β-Adrenergic Receptor-Stimulated Cardiac Myocyte Apoptosis: Role of β1 Integrins

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Increased sympathetic nerve activity to the myocardium is a central feature in patients with heart failure. Accumulation of catecholamines plays an important role in the pathogenesis of heart disease. Acting via β-adrenergic receptors (β-AR), catecholamines (norepinephrine and isoproterenol) increase cardiac myocyte apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, β(1)-AR and β(2)-AR coupled to Gαs exert a proapoptotic action, while β(2)-AR coupled to Gi exerts an antiapoptotic action. β1 integrin signaling protects cardiac myocytes against β-AR-stimulated apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Interaction of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) with β1 integrins interferes with the survival signals initiated by β1 integrins. This paper will discuss background information on β-AR and integrin signaling and summarize the role of β1 integrins in β-AR-stimulated cardiac myocyte apoptosis.