Wang Wang , MSc, Shaun M.K. McKinnie , BSc, Vaibhav B. Patel , PhD, George Haddad , PhD, Zuocheng Wang , PhD, Pavel Zhabyeyev , PhD, Subhash K. Das , MSc, Ratnadeep Basu , MD, Brent McLean , BSc, Vijay Kandalam , PhD, Josef M. Penninger , MD, Zamaneh Kassiri , PhD, John C. Vederas , PhD, Allan G. Murray , MD, Gavin Y. Oudit , MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
23 August 2013
Coronary artery disease leading to myocardial ischemia is the most common cause of heart failure. Apelin (APLN), the endogenous peptide ligand of the APJ receptor, has emerged as a novel regulator of the cardiovascular system.
Here we show a critical role of APLN in myocardial infarction (MI) and ischemia‐reperfusion (IR) injury in patients and animal models. Myocardial APLN levels were reduced in patients with ischemic heart failure. Loss of APLN increased MI‐related mortality, infarct size, and inflammation with drastic reductions in prosurvival pathways resulting in greater systolic dysfunction and heart failure. APLN deficiency decreased vascular sprouting, impaired sprouting of human endothelial progenitor cells, and compromised in vivo myocardial angiogenesis. Lack of APLN enhanced susceptibility to ischemic injury and compromised functional recovery following ex vivo and in vivo IR injury. We designed and synthesized two novel APLN analogues resistant to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 cleavage and identified one analogue, which mimicked the function of APLN, to be markedly protective against ex vivo and in vivo myocardial IR injury linked to greater activation of survival pathways and promotion of angiogenesis.