Obestatin regulates cardiovascular function and promotes cardioprotection through the nitric oxide pathway.

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Obestatin regulates cardiovascular function and promotes cardioprotection through the nitric oxide pathway.

J Cell Mol Med. 2017 Dec;21(12):3670-3678

Authors: Penna C, Tullio F, Femminò S, Rocca C, Angelone T, Cerra MC, Gallo MP, Gesmundo I, Fanciulli A, Brizzi MF, Pagliaro P, Alloatti G, Granata R

Patients with ischaemic heart disease or chronic heart failure show altered levels of obestatin, suggesting a role for this peptide in human heart function. We have previously demonstrated that GH secretagogues and the ghrelin gene-derived peptides, including obestatin, exert cardiovascular effects by modulating cardiac inotropism and vascular tone, and reducing cell death and contractile dysfunction in hearts subjected to ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R), through the Akt/nitric oxide (NO) pathway. However, the mechanisms underlying the cardiac actions of obestatin remain largely unknown. Thus, we suggested that obestatin-induced activation of PI3K/Akt/NO and PKG signalling is implicated in protection of the myocardium when challenged by adrenergic, endothelinergic or I/R stress. We show that obestatin exerts an inhibitory tone on the performance of rat papillary muscle in both basal conditions and under β-adrenergic overstimulation, through endothelial-dependent NO/cGMP/PKG signalling. This pathway was also involved in the vasodilator effect of the peptide, used both alone and under stress induced by endothelin-1. Moreover, when infused during early reperfusion, obestatin reduced infarct size in isolated I/R rat hearts, through an NO/PKG pathway, comprising ROS/PKC signalling, and converging on mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium [mitoK(ATP)] channels. Overall, our results suggest that obestatin regulates cardiovascular function in stress conditions and induces cardioprotection by mechanisms dependent on activation of an NO/soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC)/PKG pathway. In fact, obestatin counteracts exaggerated β-adrenergic and endothelin-1 activity, relevant factors in heart failure, suggesting multiple positive effects of the peptide, including the lowering of cardiac afterload, thus representing a potential candidate in pharmacological post-conditioning.

PMID: 28744974 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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