The Role of the Cardiac Na: Relevance for LVAD–Recovery+: Relevance for LVAD–Recovery/Ca: Relevance for LVAD–Recovery2+: Relevance for LVAD–Recovery Exchanger in Reverse Remodeling: Relevance for LVAD–Recovery

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Different strategies can, at least in certain conditions, prevent or reverse myocardial remodeling due to heart failure and induce myocardial functional improvement. Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) is considered a major player in the pathophysiology of heart failure but its role in reverse remodeling is unknown. A combination of mechanical unloading by left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and pharmacological therapy has been shown to induce clinical recovery in a limited number of patients with end-stage heart failure. In myocytes isolated from these patients we found that, after LVAD treatment, NCX1/SERCA2a mRNA was 38% higher than at device implant. We studied the ability of NCX to extrude Ca2+ during caffeine-induced SR Ca2+ release in isolated ventricular myocytes from these patients. The time constant of decline was slower in heart failure. In myocytes from patients with clinical recovery following mechanical and pharmacological treatment, NCX1-mediated Ca2+ extrusion was faster compared with myocytes from patient who, despite identical treatment, did not recover. We propose that increased NCX function may be associated with reverse remodeling in patients and that factors that regulate NCX function (i.e., phosphorylation or intracellular [Na+]) other than NCX expression levels alone, may have detrimental consequences on cardiac function.

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