The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligand FICZ Improves Left Ventricular Remodeling and Cardiac Function at the Onset of Pressure Overload-Induced Heart Failure in Mice.

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Tamayo, María
Martín Nunes, Laura
Martín Calvo, María
Martí Morente, Daniel
Gil Fernández, Marta
Gómez Hurtado, Nieves
Moro, María Ángeles
Bosca, Lisardo
Fernández Velasco, María


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International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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Adverse ventricular remodeling is the heart’s response to damaging stimuli and is linked to heart failure and poor prognosis. Formyl-indolo [3,2-b] carbazole (FICZ) is an endogenous ligand for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), through which it exerts pleiotropic effects including protection against inflammation, fibrosis, and oxidative stress. We evaluated the effect of AhR activation by FICZ on the adverse ventricular remodeling that occurs in the early phase of pressure overload in the murine heart induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Cardiac structure and function were evaluated by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) before and 3 days after Sham or TAC surgery in mice treated with FICZ or with vehicle, and cardiac tissue was used for biochemical studies. CMRI analysis revealed that FICZ improved cardiac function and attenuated cardiac hypertrophy. These beneficial effects involved the inhibition of the hypertrophic calcineurin/NFAT pathway, transcriptional reduction in pro-fibrotic genes, and antioxidant effects mediated by the NRF2/NQO1 pathway. Overall, our findings provide new insight into the role of cardiac AhR signaling in the injured heart.

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Aryl hydrocarbon receptor, Fibrosis, Cardiac hypertrophy, Oxidative stress, Cardiac remodeling, Formyl-indolo, Carbazole