Cardiac ErbB-1/ErbB-2 mutant expression in young adult mice leads to cardiac dysfunction

Viswanathan Rajagopalan, Irving H. Zucker, Jocelyn A. Jones, Michaela Carlson, Ying J. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Multiple factors lead to the development and maintenance of chronic heart failure. Blockade of ErbB-2 or ErbB-4 tyrosine kinase receptor signaling leads to dilated cardiomyopathy. ErbB-1 may protect the heart against stress-induced injury and its ligand; epidermal growth factor (EGF) increases myocardial contractility, whereas heparin-binding EGF is essential for normal cardiac function. However, the role of ErbB-1 in control of cardiac function is not clear. We hypothesized that ErbB-1 is essential for maintaining adult cardiac function. Using the ecdysone-inducible gene expression system, we expressed humanized cardiomyocyte-specific dominant-negative ErbB-1 mutant receptors (hErbB-1-mut) in young adult mice that block endogenous cardiac ErbB-1 signaling. Molecular, morphological, and physiological tests (under anesthesia) were performed. As a result, hErbB-1-mut was expressed selectively in cardiomyocytes leading to the blockade of endogenous ErbB-1 phosphorylation and ErbB-2 transphosphorylation. An increase in left ventricular mass, atrial natriuretic factor expression, and histological changes were indicative of cardiac hypertrophy. Cardiac dilation, numerous cardiac lesions, and the loss of the clear boundary between cardiac fibrils were noted histologically. Early and long-term hErbB-1-mut induction led to a significant decrease in fractional shortening and to significant increases in left ventricular end-systolic diameter and volume. The treatment of adenylyl cyclase activator (forskolin analog) normalized the depressed cardiac function. Resting cardiac function returned to normal after reversing mutant expression. A 4-day survival rate of transverse-aortic constricted hErbB-1-mut mice was only 20% compared with 100% in controls. In conclusion, these observations indicate that the blockade of cardiac ErbB-1 signaling leads to the blockade of ErbB-2 signaling and that together they result in cardiac dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H543-H554
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Cardiac function
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Remodeling
  • Tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiac ErbB-1/ErbB-2 mutant expression in young adult mice leads to cardiac dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this