Research ArticleCardiology

Control of cytokinesis by β-adrenergic receptors indicates an approach for regulating cardiomyocyte endowment

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Science Translational Medicine  09 Oct 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 513, eaaw6419
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw6419

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Surgery can correct tetralogy of Fallot, a form of congenital heart disease; however, patients risk cardiac complications and morbidity as adults. Liu et al. found decreased cardiomyocyte cell division in pediatric patients, suggesting that a reduction in endowment (number of cells) could contribute to adult-onset cardiac dysfunction. In mouse models, inactivating the β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) improved expression of Ect2 and decreased the number of binucleated cardiomyocytes. Propranolol (β-AR blocker) treatment increased cardiomyocyte proliferation in patient cells and in neonatal mice, which led to improved cardiac function and remodeling after myocardial infarction in adult mice. This study suggests that early-life β-blocker treatment could rescue cell division defects, with potential benefit to long-term cardiac health.

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