Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a neurotransmitter released from cardiac sympathetic nerve terminals along with catecholamines. It influences vascular tone and cardiac function, probably through the receptor subtype Y1. The present study examined the expression of Y1 in patients with end-stage heart failure and in heart transplant recipients. Y1 mRNA was analyzed in right ventricular endomyocardial biopsies taken from 12 donor hearts prior to implantation (controls), 15 patients with end stage heart failure at time of transplantation, and 16 patients more than 1 year after transplantation. RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) was used to detect mRNA for the Y1 receptor, the beta1-adrenergic-receptor, and beta-actin. Y1 mRNA was present in biopsies of all donor hearts, but was observed significantly less frequently in the two patient groups; only 5 out of 15 (P < 0.01) heart failure and 9 out of 16 (P < 0.05) transplant recipients demonstrated visible PCR product. In contrast, mRNA for the beta1-adrenergic receptor and beta-actin were detected by RT-PCR in all samples. Our results provide the first evidence for altered regulation of the neuropeptide Y1 receptor in heart failure and transplant patients, and suggests that loss of signal transduction by this receptor may be adaptive in both groups.
View details for PubMedID 9686908