Cardioprotection against infarction and dysfunction in the myocardium involves G-protein-coupled receptor signalling orchestrated by specialised membrane microdomains termed caveolae. The caveolin protein family consist of three subtypes: caveolin-1, −2 and −3 (Cav1-3) and are responsible for the formation of caveolae and hypothesized to orchestrate cardioprotective signalling. Caveolin-3 deficiency and overexpression has been shown to attenuate and restore cardioprotection, respectively. Recently, a family of four related proteins known as cavins (Cavin1-4) have been implicated as regulators of caveolae formation and function. The roles and expression distribution of the cavin family is currently unknown in cardiac tissue. In this study hearts were isolated from 8, 16, 32 and 48 week male and female mice and subjected to normoxic perfusion (80 min) or ischemic stress (20 min global ischemia, 60 min reperfusion). RT-qPCR was used to assess differential gene expression of caveolin and cavin subtypes across these ages in both sexes.
Decreased post-ischemic pressure development and increased LDH release were observed in 32 and 48 week old relative to 8 week old male hearts hearts, indicative of age-related loss of ischemic tolerance. Females showed greater tolerance to ischemia at 32 and 48 week old hearts when compared to male counterparts. In normoxic male 48 week old hearts, Cav1,-2,-3 and Cavin1 were significantly repressed, whilst post-ischemic male 48 week old hearts demonstrated significant repression of Cav3 and Cavin1 only. Normoxic female hearts showed no significant changes in caveolin and cavin transcript expression over the aging time course. However, post-ischemic female 48 week old hearts showing significant down-regulation of Cav3 only. Taken together, alterations in caveolin and cavin expression may contribute to the age-related loss of ischemic tolerance and G-protein-coupled receptor-mediated protection in aging male and female mice hearts.