Abstract P631: Cholesterol Is Required To Maintain T-tubule Integrity And Intercellular Connections At Intercalated Discs In Cardiomyocytes
Aims: Low serum cholesterol levels are associated with cardiac arrhythmias and poor prognosis in patients with chronic heart failure. However, the underlying mechanisms by which decreases in cholesterol content lead to cardiac dysfunction remain unclear. Multiple studies have implicated damage to cardiac transverse (T)-tubules as a key mediator of excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling dysfunction and heart failure. Since the T-tubule membrane system is enriched in cholesterol, we hypothesized that depletion of membrane cholesterol promotes T-tubule remodeling and E-C coupling dysfunction.
Methods and Results: We first examined the impact of membrane cholesterol depletion on T-tubule architecture by treating isolated C57BL/6 murine cardiomyocytes with methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD). T-tubule structural integrity was progressively decreased by MβCD in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Membrane cholesterol depletion also promoted in a severe decrease in the amplitude and frequency of Ca2+ transients and an increase in the number and amplitude of spontaneous Ca2+ sparks. Reintroduction of cholesterol restored T-tubule integrity and Ca2+ handling properties in acutely-treated myocytes and slowed down T-tubule deterioration in response to chronic MβCD exposure. Studies were extended to determine the impact of membrane cholesterol depletion on T-tubule structure in intact hearts. In addition to T-tubule remodeling, Langendorff perfusion of MβCD resulted in rapid and severe disruption of the intercellular connections between cardiomyocytes, in particular at intercalated disc regions in intact hearts.
Conclusions: These data provide the first evidence that cholesterol plays a critical role in maintaining cardiac T-tubule structure and the integrity of intercalated discs.
Author Disclosures: Y. zhu: None. C. Zhang: None. R. Chen: None. B. Chen: None. A. Guo: None. J. Hong: None. L. Song: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.