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A recent clinical study demonstrated that a testosterone supplementation improves functional capacity in elderly female patients suffering from heart failure. These findings prompted us to consider possible mechanisms of testosterone-induced cardioprotection in females. To address this question we have used a pure female population of rat heart embryonic H9c2 cells. Pre-treatment of cells with testosterone for 24 h significantly increased survival of H9c2 cells exposed to 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), an inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation. These cells expressed low level of androgen receptors and the effect of testosterone was not modified by hydroxyflutamide, an antagonist of androgen receptor. In contrast, cyclohexamide, an inhibitor of protein biosynthesis, and tamoxifene, a partial agonist of estrogen receptors, abolished cardioprotection afforded by testosterone. In addition, finasteride, an inhibitor of 5a-reductase, and anastrazole, an inhibitor of a-aromatase, also blocked testosterone-induced cytoprotection. Real time RT-PCR revealed that testosterone did not regulate the expression of nine subunits and accessory proteins of sarcolemmal ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels. On the other hand, testosterone, as well as 17ß-estradiol, up-regulated a putative mitochondrial KATP channel subunit, mitochondrial sulfonylurea receptor 2B intraexonics splice variant (IES SUR2B), without affecting expression of IES SUR2A. Tamoxifene inhibited testosterone-induced up-regulation of IES SUR2B without affecting IES SUR2A. In conclusion, this study has shown that testosterone protect female embryonic heart H9c2 cells against severe metabolic stress by its conversion into metabolites that activate estrogen receptors and up-regulate IES SUR2B.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2013|