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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of caffeine on expression of cardiac myosin heavy chain gene in adult hypothyroid and fetal rats.

Changes in cardiac myosin heavy chain (MHC) gene expression and isozyme transitions have been shown to be caused by developmental changes, hemodynamic overload, or the activity of various hormones. In this study, to examine whether caffeine, which has teratogenic effects on the fetal cardiovascular system, causes the distribution of cardiac MHC phenotype and, if so, to evaluate the mechanisms of the distribution of cardiac MHC phenotype by caffeine, we examined the effects of caffeine, theophylline, and cAMP on the cardiac MHC isoform transitions at the gene and protein levels using hypothyroid adult rats. Furthermore, we examined the expression of alpha- and beta-MHC gene in cardiac muscles of fetuses whose dams had received caffeine. The results showed that caffeine, theophylline, and cAMP caused accumulations of alpha-MHC mRNA and MHC isozyme V1. Furthermore, in the fetal hearts, it was recognized that caffeine induced an accumulation of alpha-MHC gene expression, as was also seen in the dams. However, this effect of caffeine on the heart was stronger in the fetus than in the dam. Intracellular cAMP concentration was increased by the administration of caffeine, theophylline, or cAMP, and the levels showed a positive correlation with those of alpha-MHC mRNA. These results suggest that the induction of alpha-MHC mRNA expression by the administration of caffeine may be induced by an increase in intracellular cAMP concentration.[1]


  1. Effect of caffeine on expression of cardiac myosin heavy chain gene in adult hypothyroid and fetal rats. Imamura, S., Kimura, M., Hiratsuka, E., Takao, A., Matsuoka, R. Circ. Res. (1992) [Pubmed]
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