|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
A transient induction of apoptosis accompanies the normalization of left ventricular mass index in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) treated with dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers. However, the cell type undergoing apoptosis in this model and the temporal correlation with onset cardiac remodeling remain undefined.SHR were treated either with vehicle or amlodipine (20 mg/kg per day) for 4, 7, 10, 14 or 28 days. Amlodipine stably reduced systolic blood pressure by day 2 (−26 ± 2%) and stably reduced the left ventricular concentration of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) mRNA by ∼50% as early as day 4, suggesting the early reduction of cardiomyocyte stress. Left ventricular mass index was significantly reduced by day 7 (−4.6 ± 1.5%), in coordination with reduced DNA content (−23 ± 2%) and non-cardiomyocyte number (−17 ± 4%). However, the cardiomyocyte cross-sectional area was reduced only starting from day 14. Caspase-3 cleavage was significantly increased at day 7 only. Ultimately, amlodipine for 28 days induced a slight increase in capillary density without affecting total cardiomyocyte number, while reducing the total number of non-cardiomyocytes down to levels seen in untreated normotensive Wistar–Kyoto rats. Bax to Bcl-2 protein ratios were increased from day 7 to day 28. In situ double labeling by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method (apoptosis) combined with rhodamine-labeled lectin binding (endothelial cell marker) revealed a significant increase (> 3-fold) in TUNEL-positive, lectin-negative non-cardiomyocytes in the interstitium between days 7 and 14.Left ventricular remodeling induced by amlodipine in SHR involves selective deletion of excess fibroblasts via apoptosis prior to cardiomyocyte mass reduction, but after attenuation of ANP gene expression.