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Pressure mediated hypertrophy and mechanical stretch up-regulate expression of the long form of leptin receptor (ob-Rb) in rat cardiac myocytes

Hiroki Matsui1, Tomoyuki Yokoyama1*, Chie Tanaka1, Hiroaki Sunaga1, Norimichi Koitabashi2, Takako Takizawa2, Masashi Arai2 and Masahiko Kurabayashi2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Laboratory Sciences, Gunma University Graduate School of Health Sciences, 3-39-22, Showa-machi, Maebashi 371-8514, Japan

2 Department of Medicine and Biological Sciences, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-39-22, Showa-machi, Maebashi, 371-8514, Japan

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BMC Cell Biology 2012, 13:37  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-13-37

Published: 27 December 2012



Hyperleptinemia is known to participate in cardiac hypertrophy and hypertension, but the relationship between pressure overload and leptin is poorly understood. We therefore examined the expression of leptin (ob) and the leptin receptor (ob-R) in the pressure-overloaded rat heart. We also examined gene expressions in culture cardiac myocytes to clarify which hypertension-related stimulus induces these genes.


Pressure overload was produced by ligation of the rat abdominal aorta, and ob and ob-R isoform mRNAs were measured using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We also measured these gene expressions in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes treated with angiotensin II (ANGII), endothelin-1 (ET-1), or cyclic mechanical stretch. Leptin and the long form of the leptin receptor (ob-Rb) gene were significantly increased 4 weeks after banding, but expression of the short form of the leptin receptor (ob-Ra) was unchanged. ob-Rb protein expression was also detected by immunohistochemistry in hypertrophied cardiac myocytes after banding. Meanwhile, plasma leptin concentrations were not different between the control and banding groups. In cultured myocytes, ANGII and ET-1 increased only ob mRNA expression. However, mechanical stretch activated both ob and ob-Rb mRNA expression in a time-dependent manner, but ob-Ra mRNA was unchanged by any stress.


We first demonstrated that both pressure mediated hypertrophy and mechanical stretch up-regulate ob-Rb gene expression in heart and cardiac myocytes, which are thought to be important for leptin action in cardiac myocytes. These results suggest a new local mechanism by which leptin affects cardiac remodeling in pressure-overloaded hearts.

Obesity; Cardiac hypertrophy; Pressure overload