Transgenic Expression of miR-133a in the Diabetic Akita Heart Prevents Cardiac Remodeling and Cardiomyopathy

Tyler N. Kambis, Hamid R. Shahshahan, Sumit Kar, Santosh K. Yadav, Paras K. Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Advanced diabetes mellitus (DM) may have both insulin resistance and deficiency (double DM) that accelerates diabetic cardiomyopathy (DMCM), a cardiac muscle disorder. Reduced cardiac miR-133a, a cardioprotective miRNA, is associated with DMCM. However, it is unclear whether increasing miR-133a levels in the double DM heart could prevent DMCM. We hypothesized that increasing cardiac levels of miR-133a could prevent DMCM in Akita, a mouse model of double DM. To test the hypothesis, we created Akita/miR-133aTg mice, a new strain of Akita where miR-133a is overexpressed in the heart, by crossbreeding male Akita with female cardiac-specific miR-133a transgenic mice. We validated Akita/miR-133aTg mice by genotyping and phenotyping (miR-133a levels in the heart). To determine whether miR-133a overexpression could prevent cardiac remodeling and cardiomyopathy, we evaluated cardiac fibrosis, hypertrophy, and dysfunction (P-V loop) in 13–15 week male WT, Akita, Akita/miR-133aTg, and miR-133aTg mice. Our results revealed that miR-133a overexpression in the Akita heart prevents DM-induced cardiac fibrosis (reduced collagen deposition), hypertrophy (decreased beta-myosin heavy chain), and impaired contractility (downregulated calcium handling protein sarco-endoplasmic reticulum-ATPase-2a). These results demonstrate that increased levels of miR-133a in the DM heart could prevent cardiac remodeling. Our P-V loop analysis showed a trend of decreased cardiac output, stroke volume, and ± dp/dt in Akita, which were blunted in Akita/miR-133aTg heart. These findings suggest that 13–15 week Akita heart undergoes adverse remodeling toward cardiomyopathy, which is prevented by miR-133a overexpression. In addition, increased cardiac miR-133a in the Akita heart did not change blood glucose levels but decreased lipid accumulation in the heart, suggesting inhibition of metabolic remodeling in the heart. Thus, miR-133a could be a promising therapeutic candidate to prevent DMCM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number45
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 24 2019


  • Oil-O Red
  • P-V loop
  • SERCA-2a
  • collagenase
  • fibrosis
  • hypertrophy
  • metabolic remodeling
  • zymography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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