Beta-blocker timolol alleviates hyperglycemia-induced cardiac damage via inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum stress

Cicek F. A. , Toy A., Tuncay E., Can B., Turan B.

JOURNAL OF BIOENERGETICS AND BIOMEMBRANES, vol.46, no.5, pp.377-387, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10863-014-9568-6
  • Page Numbers: pp.377-387


Current data support that pharmacological modulators of endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) have therapeutic potential for diabetic individuals. Therefore, we aimed to examine whether timolol, having free radical-scavenger action, besides being a beta-blocker, exerts a cardioprotective effect via inhibition of ERS response in diabetic rats in a comparison with an antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Histopathological data showed that either timolol- or NAC-treatment of diabetic rats prevented the changes in mitochondria and nucleus of the cardiac tissue while they enhanced the cellular redox-state in heart as well. The levels of ER-targeted cytoprotective chaperones GRP78 and calnexin, unfolded protein response signaling protein CHO/Gadd153 besides the levels of calpain, BCL-2, phospho-Akt, PUMA, and PML in the hearts from diabetic rats, treated with either timolol or NAC, are found to be similar among these groups, although all these parameters were markedly preserved in the untreated diabetics compared to those of the controls. Taken into consideration how important a balanced-ratio between anti-apoptotic and pro-apoptotic proteins for the maintenance mitochondria/ER function, our results suggest that ERS in diabetic rat heart is mediated by increased oxidative damage, which in turn triggers cardiac dysfunction. Moreover, we also demonstrated that timolol treatment of diabetic rats, similar to NAC treatment, induced a well-controlled redox-state and apoptosis in cardiac myocardium. We, thus for the first time, report that cardioprotective effect of timolol seems to be associated with normalization of ER function due to its antioxidant action in cardiomyocytes even under hyperglycemia.