Gender has recently been implicated as an important modulator of cardiovascular disease. However, it is not known how gender may specifically influence the Ca2+-handling deficits that characterize the depressed cardiac contractility of human heart failure. To elucidate the contributory role of gender to sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ cycling alterations, the protein levels of SR Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA), phospholamban, and calsequestrin, as well as the site-specific phospholamban phosphorylation status, were quantified in a mixed gender population of failing (n=14) and donor (n=15) myocardia. The apparent affinity (EC50) and the maximal velocity (Vmax) of SR Ca2+-uptake were also determined to lend functional significance to any observed protein alterations. Phospholamban and calsequestrin levels were not altered; however, SERCA protein levels were significantly reduced in failing hearts. Additionally, phospholamban phosphorylation (serine-16 and threonine-17 sites) and myocardial cAMP content were both attenuated. The alterations in SR protein levels were also accompanied by a decreased V(max)and an increased EC50 (diminished apparent affinity) of SR Ca2+-uptake for Ca2+ in failing myocardia. Myocardial protein levels and Ca2+ uptake parameters were then analyzed with respect to gender, which revealed that the decreases in phosphorylated serine-16 were specific to male failing hearts, reflecting increases in the EC50 values of SR Ca2+-uptake for Ca2+, compared to donor males. These findings suggest that although decreased SERCA protein and phospholamban phosphorylation levels contribute to depressed SR Ca2+-uptake and left ventricular function in heart failure, the specific subcellular alterations which underlie these effects may not be uniform with respect to gender.
View details for DOI 10.1006/jmcc.2001.1394
View details for Web of Science ID 000171322800006
View details for PubMedID 11437540