Cardiomyocyte apoptosis in hypertensive cardiomyopathy
González A., Fortuño M.A., Querejeta R., Ravassa S., López B., López N., Díez J.
Division of Cardiovascular Pathophysiology, Centre for Applied Medical Research, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
It is widely accepted that there are two principal forms of cell death; namely, necrosis and apoptosis.
According to the classical view, necrosis is the major mechanism of cardiomyocyte death in cardiac diseases. However, in the past few years observations have been made showing that cardiomyocyte apoptosis occurs in diverse conditions and that apoptosis may be a contributing cause of the loss and functional abnormalities of cardiomyocytes with important pathophysiological consequences.
In this regard, although a number of formal proofs are pending, it is conceivable that cardiomyocyte apoptosis may be an important variable in the clinical evolution of hypertensive cardiomyopathy.
This review summarizes recent evidence demonstrating that cardiomyocyte apoptosis is abnormally stimulated in the heart of animals and humans with arterial hypertension. In addition, the potential mechanisms of cardiomyocyte apoptosis in hypertension and its detrimental impact on cardiac function will be addressed.
Finally, the perspectives of strategies aimed to detect and modulate apoptosis of cardiomyocytes in hypertensive cardiomyopathy will be considered.
CITATION Cardiovasc Res. 2003 Sep 1;59(3):549-62