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Priyanka De, Sreerupa Ghose Roy, Dipak Kar and Arun Bandyopadhyay

Ventricular dysfunction is one of the important side effects of the anti-inflammatory agent, glucocorticoid (GC). The present study was undertaken to examine whether abnormal calcium signaling is responsible for cardiac dysfunction due to an excess of GC hormone. The synthetic GC drug, dexamethasone (DEX), significantly (P<0.001, n=20) increased heart weight to body weight ratio, left ventricular remodeling, and fibrosis. The microarray analysis showed altered expression of several genes encoding calcium cycling/ion channel proteins in DEX-treated rat heart. The altered expression of some of the genes was validated by real-time PCR and western blotting analyses. The expression of the L-type calcium channels and calsequestrin was increased, whereas sarcoendoplasmic reticulum calcium transport ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) and junctin mRNAs were significantly reduced in DEX-treated rat left ventricular tissues. In neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes, DEX also increased the level of mRNAs of atrial- and brain natriuretic peptides, L-type calcium channels, and calsequestrin after 24 h of treatment, which were mostly restored by mifepristone. The caffeine-induced calcium release was prolonged by DEX compared to the sharp release in control cardiomyocytes. Taken together, these data show that impaired calcium kinetics may be responsible for cardiac malfunction by DEX. The results are important in understanding the pathophysiology of the heart in patients treated with excess GC.

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Priyanka De, Sreerupa Ghose Roy, Dipak Kar and Arun Bandyopadhyay

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Sangeeta Maity, Dipak Kar, Kakali De, Vivek Chander and Arun Bandyopadhyay

This study elucidates the role of metabolic remodeling in cardiac dysfunction induced by hyperthyroidism. Cardiac hypertrophy, structural remodeling, and expression of the genes associated with fatty acid metabolism were examined in rats treated with triiodothyronine (T3) alone (8 μg/100 g body weight (BW), i.p.) for 15 days or along with a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha agonist bezafibrate (Bzf; 30 μg/100 g BW, oral) and were found to improve in the Bzf co-treated condition. Ultrastructure of mitochondria was damaged in T3-treated rat heart, which was prevented by Bzf co-administration. Hyperthyroidism-induced oxidative stress, reduction in cytochrome c oxidase activity, and myocardial ATP concentration were also significantly checked by Bzf. Heart function studied at different time points during the course of T3 treatment shows an initial improvement and then a gradual but progressive decline with time, which is prevented by Bzf co-treatment. In summary, the results demonstrate that hyperthyroidism inflicts structural and functional damage to mitochondria, leading to energy depletion and cardiac dysfunction.