B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2001 for the treatment of heart failure. However, the effects of BNP in clinical applications are controversial and uncertain. Recently, study indicated that high BNP levels are associated with an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. In this study, we investigated the direct effects of BNP on TNF-α-induced atrial fibrosis mice, as well as its effects on human atrial myofibroblasts. We found that injecting TNF-α-induced mice with recombinant human BNP enhanced atrial fibrosis via matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression and collagen accumulation. Furthermore, we found that BNP stimulated MMP-2 expression in human atrial myofibroblasts. Treatment of human atrial myofibroblasts with cycloheximide had no effect on this outcome; however, treatment of cells with MG132 enhanced BNP-induced MMP-2 expression, indicating that protein stability and inhibition of proteasome-mediated protein degradation pathways are potentially involved. Inhibition of SIRT1 significantly decreased BNP-induced MMP-2 expression. Additionally, confocal and coimmunoprecipitation data indicated that BNP-regulated MMP-2 expression are likely to be mediated through direct interaction with SIRT1, which is thought to deacetylate MMP-2 and to increase its protein stability in human atrial myofibroblasts. Finally, we confirmed that SIRT1 is expressed and cytoplasmically redistributed as well as colocalized with MMP-2 in mouse fibrotic atrial tissue. We suggest a possible fibrosis-promoting role of BNP in the atrium, although the antifibrotic properties of BNP in the ventricle have been reported in previous studies, and that the coordination between MMP-2 and SIRT1 in BNP-induced atrial myofibroblasts participates in atrial fibrosis.
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