Neuregulin-1β induces proliferation, survival and paracrine signaling in normal human cardiac ventricular fibroblasts

Annet Kirabo, Sergey Ryzhov, Manisha Gupte, Seng Sengsayadeth, Richard J. Gumina, Douglas B. Sawyer, Cristi L. Galindo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Neuregulin-1β (NRG-1β) is critical for cardiac development and repair, and recombinant forms are currently being assessed as possible therapeutics for systolic heart failure. We previously demonstrated that recombinant NRG-1β reduces cardiac fibrosis in an animal model of cardiac remodeling and heart failure, suggesting that there may be direct effects on cardiac fibroblasts. Here we show that NRG-1β receptors (ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4) are expressed in normal human cardiac ventricular (NHCV) fibroblast cell lines. Treatment of NHCV fibroblasts with recombinant NRG-1β induced activation of the AKT pathway, which was phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent. Moreover, the NRG-1β-induced PI3K/AKT signaling in these cells required phosphorylation of both ErbB2 and ErbB3 receptors at tyrosine (Tyr)1248 and Tyr1289 respectively. RNASeq analysis of NRG-1β-treated cardiac fibroblasts obtained from three different individuals revealed a global gene expression signature consistent with cell growth and survival. We confirmed enhanced cellular proliferation and viability in NHCV fibroblasts in response to NRG-1β, which was abrogated by PI3K, ErbB2, and ErbB3 inhibitors. NRG-1β also induced production and secretion of cytokines (interleukin-1α and interferon-γ) and pro-reparative factors (angiopoietin-2, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and crypto-1), suggesting a role in cardiac repair through the activation of paracrine signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac fibroblast
  • ErbB3
  • Neuregulin
  • RNASeq
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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