WISP1, a pro-mitogenic, pro-survival factor, mediates tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-stimulated cardiac fibroblast proliferation but inhibits TNF-α-induced cardiomyocyte death

Kaliyamurthi Venkatachalam, Balachander Venkatesan, Anthony J. Valente, Peter C. Melby, Sailesh Nandish, Jane E.B. Reusch, Robert A. Clark, Bysani Chandrasekar

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72 Scopus citations


WNT1-inducible signaling pathway protein-1 (WISP1), a member of the CYR61/CTGF/Nov family of growth factors, can mediate cell growth, transformation, and survival. Previously we demonstrated that WISP1 is up-regulated in post-infarct heart, stimulates cardiac fibroblast proliferation, and is induced by the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Here we investigated (i) the localization of TNF-α and WISP1 in post-infarct heart, (ii) the mechanism of TNF-α-mediated WISP1 induction in primary human cardiac fibroblasts (CF), (iii) the role of WISP1 in TNF-α-mediated CF proliferation and collagen production, and (iv) the effects of WISP1 on TNF-α-mediated cardiomyocyte death. TNF-α and WISP1 expressions were increased in the border zones and nonischemic remote regions of the post-ischemic heart. In CF, TNF-α potently induced WISP1 expression in cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB)-dependent manner. TNF-α induced CREB phosphorylation in vitro and DNA binding and reporter gene activities in vivo. TNF-α induced CREB activation via ERK1/2, and inhibition of ERK1/2 and CREB blunted TNF-α-mediated WISP1 induction. Most importantly, WISP1 knockdown attenuated TNF-α stimulated collagen production and CF proliferation. Furthermore, WISP1 attenuated TNF-α-mediated cardiomyocyte death, thus demonstrating pro-mitogenic and pro-survival effects for WISP1 in myocardial constituent cells. Our results suggest that a TNF-α/WISP1 signaling pathway may contribute to post-infarct cardiac remodeling, a condition characterized by fibrosis and progressive cardiomyocyte loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14414-14427
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 22 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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