Blockade of the acute activation of mTOR complex 1 decreases hypertrophy development in rats with severe aortic valve regurgitation.

PMID 26306297


Hypertrophy (H) is an adaptive response of the heart to a hemodynamic overload. Severe left ventricular (LV) volume overload (VO) from valve regurgitations (aortic (AR) or mitral regurgitation) leads to eccentric LVH. Increased protein turnover is a major event during development of LVH and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key molecule for its control. The role of mTOR inhibition in the development of LVH using rapamycin for relatively short periods of time (days to a few weeks) has been studied in the past in pressure overload models but not in VO models. We investigated if mTOR pathway was activated during LVH development in a model of severe VO (AR) in rats and if a rapamycin treatment can slow heart remodeling in this situation. Male rats with severe AR were studied acutely at 2 days, at 8 weeks (compensated phase) and 6 months (late phase) after VO induction. mTOR complex (mTORC) 1 (ribosomal S6 protein phosphorylation) was activated early after AR induction but not later in the disease whereas mTORC2 activity levels (Akt phosphorylation at Ser473) remained stable. We observed that a moderate dose of rapamycin (2 mg/kg/day; orally) for 8 weeks prevented severe LVH caused by AR (-46 %: p < 0.001). Rapamycin treatment specifically inhibited LV mTORC1 without altering mTORC2 activity at 8 weeks. Rapamycin also prevented cardiac myocyte hypertrophy caused by AR. Rapamycin slows hypertrophy in LV VO by inhibiting early activation of mTORC1 without modulating mTORC2.