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Accumulation of misfolded proteins and alterations in calcium homeostasis induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, leading to apoptosis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that β-AR stimulation induces ER stress, and induction of ER stress plays a pro-apoptotic role in cardiac myocytes. Using thapsigargin and brefeldin A, we demonstrate that ER stress induces apoptosis in adult rat ventricular myocytes (ARVMs). β-AR-stimulation (isoproterenol; 3h) significantly increased expression of ER stress proteins, such as GRP-78, Gadd-153, and Gadd-34, while activating caspase-12 in ARVMs. In most parts, these effects were mimicked by thapsigargin. β-AR stimulation for 15 min increased PERK and eIF-2α phosphorylation. PERK phosphorylation remained higher, while eIF-2α phosphorylation declined thereafter, reaching to ∼50% below basal levels at 3 h after β-AR stimulation. This decline in eIF-2a phosphorylation was prevented by β1-AR, not by β2-AR antagonist. Forskolin, adenylyl cyclase activator, simulated the effects of ISO on eIF-2α phosphorylation. Salubrinal (SAL), an ER stress inhibitor, maintained eIF-2α phosphorylation and inhibited β-ARstimulated apoptosis. Furthermore, inhibition of caspase-12 using z-ATAD inhibited β-AR-stimulated and thapsigargininduced apoptosis. In vivo, β-AR stimulation induced ER stress in the mouse heart as evidenced by increased expression of GRP-78 and Gadd-153, activation of caspase-12, and dephosphorylation of eIF-2α. SAL maintained phosphorylation of eIF-2α, inhibited activation of caspase-12, and decreased β-AR-stimulated apoptosis in the heart. Thus, β-AR stimulation induces ER stress in cardiac myocytes and in the heart, and induction of ER stress plays a pro-apoptotic role.

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This document is an author manuscript from PMC. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.