Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 440, Issue 1–2, pp 209–219 | Cite as

Induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress and changes in expression levels of Zn2+-transporters in hypertrophic rat heart

  • Yusuf Olgar
  • Semir Ozdemir
  • Belma Turan


Clinical and experimental studies have shown an association between intracellular free Zn2+ ([Zn2+]i)-dyshomeostasis and cardiac dysfunction besides [Ca2+]i-dyshomeostasis. Since [Zn2+]i-homeostasis is regulated through Zn2+-transporters depending on their subcellular distributions, one can hypothesize that any imbalance in Zn2+-homeostasis via alteration in Zn2+-transporters may be associated with the induction of ER stress and apoptosis in hypertrophic heart. We used a transverse aortic constriction (TAC) model to induce hypertrophy in young male rat heart. We confirmed the development of hypertrophy with a high ratio of heart to body weight and cardiomyocyte capacitance. The expression levels of ER stress markers GRP78, CHOP/Gadd153, and calnexin are significantly high in TAC-group in comparison to those of controls (SHAM-group). Additionally, we detected high expression levels of apoptotic status marker proteins such as the serine kinase GSK-3β, Bax-to-Bcl-2 ratio, and PUMA in TAC-group in comparison to SHAM-group. The ratios of phospho-Akt to Akt and phospho-NFκB to the NFκB are significantly higher in TAC-group than in SHAM-group. Furthermore, we observed markedly increased phospho-PKCα and PKCα levels in TAC-group. We, also for the first time, determined significantly increased ZIP7, ZIP14, and ZnT8 expressions along with decreased ZIP8 and ZnT7 levels in the heart tissue from TAC-group in comparison to SHAM-group. Furthermore, a roughly calculated total expression level of ZIPs responsible for Zn2+-influx into the cytosol (increased about twofold) can be also responsible for the markedly increased [Zn2+]i detected in hypertrophic cardiomyocytes. Taking into consideration the role of increased [Zn2+]i via decreased ER-[Zn2+] in the induction of ER stress in cardiomyocytes, our present data suggest that differential changes in the expression levels of Zn2+-transporters can underlie mechanical dysfunction, in part due to the induction of ER stress and apoptosis in hypertrophic heart via increased [Zn2+]i- besides [Ca2+]i-dyshomeostasis.


Zinc transporters Intracellular zinc Heart failure Endoplasmic reticulum stress Left ventricle Apoptosis 



The authors thank to The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for Grant SBAG-113S296.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no financial disclosures that would be a potential conflict of interest with the current manuscript.

Ethical approval

All animals were handled in accordance to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals published by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH publication number 85-23, revised 1996). The protocol was approved by the Akdeniz University Experimental Animals Ethics Committee, with an approval reference number (2013.02.10).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ankara University Faculty of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of BiophysicsAkdeniz University Faculty of MedicineAntalyaTurkey

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