Overexpression of copper/zinc superoxide dismutase in the median preoptic nucleus improves cardiac function after myocardial infarction in the rat

John P. Collister, Cristina Hartnett, Tim Mayerhofer, David Nahey, Christopher Stauthammer, Maxie Krüger, Anthony Tobias, M. Gerard O'Sullivan, Josh Parker, Jun Tian, Adam J. Case, Matthew C. Zimmerman

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Previous reports indicate that overexpression of copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), an intracellular superoxide (O2 •−) scavenging enzyme, in the brain subfornical organ improves cardiac function in a mouse model of heart failure (HF). A downstream hypothalamic site, the MnPO, may act as a relay centre for O2 •− to serve as a mediator in the pathophysiology of HF. To test the hypothesis that elevated O2 •− in the MnPO contributes to the pathophysiology of HF and decreased cardiac function, we injected adenovirus encoding CuZnSOD (AdCuZnSOD, n=7) or control empty adenovirus vector (AdEmpty, n=7) into the MnPO of normal rats. Subsequently, rats were subjected to coronary artery ligation to create a myocardial infarct (MI) of the left ventricle. Cardiac function was monitored via echocardiography. Upon completion, rat brains were examined for CuZnSOD expression in MnPO via immunofluorescence and histopathological analyses of cardiac infarct size were conducted. Baseline (EF) ejection fractions (%) of AdCuZnSOD and AdEmpty rats were 73 ± 1 and 71 ± 1, respectively. Two weeks after MI, EF was significantly decreased in both groups of rats (AdCuZnSOD: 51 ± 3, AdEmpty: 46 ± 1). In contrast, by 4 weeks post MI, EF had improved to 64 ± 2 in AdCuZnSOD rats, yet was only 52 ± 1 in AdEmpty rats, and this was accompanied by lower plasma noradrenaline levels in AdCuZnSOD rats (0.49 ± 0.19 ng/mL) compared to AdEmpty rats (1.20 ± 0.32 ng/mL). In conclusion, despite decreases in EF early after MI, overexpression of CuZnSOD in the MnPO was related to an improvement in left ventricular function and concomitant decreased plasma noradrenaline levels 4 weeks post MI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-966
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported, in part, by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Signature Program in Comparative Medicine and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (R01HL103942 to M.C.Z). We thank Janice A Taylor and James R Talaska of the Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope Core Facility at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for providing assistance with confocal microscopy and the Nebraska Research Initiative and the Eppley Cancer Center for their support of the Core Facility. We thank Mr. Michael O'Keefe for technical assistance and construction of equipment used during the echocardiography of the experimental rodents.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • heart failure
  • median preoptic nucleus
  • myocardial infarction
  • noradrenaline
  • superoxide dismutase

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