NADPH oxidase-2 inhibition restores contractility and intracellular calcium handling and reduces arrhythmogenicity in dystrophic cardiomyopathy

Daniel R. Gonzalez, Adriana V. Treuer, Guillaume Lamirault, Vera Mayo, Yenong Cao, Raul A. Dulce, Joshua M. Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Duchenne muscular dystrophy may affect cardiac muscle, producing a dystrophic cardiomyopathy in humans and the mdx mouse. We tested the hypothesis that oxidative stress participates in disrupting calcium handling and contractility in the mdx mouse with established cardiomyopathy. We found increased expression (fivefold) of the NADPH oxidase (NOX) 2 in the mdx hearts compared with wild type, along with increased superoxide production. Next, we tested the impact of NOX2 inhibition on contractility and calcium handling in isolated cardiomyocytes. Contractility was decreased in mdx myocytes compared with wild type, and this was restored toward normal by pretreating with apocynin. In addition, the amplitude of evoked intracellular Ca2+ concentration transients that was diminished in mdx myocytes was also restored with NOX2 inhibition. Total sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ content was reduced in mdx hearts and normalized by apocynin treatment. Additionally, NOX2 inhibition decreased the production of spontaneous diastolic calcium release events and decreased the SR calcium leak in mdx myocytes. In addition, nitric oxide (NO) synthase 1 (NOS-1) expression was increased eightfold in mdx hearts compared with wild type. Nevertheless, cardiac NO production was reduced. To test whether this paradox implied NOS-1 uncoupling, we treated cardiac myocytes with exogenous tetrahydrobioterin, along with the NOX inhibitor VAS2870. These agents restored NO production and phospholamban phosphorylation in mdx toward normal. Together, these results demonstrate that, in mdx hearts, NOX2 inhibition improves the SR calcium handling and contractility, partially by recoupling NOS-1. These findings reveal a new layer of nitroso-redox imbalance in dystrophic cardiomyopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • BH4
  • Duchenne
  • Mdx
  • NADPH oxidase
  • NOS-1 uncoupling
  • Phospholamban
  • Ryanodine receptor
  • Superoxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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