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The Role of the Na+/H+ Exchanger isoform 1 in cardiac pathology Open Access


Other title
Mitogen activated protein kinase
Neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes
Cardiac Hypertrophy
Adenoviral infection
Neurohormonal stimulation
Na+/H+ Exchanger Isoform 1
Transgenic mice
Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Mraiche, Fatima
Supervisor and department
Fliegel, Larry (Biochemistry&Pediatrics)
Examining committee member and department
Lytton, Jonathan (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Calgary)
Dyck, Jason (Pediatrics)
Lopaschuk, Gary (Pediatrics)
Light, Peter (Pharmacology)
Medical Sciences - Pediatrics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The mammalian Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 1 (NHE1) is a ubiquitously expressed membrane protein that regulates intracellular pH. In the myocardium, NHE1 has been implicated in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and cardiac hypertrophy (CH). Hormonal, autocrine and paracrine stimuli, acidosis, cardiotoxic metabolites released during I/R and CH increases NHE1 protein expression and activity. The involvement of NHE1 in CH and I/R has been further supported with the use of NHE1 inhibitors, which have been beneficial in the prevention/regression of several models of CH and I/R injury. Despite the fact that elevation of NHE1 expression and activity have been demonstrated in several models of heart disease, it was unclear whether elevation of NHE1 protein expression was sufficient to induce a specific cardiac pathology, or whether activation of the protein was required. To understand the direct role of NHE1 in CH and I/R, an in vivo and in vitro gain-of-function model, expressing varying levels and activities of NHE1 were examined. In vivo, our N-line mice expressed wild type NHE1 and our K-line mice expressed constitutively active NHE1. In vitro, neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes were infected with the IRM adenovirus containing wild type NHE1 or the K-IRM adenovirus containing active NHE1. We demonstrated that expression of constitutively active NHE1 promotes CH to a much greater degree than expression of wild type NHE1 alone, both in vivo and in vitro. This NHE1-dependent hypertrophic response occurred independent of signaling pathways involved in CH including, mitogen activated protein kinases, p90 ribosomal S6 kinase, calcineurin and glycogen synthase kinase. The NHE1-dependent hypertrophic effect also occurred independent of gender. In addition, the expression of active NHE1 increased the susceptibility of intact mice to neurohormonal stimulation and progressed the hypertrophic response. When these hearts expressing active NHE1 were subjected to I/R using the ex vivo working heart perfusion model, fatty acid (FA) oxidation and glycolysis rates increased, thus generating greater ATP production rates. This was associated with cardioprotective effects in the myocardium, as well as a more energetically efficient myocardium. Expression of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response proteins, calreticulin and PDI were also shown to be increased relative to controls, and may contribute to the cardioprotection observed. We demonstrate that active NHE1 induces cardioprotection and alters cardiac metabolism in working hearts subjected to I/R. Overall, our results suggest that expression of active NHE1 has a double edged sword effect, on one side it induces CH while on the other side, it protects the heart against I/R injury.
License granted by Fatima Mraiche ( on 2010-08-16T18:15:05Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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