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Stimulation of the beta-adrenergic system is important in the pathological response to sustained cardiac stress, forming the rationale for the use of beta-blockers in heart failure. The beta3-adrenoreceptor (AR) is thought to couple to the inhibitory G-protein, G(i), with downstream signaling through nitric oxide, although its role in the heart remains controversial. In this study, we tested whether lack of beta3-AR influences the myocardial response to pressure-overload. Baseline echocardiography in mice lacking beta3-AR (beta3(-/-)) compared to wild type (WT) showed mild LV hypertrophy at 8 weeks that worsened as they aged. beta3(-/-) mice had much greater mortality after transverse aortic constriction (TAC) than WT controls. By 3 weeks of TAC, systolic function was worse. After 9 weeks of TAC, beta3(-/-) mice also had greater LV dilation, myocyte hypertrophy and enhanced fibrosis. NOS activity declined in beta3(-/-)TAC hearts after 9 weeks, and total and NOS-dependent superoxide rose, indicating heightened oxidative stress and NOS uncoupling. The level of eNOS phosphorylation in beta3(-/-)TAC hearts was diminished, and nNOS and iNOS expression levels were increased. GTP cyclohydrolase-1 expression was reduced, although total BH4 levels were not depleted. 3 weeks of BH4 treatment rescued beta3(-/-) mice from worsened remodeling after TAC, and lowered NOS-dependent superoxide. Thus, lack of beta3-AR signaling exacerbates cardiac pressure-overload induced remodeling and enhances NOS uncoupling and consequent oxidant stress, all of which can be rescued with exogenous BH4. These data suggest a cardioprotective role for the beta3-AR in modulating oxidative stress and adverse remodeling in the failing heart.

Original publication




Journal article


J Mol Cell Cardiol

Publication Date





576 - 585


Age Factors, Animals, Biopterin, Blotting, Western, Cardiomyopathies, Echocardiography, Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular, Male, Mice, Mice, Mutant Strains, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Oxidative Stress, Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-3, Superoxides, Vasoconstriction, Ventricular Remodeling