/– mice.
Conclusions: Functional studies from the cellular to in-vivo LV chamber levels showed that mice with shortening of titin’s spring region had increased LV stiffness, diastolic dysfunction and reduced exercise capacity, while mice with lengthening titin’s spring region had compliant LV and increased exercise capacity. Thus, our work supports titin’s important roles in LV diastolic function and suggests that modification of the size of titin’s spring region could be a potential therapeutic strategy for HFpEF.
Author Disclosures: M. Methawasin: None. K.R. Hutchinson: None. J.E. Smith: None. H.L. Granzier: None.
This research has received full or partial funding support from the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate (California, Nevada & Utah).
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.