Chronic activation of the low affinity site of β1-adrenoceptors stimulates haemodynamics but exacerbates pressure-overload cardiac remodelling

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The β1-adrenoceptor has at least two binding sites, high and low affinity sites (β1H and β1L, respectively), which mediate cardiostimulation. While β1H-adrenoceptor can be blocked by all clinically used β-blockers, β1L-adrenoceptor is relatively resistant to blockade. Thus, chronic β1L-adrenoceptor activation may mediate persistent cardiostimulation, despite the concurrent blockade of β1H-adrenoceptors. Hence, it is important to determine the potential significance of β1L-adrenoceptors in vivo, particularly in pathological situations.


C57Bl/6 male mice were used. Chronic (4 or 8 weeks) β1L-adrenoceptor activation was achieved by treatment, via osmotic mini pumps, with (-)-CGP12177 (10 mg·kg−1·day−1). Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and micromanometry.


(-)-CGP12177 treatment of healthy mice increased heart rate and left ventricular (LV) contractility. (-)-CGP12177 treatment of mice subjected to transverse aorta constriction (TAC), during weeks 4–8 or 4–12 after TAC, led to a positive inotropic effect and exacerbated fibrogenic signalling while cardiac hypertrophy tended to be more severe. (-)-CGP12177 treatment of mice with TAC also exacerbated the myocardial expression of hypertrophic, fibrogenic and inflammatory genes compared to untreated TAC mice. Washout of (-)-CGP12177 revealed a more pronounced cardiac dysfunction after 12 weeks of TAC.


β1L-adrenoceptor activation provides functional support to the heart, in both normal and pathological (pressure overload) situations. Sustained β1L-adrenoceptor activation in the diseased heart exacerbates LV remodelling and therefore may promote disease progression from compensatory hypertrophy to heart failure.

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