Objectives. To elucidate the pattern of expression of four members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins and to correlate this with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase [TdT]-mediated dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL) and DNA fragmentation. Background. Apoptosis has been implicated as a possible mechanism in the development of heart failure. However, the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Methods. We have studied the expression of four members of the Bcl-2 family that are involved in the regulation of apoptosis and analyzed DNA fragmentation as a marker of apoptosis and as a biochemical criterion to distinguish between apoptosis and necrosis in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), ischemic heart disease (IHD) and normal donors. Results. Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry of the proapoptotic and antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins demonstrated significantly higher levels of all these proteins in the diseased groups compared with normal donors. Additionally, Bax was significantly higher in the IHD group compared with DCM. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase [TdT]-mediated dUTP nick end labelling analysis demonstrated a significantly higher percentage of TUNEL-positive cells in the diseased groups compared with the control. Genomic DNA extraction of ventricular myocardial tissue showed no demonstrable DNA laddering for any of the groups. Conclusions. The significant increases in the levels of the proapoptotic proteins Bak and Bax and the higher percentage of TUNEL-positive cells in both diseased groups suggests the presence of ongoing apoptosis. However, increases in the antiapoptotic proteins, Bcl-2 and Bcl-x(L), suggest a possible concommitant, compensatory antiapoptotic mechanism in patients with heart failure. (C) 2000 by the American College of Cardiology.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of the American College of Cardiology|
|State||Published - Jun 2000|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was partly supported by the British Heart Foundation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine