IL-13 promotes in vivo neonatal cardiomyocyte cell cycle activity and heart regeneration
American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology
There is great interest in identifying signaling mechanisms by which cardiomyocytes (CMs) can enter the cell cycle and promote endogenous cardiac repair. We have previously demonstrated that IL-13 stimulated cell cycle activity of neonatal CMs in vitro. However, the signaling events that occur downstream of IL-13 in CMs and the role of IL-13 in CM proliferation and regeneration in vivo have not been explored. Here, we tested the role of IL-13 in promoting neonatal CM cell cycle activity and
... le activity and heart regeneration in vivo and investigated the signaling pathway(s) downstream of IL-13 specifically in CMs. Compared with control, CMs from neonatal IL-13 knockout (IL-13-/-) mice showed decreased proliferative markers and coincident upregulation of the hypertrophic marker brain natriuretic peptide ( Nppb) and increased CM nuclear size. After apical resection in anesthetized newborn mice, heart regeneration was significantly impaired in IL-13-/- mice compared with wild-type mice. Administration of recombinant IL-13 reversed these phenotypes by increasing CM proliferation markers and decreasing Nppb expression. RNA sequencing on primary neonatal CMs treated with IL-13 revealed activation of gene networks regulated by ERK1/2 and Akt. Western blot confirmed strong phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and Akt in both neonatal and adult cultured CMs in response to IL-13. Our data demonstrated a role for endogenous IL-13 in neonatal CM cell cycle and heart regeneration. ERK1/2 and Akt signaling are important pathways known to promote CM proliferation and protect against apoptosis, respectively; thus, targeting IL-13 transmembrane receptor signaling or administering recombinant IL-13 may be therapeutic approaches for activating proregenerative and survival pathways in the heart. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Here, we demonstrate, for the first time, that IL-13 is involved in neonatal cardiomyocyte cell cycle activity and heart regeneration in vivo. Prior work has shown that IL-13 promotes cardiomyocyte cell cycle activity in vitro; however, the signaling pathways were unknown. We used RNA sequencing to identify the signaling pathways activated downstream of IL-13 in cardiomyocytes and found that ERK1/2 and Akt signaling was activated in response to IL-13.