Mineralocorticoid Receptor Deficiency in T Cells Attenuates Pressure Overload–Induced Cardiac Hypertrophy and Dysfunction Through Modulating T-Cell Activation

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Abstract

Although antagonists of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) have been widely used to treat heart failure, the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. Recent reports show that T cells play important roles in pathologic cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. However, it is unclear whether and how MR functions in T cells under these pathologic conditions. We found that MR antagonist suppressed abdominal aortic constriction–induced cardiac hypertrophy and decreased the accumulation and activation of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in mouse heart. T-cell MR knockout mice manifested suppressed cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and dysfunction compared with littermate control mice after abdominal aortic constriction. T-cell MR knockout mice had less cardiac inflammatory response, which was illustrated by decreased accumulation of myeloid cells and reduced expression of inflammatory cytokines. Less amounts and activation of T cells were observed in the heart of T-cell MR knockout mice after abdominal aortic constriction. In vitro studies showed that both MR antagonism and deficiency repressed activation of T cells, whereas MR overexpression elevated activation of T cells. These results demonstrated that MR blockade in T cells protected against abdominal aortic constriction–induced cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction. Mechanistically, MR directly regulated T-cell activation and modulated cardiac inflammation. Targeting MR in T cells specifically may be a feasible strategy for more effective treatment of pathologic cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.

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