Modulation of catecholamine responsiveness and β-adrenergic receptor/adenylyl cyclase pathway during cardiac allograft rejection

Gábor Szabó, Susanne Bährle, Martin Braun, Nicole Stumpf, Christian F. Vahl, Siegfried Hagl

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Background. This study investigated the changes of catecholamine responsiveness and β-adrenergic receptor/adenylyl cyclase pathway during acute cardiac transplant rejection. Methods. Isogeneic Lewis to Lewis and allogeneic Dark Agouti (DA) to Lewis rat cardiac transplants were studied 3 and 5 days after heterotopic intraabdominal transplantation (n=6/group). Myocardial blood flow (MBF), left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP), maximum pressure development (+dP/dt), and end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) were measured using an intraventricular balloon. Contractile response to dobutamine (5 μg/kg/min) was also assessed. In separate groups β-adrenergic receptor density and adenylyl cyclase activity were measured in the grafts, in the recipients' native hearts and in native hearts of sham-operated controls. Results. During mild to moderate rejection cardiac function indices remained unchanged, although MBF and contractile response to dobutamine decreased significantly (P<0.05) in the allogeneic group. The β-adrenergic receptor density was significantly (P<0.05) increased in both isografts and allografts and in the native hearts of allografted recipients in comparison to native hearts of controls. Adenylyl cyclase activity showed a significant decrease (P<0.05) only in allografts. During severe rejection, LVSP and +dP/dt decreased and LVEDP increased in allografts in comparison to isografts (P<0.05). This was accompanied by a significant decrease in MBF, contractile response to dobutamine, β-adrenergic receptor density, and adenylyl cyclase activity (P<0.05). Conclusions. Both microcirculatory disturbances and primary alteration in adenylyl cyclase activity may contribute to decreased contractile reserve in mild to moderate cardiac allograft rejection, whereas β-adrenergic receptor density seems to be also influenced by cardiac denervation. Severe rejection leads to systolic and diastolic heart failure with complex dysregulation of the β-adrenergic receptor/adenylyl cyclase pathway and impaired microcirculation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 27 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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