Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Most cases of AMI result from coronary atherosclerosis (AS). The pathogenic mechanisms underlying AS lesions and AMI are incompletely understood. Calcium-sensing receptors (CaSR) belong to a family of G-protein-coupled receptors. We previously discovered that CaSR was expressed in the heart tissue of adult rats. CaSR may contribute to AMI in AS. We initially established a rat model of AS by injection of vitamin D3 and feeding with a high-fat diet. Isoproterenol (ISO) was used to induce AMI. The MB isoenzyme of creatine kinase (CK-MB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), cardiac troponin T (cTnT), tetrazolium chloride staining, and cardiac function parameters were selected as indicators of myocardial damage or necrosis. Cardiac apoptosis was analyzed by transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Expression of CaSR, Bcl-2, Bax, caspase-3, p-ERK1/2, p-JNK, and p-p38 were determined by Western blot analysis. Compared with the control group, levels of cTnT, CK-MB, and LDH; number of TUNEL-positive cells; and expression of CaSR, Bax, caspase-3, p-ERK1/2, p-JNK and p-p38, were significantly increased, whereas cardiac function and expression of Bcl-2 were decreased markedly in isoproterenol (ISO)-treated group (C/ISO) and AS groups. These changes were significant in the AS/ISO group than in the C/ISO group or AS group. The upregulation of CaSR during AS formation renders hypersensitivity to AMI. Activation of the pro-apoptotic mitochondria pathway and JNK-p38 MAPK pathway triggered by increased expression of CaSR may be one of molecular mechanisms underlying AMI in AS.
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