Hypoxia induces apoptosis with enhanced expression of Fas antigen messenger RNA in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes.
We examined whether apoptosis occurs in cardiomyocytes by hypoxia in vitro. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes and nonmyocytes were cultured in 95% N2-5% CO2 atmosphere to produce hypoxic conditions. DNA fragmentation into integer multiples of the internucleosomal DNA length was observed in cardiomyocytes as early as 12 hours, whereas nonmyocytes did not show fragmentation of DNA up to 72 hours. DNA fragmentation of cardiomyocytes induced by hypoxia was also confirmed by nick-end labeling in situ. Messenger RNA for Fas antigen, a mediator of apoptotic cell death, was expressed in both cardiomyocytes and nonmyocytes as revealed by Northern blotting and in situ hybridization. In hypoxic condition, Fas messenger RNA levels in cardiomyocytes were upregulated by twofold over controls, whereas those of nonmyocytes were downregulated. These results indicate that cardiomyocyte death by hypoxia can occur via apoptosis and that Fas antigen may be associated with the mechanism of this apoptotic process.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association