Cardiac-specific overexpression of phospholamban alters calcium kinetics and resultant cardiomyocyte mechanics in transgenic mice

Vivek J. Kadambi, Sathivel Ponniah, Judy M. Harrer, Brian D. Hoit, Gerald W. Dorn, Richard A. Walsh, Evangelia G. Kranias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Phospholamban is the regulator of the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+-ATPase activity and an important modulator of basal contractility in the heart. To determine whether all the SR Ca2+-ATPase enzymes are subject to regulation by phospholamban in vivo, transgenic mice were generated which overexpressed phospholamban in the heart, driven by the cardiac-specific α- myosin heavy chain promoter. Quantitative immunoblotting revealed a twofold increase in the phospholamban protein levels in transgenic hearts compared to wild type littermate hearts. The transgenic mice showed no phenotypic alterations and no changes in heart/body weight, heart/lung weight, and cardiomyocyte size. Isolated unloaded cardiac myocytes from transgenic mice exhibited diminished shortening fraction (63%) and decreased rates of shortening (64%) and relengthening (55%) compared to wild type (100%) cardiomyocytes. The decreases in contractile parameters of transgenic cardiomyocytes reflected decreases in the amplitude (83%) of the Ca2+ signal and prolongation (131%) in the time for decay of the Ca2+ signal, which was associated with a decrease in the apparent affinity of the SR Ca2+-ATPase for Ca2+ (56%), compared to wild type (100%) cardiomyocytes. In vivo analysis of left ventricular systolic function using M mode and pulsed-wave Doppler echocardiography revealed decreases in fractional shortening (79%) and the normalized mean velocity of circumferential shortening (67%) in transgenic mice compared to wild type (100%) mice. The differences in contractile parameters and Ca2+ kinetics in transgenic cardiomyocytes and the depressed left ventricular systolic function in transgenic mice were abolished upon isoproterenol stimulation. These findings indicate that a fraction of the Ca2+-ATPases in native SR is not under regulation by phospholamban. Expression of additional phospholamban molecules results in: (a) inhibition of SR Ca2+ transport; (b) decreases in systolic Ca2+ levels and contractile parameters in ventricular myocytes; and (c) depression of basal left ventricular systolic function in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1996


  • cardiomyocyte
  • left ventricular function
  • overexpression
  • phospholamban
  • transgenic


Dive into the research topics of 'Cardiac-specific overexpression of phospholamban alters calcium kinetics and resultant cardiomyocyte mechanics in transgenic mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this