Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Clive Baumgarten


Swelling-activated Cl- current (ICl,swell) is an outwardly rectifying Cl- current that influences cardiac electric activities and acts as a potential effector of mechanoelectrical feedback that antagonizes the effects of stretch-activated cation channels. Persistent activation of ICl,swell has been observed in multiple models of cardiovascular diseases. Previously we showed that angiotensin II (AngII) signaling and reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by NADPH oxidase (NOX) are involved in the activation of ICl, swell by both beta1-integrin stretch and osmotic swelling. Because endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potential downstream mediator of AngII and ETA receptor blockade abrogates AngII-induced ROS generation, we studied how ET-1 signaling regulates ICl,swell and the relationship between AngII and ET-1 signaling. Under isosmotic conditions, ET-1 elicited an outwardly rectifying Cl- current that was fully blocked by the highly selective ICl,swell inhibitor DCPIB and by osmotic shrinkage. Selective ETA blockade (BQ123), but not ETB blockade (BQ788), fully suppressed the ET-1-induced current. ET-1-induced ICl,swell was abolished by blockade of EGFR kinase (AG1478) and PI-3K inhibitors (LY294002 and wortmannin), which also suppress beta1-integrin stretch- and swelling-induced ICl,swell. ET-1-induced ICl,swell was abrogated by ebselen, a membrane-permeant glutathione peroxidase mimetic that dismutates H2O2 to H2O, suggesting that ROS were required intermediates in ET-1-induced activation of ICl,swell. Both NOX and mitochondria are important sources of ROS in cardiomyocytes. Blocking NOX with apocynin or mitochondrial complex I with rotenone both completely suppressed ET-1-induced ROS generation and activation of ICl,swell, indicating that ROS from both NOX and mitochondria were required to activate ICl,swell, and complete block by inhibitors of either ROS source suggests mitochondrial and NOX must act in series rather than in parallel. ICl,swell elicited by antimycin A, which stimulates superoxide production by mitochondrial complex III, was insensitive to NOX inhibitor apocynin and the NOX fusion peptide inhibitor gp91ds-tat. Activation of ICl,swell induced by diazoxide, which stimulates mitochondrial ROS production by opening mitochondrial KATP channels, was not affected by gp91ds-tat. These data suggests that mitochondrial ROS is downstream from NOX in the regulation of ICl,swell. Mitochondrial ROS production that is enhanced by NOX ROS is likely to be responsible for the activation of ICl,swell by ET-1. In order to determine the role of ERK in the proposed signaling pathway that regulates ICl,swell, we examined the effect of ERK inhibitors (PD 98059 and U0216) on the activation of ICl,swell elicited by ET-1, EGF, and H2O2. ERK inhibitors partially blocked ET-1-induced ICl,swell but fully inhibited activation of ICl,swell in response to EGF. However, ERK inhibitors did not affect ICl,swell elicited by exogenous H2O2. We also established the the relationship of ET-1 to AngII and osmotic swelling in the regulation of ET-1 ICl,swell. ETA blockade abolished ICl,swell elicited by both AngII and osmotic swelling, whereas AT1 blockade did not effect ET-1-induced ICl,swell, suggesting that ET-1 signaling is downstream from AngII and osmotic swelling. HL-1 cell is a murine atrial cell line that retain phenotypic characteristics of adult cardiomyocytes. We showed that osmotic swelling and ET-1 turned on DCPIB-sensitive outwardly rectifying Cl- current in HL-1 cells with both physiological and symmetrical Cl- gradients. The swelling-induced current was suppressed by gp91ds-tat and rotenone but insensitive to apocynin. Blockade of ETA receptor (BQ123) and NOX (gp91ds-tat) completely inhibited ET-1-induced ICl,swell in HL-1 cells. These data indicate that ICl,swell is present in HL-1 cell and regulated by similar mechanisms as in native cells. Finally, we confirmed the production of ROS by ET-1 signaling by flow cytometry of HL-1 cells using the nominally H2O2-selective fluorescent probe C H2DCFDA-AM. Exposure to ET-1 increased ROS production, as did H2O2, a positive control. ET-1-induced ROS production was fully suppressed by both gp91ds-tat and rotenone. HL-1 cell ROS production also was stimulated by the mitochondrial complex III inhibitor antimycin A, and antimycin A-induced ROS production was blocked by rotenone but not by gp91ds-tat. These data suggest that ET-1 ETA receptor signaling elicits ICl,swell by sequentially stimulating ROS production by NOX and mitochondria. ETA receptor signaling is down stream from AngII in the osmotic swelling-induced activation of ICl,swell and is upstream from EGFR kinase and PI-3K. Endothelin signaling is likely to be an important means of activating ROS production and ICl,swell in a variety of cardiovascular diseases.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009

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