NADPH oxidase-4 promotes eccentric cardiac hypertrophy in response to volume overload

Moritz Schnelle, Iain Sawyer, Narayana Anilkumar, Belal A. Mohamed, Daniel A. Richards, Karl Toischer, Min Zhang, Norman Catibog, Greta Sawyer, Héloïse Mongue-Din, Katrin Schröder, Gerd Hasenfuss, Ajay M. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: Chronic pressure or volume overload induce concentric vs. eccentric left ventricular (LV) remodelling, respectively. Previous studies suggest that distinct signalling pathways are involved in these responses. NADPH oxidase-4 (Nox4) is a reactive oxygen species-generating enzyme that can limit detrimental cardiac remodelling in response to pressure overload. This study aimed to assess its role in volume overload-induced remodelling. METHODS AND RESULTS: We compared the responses to creation of an aortocaval fistula (Shunt) to induce volume overload in Nox4-null mice (Nox4-/-) vs. wild-type (WT) littermates. Induction of Shunt resulted in a significant increase in cardiac Nox4 mRNA and protein levels in WT mice as compared to Sham controls. Nox4-/- mice developed less eccentric LV remodelling than WT mice (echocardiographic relative wall thickness: 0.30 vs. 0.27, P < 0.05), with less LV hypertrophy at organ level (increase in LV weight/tibia length ratio of 25% vs. 43%, P < 0.01) and cellular level (cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area: 323 µm2 vs. 379 μm2, P < 0.01). LV ejection fraction, foetal gene expression, interstitial fibrosis, myocardial capillary density, and levels of myocyte apoptosis after Shunt were similar in the two genotypes. Myocardial phospho-Akt levels were increased after induction of Shunt in WT mice, whereas levels decreased in Nox4-/- mice (+29% vs. -21%, P < 0.05), associated with a higher level of phosphorylation of the S6 ribosomal protein (S6) and the eIF4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) in WT compared to Nox4-/- mice. We identified that Akt activation in cardiac cells is augmented by Nox4 via a Src kinase-dependent inactivation of protein phosphatase 2A. CONCLUSION: Endogenous Nox4 is required for the full development of eccentric cardiac hypertrophy and remodelling during chronic volume overload. Nox4-dependent activation of Akt and its downstream targets S6 and 4E-BP1 may be involved in this effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-187
Number of pages10
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Cardiac remodelling
  • Heart
  • Mouse models
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Volume overload


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