Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy has been associated with diminished mitochondrial metabolism. Mitochondria are crucial organelles for the production of ATP, and their morphology and function are regulated by the dynamic processes of fusion and fission. The relationship between mitochondrial dynamics and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy is still poorly understood. Here, we show that treatment of cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes with the hypertrophic agonist norepinephrine promotes mitochondrial fission (characterized by a decrease in mitochondrial mean volume and an increase in the relative number of mitochondria per cell) and a decrease in mitochondrial function. We demonstrate that norepinephrine acts through a1-adrenergic receptors to increase cytoplasmic Ca2+, activating calcineurin and promoting migration of the fission protein Drp1 (encoded by Dnml1) to mitochondria. Dominant-negative Drp1 (K38A) not only prevented mitochondrial fission, it also blocked hypertrophic growth of cardiomyocytes in response to norepinephrine. Remarkably, an antisense adenovirus against the fusion protein Mfn2 (AsMfn2) was sufficient to increase mitochondrial fission and stimulate a hypertrophic response without agonist treatment. Collectively, these results demonstrate the importance of mitochondrial dynamics in the development of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and metabolic remodeling.
- Cardiac hypertrophy
- Mitochondrial fission