Interruption of Wnt Signaling Attenuates the Onset of Pressure Overload-Induced Cardiac Hypertrophy

V.A.M. van de Schans, S.W.M. van den Borne, A.E. Strzelecka, B.J. Janssen, J.L. van der Velden, R.C. Langen, A. Wynshaw Boris, J.F. Smits, W.M. Blankesteijn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The hypertrophic response of the heart has been recognized recently as the net result of activation of prohypertrophic and antihypertrophic pathways. Here we report the involvement of the Wnt/Frizzled pathway in the onset of cardiac hypertrophy development. Stimulation of the Wnt/Frizzled pathway activates the disheveled (Dvl) protein. Disheveled subsequently can inhibit glycogen synthase kinase-3beta, a protein with potent antihypertrophic actions through diverse molecular mechanisms. In the Wnt/Frizzled pathway, inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta leads to an increased amount of beta-catenin, which can act as a transcription factor for several hypertrophy-associated target genes. In this study we subjected mice lacking the Dvl-1 gene and their wild-type littermates to thoracic aortic constriction for 7, 14, and 35 days. In mice lacking the Dvl-1 gene, 7 days of pressure overload-induced increases in left ventricular posterior wall thickness and expression of atrial natriuretic factor and brain natriuretic protein were attenuated compared with their wild-type littermates. beta-Catenin protein amount was reduced in the group lacking the Dvl-1 gene, and an increased glycogen synthase kinase-3beta activity was observed. Moreover, the increase in the amount of Ser(473)-phosphorylated Akt, a stimulator of cardiac hypertrophy, was lower in the group lacking the Dvl-1 gene. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that interruption of Wnt signaling in the mice lacking the Dvl-1 gene attenuates the onset of pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy through mechanisms involving glycogen synthase kinase-3beta and Akt. Therefore, the Wnt/Frizzled pathway may provide novel therapeutic targets for antihypertrophic therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-480
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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