To assess the effect of targeted myocardial beta-adrenergic receptor (AR) stimulation on relaxation and phospholamban regulation, we studied the physiological and biochemical alterations associated with overexpression of the human beta2-AR gene in transgenic mice. These mice have an approximately 200-fold increase in beta-AR density and a 2-fold increase in basal adenylyl cyclase activity relative to negative littermate controls. Mice were catheterized with a high fidelity micromanometer and hemodynamic recordings were obtained in vivo. Overexpression of the beta2-AR altered parameters of relaxation. At baseline, LV dP/dt(min) and the time constant of LV pressure isovolumic decay (Tau) in the transgenic mice were significantly shorter compared with controls, indicating markedly enhanced myocardial relaxation. Isoproterenol stimulation resulted in shortening of relaxation velocity in control mice but not in the transgenic mice, indicating maximal relaxation in these animals. Immunoblotting analysis revealed a selective decrease in the amount of phospholamban protein, without a significant change in the content for either sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase or calsequestrin, in the transgenic hearts compared with controls. This study indicates that myocardial relaxation is both markedly enhanced and maximal in these mice and that conditions associated with chronic beta-AR stimulation can result in a selective reduction of phospholamban protein.
H A Rockman, R A Hamilton, L R Jones, C A Milano, L Mao, R J Lefkowitz