SERCA overexpression reduces reperfusion-mediated cardiac microvascular damage through inhibition of the calcium/MCU/mPTP/necroptosis signaling pathways

Chen Li, Qinghui Ma, Sam Toan, Jin Wang, Hao Zhou, Jianqiu Liang

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38 Scopus citations


Endothelial cells lining the microvasculature are particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of cardiac ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury, a susceptibility that is partially mediated by dysregulated intracellular calcium signals. Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) functions to recycle calcium from the cytosol back to the endoplasmic reticulum. The purpose of this study is to explore the roles and mechanisms of SERCA in protecting microcirculation against cardiac I/R injury. Our data showed that overexpression of SERCA significantly reduced I/R-induced luminal stenosis and vascular wall edema, possibly through normalization of the ratio between eNOS and ET-1. I/R-induced erythrocyte morphological changes in micro-vessels could be reversed by SERCA overexpression through transcriptional inhibition of the expression of adhesive factors. In addition, SERCA-sustained endothelial barrier integrity reduced the likelihood of inflammatory cells infiltrating the myocardium. Furthermore, we found that SERCA overexpression attenuated intracellular calcium overload, suppressed mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) expression, and prevented the abnormal opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pores (mPTP) in I/R-treated cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (CMECs). Interestingly, the administration of calcium activator or MCU agonist induced endothelial necroptosis in vitro and thus abolished the microvascular protection afforded by SERCA in reperfused heart tissue in vivo. In conclusion, by using gene delivery strategies to specifically target SERCA in vitro and in vivo, we identify a potential novel pathway by which SERCA overexpression protects microcirculation against cardiac I/R injury in a manner dependent on the calcium/MCU/necroptosis pathway. These findings should be taken into consideration in the development of pharmacological strategies for therapeutic interventions against cardiac microvascular I/R injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101659
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is supported by Medical Research Project of Foshan Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning (No: 20180099 ), Key Specialist Department Training Project of Foshan City, Guangdong Province of China (No: Fspy3-2015020 ), Key Medical Specialist Construction Project of Foshan during the 13th Five-Year Plan Period (No: FSZDZK135027 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Calcium
  • Cardiac microvascular I/R injury
  • Endothelial cells
  • Necroptosis


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