Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) has well-known neuroprotective effects, and one of the main factors leading to neuroprotection seems to be its anti-apoptotic effects. The peptide and its receptors are present also in the heart, but whether PACAP can be protective in cardiomyocytes, is not known. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of PACAP on oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in cardiomyocytes. Our results show that PACAP increased cell viability by attenuating H2O2-induced apoptosis in a cardiac myocyte culture. PACAP also decreased caspase-3 activity and increased the expression of the anti-apoptotic markers Bcl-2 and phospho-Bad. These effects of PACAP were counteracted by the PACAP antagonist PACAP6-38. In summary, our results show that PACAP is able to attenuate oxidative stress-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience