The Huntington's Disease-Related Cardiomyopathy Prevents a Hypertrophic Response in the R6/2 Mouse Model
et al. (2014) The Huntington's Disease-Related Cardiomyopathy Prevents a Hypertrophic
Response in the R6/2 Mouse Model. PLoS ONE 9(9): e108961. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108961
The Huntington's Disease-Related Cardiomyopathy Prevents a Hypertrophic Response in the R6/2 Mouse Model
Michal Mielcarek 0
Marie K. Bondulich 0
Linda Inuabasi 0
Sophie A. Franklin 0
Thomas Muller 0
Gillian P. Bates 0
Xiao-Jiang Li, Emory University, United States of America
0 Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, King's College London , London , United Kingdom
Huntington's disease (HD) is neurodegenerative disorder for which the mutation results in an extra-long tract of glutamines that causes the huntingtin protein to aggregate. It is characterized by neurological symptoms and brain pathology that is associated with nuclear and cytoplasmic aggregates and with transcriptional deregulation. Despite the fact that HD has been recognized principally as a neurological disease, there are multiple epidemiological studies showing that HD patients exhibit a high rate of cardiovascular events leading to heart failure. To unravel the mechanistic basis of cardiac dysfunction in HD, we employed a wide range of molecular techniques using the well-established genetic R6/2 mouse model that develop a considerable degree of the cardiac atrophy at end stage disease. We found that chronic treatment with isoproterenol, a potent beta-adrenoreceptor agonist, did not change the overall gross morphology of the HD murine hearts. However, there was a partial response to the beta-adrenergenic stimulation by the further re-expression of foetal genes. In addition we have profiled the expression level of Hdacs in the R6/2 murine hearts and found that the isoproterenol stimulation of Hdac expression was partially blocked. For the first time we established the Hdac transcriptional profile under hypertrophic conditions and found 10 out of 18 Hdacs to be markedly deregulated. Therefore, we conclude that R6/2 murine hearts are not able to respond to the chronic isoproterenol treatment to the same degree as wild type hearts and some of the hypertrophic signals are likely attenuated in the symptomatic HD animals.
Huntingtons disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative
disorder caused by the expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ)
stretch within the huntingtin protein (HTT) . The core features
of HD are mainly neurological with a wide-spread brain pathology
that is associated with the accumulation of toxic mutant huntingtin
aggregate species . In addition, HD is also characterised by
peripheral pathological processes such as cardiac failure, weight
loss and skeletal muscle atrophy [3,4]. This might be explained by
the ubiquitous expression of HTT and its fundamental biological
functions in many cellular processes [2,5,6]. HTT is predicted to
form an elongated superhelical solenoid structure due to a large
number of HEAT motifs suggesting that it plays a scaffolding role
for protein complex formation . More than 200 HTT
interaction partners have been identified which can be classified
based on their function and include proteins that are involved in
gene transcription, intracellular signalling, trafficking, endocytosis,
and metabolism .
There are a number of factors to indicate that HD patients
experience an HD-related heart pathology reviewed by Sassone et
al . This has been supported by multiple epidemiological studies
that identified heart disease as the second cause of death in
patients with HD . A proof of concept study with an
artificial transgenic mouse model expressing either a mutant
polyQ peptide of 83 glutamines (PQ83) or a control peptide of 19
glutamines (PQ19), under the control of the a-myosin heavy chain
promoter (MyHC) to drive cardiomyocyte-specific expression,
showed a severe cardiac dysfunction and dilation leading to a
reduced lifespan . HD mouse models include the R6/2 and
R6/1 lines, that are transgenic for a mutated N-terminal exon 1
HTT fragment  and the HdhQ150 line in which an expanded
CAG repeat has been knocked into the mouse Htt gene [13,14].
Many pre-clinical studies have supported the hypothesis that
mouse models of HD do indeed develop a cardiac dysfunction
. It has been demonstrated that R6/2 mice developed
cardiac dysfunction by 8 weeks of age progressing to severe heart
failure at 12 weeks with significant alterations in mitochondrial
ultrastructure and increased levels of cardiac lysine acetylation
. In the HD symptomatic animals, pronounced functional
changes have been previously showed by cardiac MRI revealing a
contractile dysfunction, which might be a part of dilated
cardiomyopathy (DCM). This was accompanied by the
reexpression of foetal genes, apoptotic cardiomyocyte loss and a
moderate degree of interstitial fibrosis but occurred in the absence
of either mutant HTT aggregates in cardiac tissue or an
HDspecific transcriptional deregulation.
R6/1 mice have also been shown to develop unstable RR
intervals that were reversed following atropine treatment,
suggesting parasympathetic nervous activation, as well as brady- and
tachyarrhythmias, including paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and
sudden death. Collectively, R6/1 mice exhibited profound cardiac
dysfunction related to autonomic nervous system that may be
related to altered central autonomic pathways . A recent study
in the R6/2 and HdhQ150 knock-in mouse models showed that
the HD-related cardiomyopathy is caused by altered central
autonomic pathways and was not due to the accumulation of toxic
HTT aggregates as had previously been anticipated [11,18].
In this study, we took advantage of the well-characterised
betaadrenergic agonist, isoproterenol. Chronic administration
isoproterenol has been used in animals to study the mechanism of
cardiac hypertrophy and failure . Chronic infusion of
isoproterenol has been reported to induce left ventricular
hypertrophy accompanied by myocardial necrosis, apoptosis and
fibrosis. Chronic isoproterenol infusion elicits alterations in cardiac
gene expression that are consistent with the development of
myocyte hypertrophy [20,21]. Sympathetic nervous activation is a
crucial compensatory mechanism in heart failure. However, excess
catecholamine may induce cardiac dysfunction and
beta-adrenergic desensitization [20,21]. Altered alpha- and beta-adrenergic
receptor signalling is associated with cardiac hypertrophy and
failure. One of the main heart-related phenotypes in the R6/2
mouse model is a severe cardiac atrophy which may lead to
cardiac failure . Isoproterenol, a beta-adrenergic receptor
(AR) agonist is known to induce myocardial hypertrophy and
might prevent the HD-related cardiac phenotype . We
explored the importance of the HD axis in an
isoproterenolinduced model of heart failure and tested the hypothesis that in
pre-clinical settings, HD murine hearts might be resistant to
We tested the hypothesis that induction of myocardial
hypertrophy might be prevented by the HD-related cardiac
phenotypes. We administered isoproterenol (Iso) to symptomatic
R6/2 mice from 10 weeks of age for two weeks. The wild type
(WT) and R6/2 mice had comparable body weights at both the
start (Figure 1A) and end of the trial (Figure 1B) and comparable
tibia length at 12 weeks of age (Figure 1C). As expected, the heart
weight was significantly increased in the WT (Iso) group but
surprisingly not in the R6/2 (Iso) mice (Figure 1D). Consequently,
the HW/TL index (heart weight to tibia Length) was significantly
increased in the WT (Iso) group in comparison to the WT vehicle
(veh) group but there was no significant change between R6/2
(Iso) and R6/2 (veh) groups (Figure 1E). Next, to determine
whether isoproterenol treatment triggered an increased in heart
rate, we examined electrocardiogram (ECG) recordings in
conscious mice at the end of trial. We found that, WT (Iso) but
not R6/2 (Iso) treated mice had a significantly higher heart rate in
comparison to their respective vehicle groups (Figure 1F). We
conclude from this morphometric analysis that R6/2 mice do not
respond to chronic isoproterenol treatment. This was supported by
the visualisation of cardiomyocyte gross morphology with
phalloidin staining as shown in Figure 2. We have previously described
the cardiomyocyte loss in the hearts of R6/2 mice  and the
phalloidin staining indicated that isoptroterenol treatment of R6/2
mice does not lead to an improvement in cardiomyocyte disarray
or to an increase in cardiomyocytes size (Figure 2).
It is well established that chronic treatment with isoproterenol
may lead to increased fibrosis. As we previously reported, R6/2
mice develop an interstitial type of fibrosis  and this has can be
visualised in (Figure 3A). As expected WT (iso) mice displayed a
higher degree of fibrosis than their vehicle controls, while R6/2
(Iso) mice did not develop further fibrotic deposits in comparison
to the R6/2 vehicle group (Figure 3B).
Pathological changes in the heart are often associated with the
reactivation of a foetal gene programme and therefore, we assessed
the expression levels of genes known to be changed as a
consequence of cardiac hypertrophy or dilated cardiomyopathy
(DCM). We found Anp (atrial natriuretic peptide) and Bnp (brain
natriuretic peptide) to be up-regulated in WT (Iso) mice as well in
the R6/2 (Iso) animals in comparison to their respective vehicle
groups (Figure 4). Two members of the four and half only LIM
family, namely Fhl1 and Fhl2, are also typically reactivated
foetally-expressed genes. Both transcripts showed a significant
upregulation in the R6/2 and WT isoproterenol treated mice
(Figure 4). To further examine the degree of heart pathology, we
determined the expression levels of additional genes that are
typically altered in the HD diseased hearts. The multifunctional
Ca2+-binding protein S100A4 has been shown to be up regulated
in the R6/2 mice . However, isoproterenol treatment did not
cause a further up-regulation of S100A4 transcripts while a 50%
fold induction has been observed in WT (Iso) animals (Figure 5A).
Vgl-4 (vestigial related factor 4) and Vgl-3 (vestigial related factor
3) are vital co-activators of the TEF (transcription enhancer family)
and have been anticipated to be markers of cardiac hypertrophy
. Vgl-3 mRNA was significantly up-regulated in both WT
and R6/2 isoproterenol treated mice and in R6/2 mice in
comparison to WT littermates (Figure 5A), while Vgl-4 transcripts
were only elevated in the WT (Iso) group but not in R6/2
(Figure 5A). As previously shown Vgl-4 transcripts were
upregulated in the R6/2 mice in comparison to WT animals
(Figure 5A) .
Bdnf (brain derived neutrophic factor) is down-regulated in the
brain of HD mouse models  and we previously found that its
transcripts were decreased in the hearts of R6/2 mice .
Isoproterenol treatment caused a significant reduction of Bdnf
mRNA in WT animals but no further reduction has been observed
in the R6/2 (Iso) group (Figure 5A). A similar profile of
transcriptional deregulation was observed for Mck (muscle
creatinine kinase) (Figure 5A). Transcriptional enhancer family
(TEFs) members (TEAD) have been described to be involved in
the development of cardiac hypertrophy in rodents . In the
isoproterenol treated WT animals a significant induction of their
transcripts was detected for Tead-1 and Tead-3 (Figure 5B). None
of four TEF members was found to be deregulated in the
symptomatic R6/2 mice (Figure 5B). Only Tead-3 showed a
significant further up-regulation upon isoproterenol treatment in
the hearts of R6/2 animals (Figure 5B).
Figure 1. Morphometric analysis of the isoproterenol treated mice. (A) Body weight at 10 weeks of age prior to implantation of the alzet
pumps. (B) Body weight (C) tibia length (D) heart weight (E) heart weight to tibia length index (F) heart rate were measured at 12 weeks of age. The
gender-combined analysis of body weight did not detect a decrease in the R6/2 group, which may be because of a gender imbalance between the
R6/2 and WT groups. All values are mean 6 SEM (n = 8 WTveh, n = 9 WTiso, n = 14 R6/2veh, n = 14 R6/2iso). One-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post-hoc
test: *p,0.05, **p,0.01, ***p,0.001.
Figure 2. Gross cardiac morphology of the hearts treated with isoproterenol. Representative phalloidin staining (green) shows left ventricle
myocyte hypertrophy in WT mice but not in 12 week old R6/2 mice. Nuclei (blue) were visualized with DAPI. Scale bar 30 mm.
Figure 3. Moderate fibrosis level based on collagen VI deposits is not attenuated in the hearts of R6/2 mice. (A) Representative
confocal pictograms of whole heart sections from 12 week old WT and R6/2 mice. (B) Quantification of the collagen VI staining area. Fibrosis was
detected with the anti-collagen VI antibody (green) and nuclei (blue) were visualised with DAPI. Scale bar 30 mm. Values are mean 6 SEM (n = 3).
Students t test: *p,0.05, ***p,0.001.
The heart responds to pathological stresses by remodelling in a
manner that is associated with myocyte hypertrophy and recent
studies suggest key roles for histone deacetylases (HDACs) in the
control of pathological cardiac remodelling . Hence, first
we sought to monitor the transcriptional profile of Hdacs and
Sirtuins in the R6/2 mouse model. We performed a longitudinal
study in the R6/2 mouse model from 4 weeks of age
(presymptomatic) to 15 weeks (symptomatic) to evaluate the
transcriptional changes of 11 Hdacs (Figure S1) and 7 Sirtuins
(Figure S2). Hdac 3 and Hdac9 were dysregulated in 4 week old
R6/2 hearts (Figure S1A), but by 8 weeks of age the expression
level of all Hdacs was comparable to WT. (Figure S1B). However,
in the symptomatic R6/2 animals at 12 and 15 weeks of age, we
found a significant up-regulation of Hdac1, Hdac4, Hdac5, Hdac6
and Hdac8 while Hdac3 mRNA was markedly decreased (Figure
S1C and D). Of the 7 Sirtuins, Sirt 6 and Sirt 7 transcripts were
upregulated at 8 weeks of age, Sirt 1 at 12 weeks and Sirt4 and
Figure 4. Partial re-activation of foetal gene markers in the hearts of R6/2 treated with isoproterenol. Anp (atrial natriuretic peptide),
Bnp (brain natriuretic protein) and members of the four and half LIM family Fhl1 and Fhl2 were elevated in the heart of WT and R6/2 mice. All Taqman
qPCR values were normalized to the geometric mean of three housekeeping genes: Actb, Cyc1 and Gapdh. Error bars are SEM (n = 6). Two-way ANOVA
with Bonferroni post-hoc test: *p,0.05, **p,0.01; ***p,0.001.
Sirt6 at the end stage of disease in R6/2 mouse models hearts
For the first time, we showed that chronic isoproterenol
treatment caused up-regulation of Hdac1, Hdac2, Hdac4, Hdac6,
Hdac7 and Hdac8 transcripts and down-regulation of Hdac3
mRNA in WT mice (Figure 6A). In the R6/2 isoproterenol
treated mice, we only found a significant deregulation of Hdac4
and Hdac6 (Figure 6A). Sirtuins showed a minor degree of
transcriptional changes with a significant down-regulation of Sirt1
and Sirt2, while transcripts of Sirt3 and Sirt5 were significantly
up-regulated in the WT animals (Figure 6B). Only Sirt1 mRNA
was significantly down-regulated in the hearts of R6/2
isoproterenol treated mice (Figure 6B). Overall, one might conclude that
chronic stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors in the hearts of
WT mice led to a significant deregulation of specific Hdacs and
Cardiac hypertrophy represents a critical compensatory
mechanism to hemodynamic stress or injury. HD-related
cardiomyopathy has been recently characterised by aberrant gap junction
channel expression and a significant deregulation of hypertrophic
markers that may predispose them to arrhythmia and an overall
change in cardiac function. These changes were accompanied by
the re-expression of foetal genes, apoptotic cardiomyocyte loss and
a moderate degree of interstitial fibrosis in the symptomatic
It has been previously reported that the heart rate response to
the maximal single dose of isoproterenol was attenuated in the
symptomatic R6/1 HD mouse model but not in pre-symptomatic
animals in comparison to the WT littermates  and this might
indicate that the hypertrophic response in HD hearts is attenuated.
One of the strategies to unravel the mechanism of cardiac
hypertrophy and failure is a chronic administration of the
betaadrenergic receptor agonist isoproterenol . Chronic infusion of
Iso has been reported to induce left ventricular systolic and
diastolic dysfunction and left ventricular hypertrophy
accompanied by myocardial apoptosis and necrosis [20,21]. As heart
atrophy and hypertrophy are governed by similar pathways, a
better understanding of the cross talk between them may also
contribute to an elucidation of the mechanism of HD-related
cardiomyopathy. Since the proliferative capacity of adult
cardiomyocytes is rather limited, the regulation of heart size is based on
hypertrophy and atrophy at the cellular level. Interestingly the
beta-adrenergic receptor densities were not altered in the R6/2
animals based on immunohistochemistry as has been shown
In this study we aimed to provide a broad spectrum of
experimental insights into the hypertrophic response in the hearts
of R6/2 mouse model of HD. A cardiac morphometry revealed
that HD hearts were not responsive to hypertrophic stimuli in the
symptomatic animals while WT animals had developed all of the
typical characteristics of hypertrophic hearts including increased
heart weight, HW/TL index and increased heart rate in
comparison to vehicle groups. Similarly, based on
immunohistochemistry, we did not find an increased fibrosis in the hearts of
R6/2 (Iso) mice while WT animals developed a significantly
higher level of fibrotic deposits. In addition, cardiac gross
morphology did not change upon isoproterenol treatment and
there was no obvious cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, although the
pronounced cardiomyocyte disarray was still observed in the Iso
treated hearts of R6/2 mice. In contrast to the morphometry and
immunohistochemistry analysis, we found further re-activation of
foetal genes such as Anf, Fhl1 and Bnp but not Fhl2 in the
isoproterenol treated R6/2 hearts. This might suggest that the HD
hearts were able to respond at least partially to beta-adrenergic
stimulation. It has to be noted that the WT animals responded as
expected and the levels of all examined transcripts were
In addition, we analysed the expression pattern of transcripts
known to be deregulated in HD mouse models . We noted
that chronic administration of Isoproterenol did not further
modify expression of S100A4, Vgl-4, Vgl-3, Mck and Bdnf. In
addition, we found for the first time that beta adrenergic
stimulation was sufficient to modulate the expression levels of
S100a4, Vgl-3, Vgl-4 in WT animals, underlining their function
in heart hypertrophy. It has been previously proposed that TEA
domain transcription factor-1 (TEAD-1) is essential for proper
heart development. It is implicated in cardiac specific gene
expression and the hypertrophic response of primary
cardiomyocytes to hormonal and mechanical stimuli, and its activity
increases in the pressure-overloaded hypertrophied hearts. Hence,
TEAD family members have been proposed to play a crucial role
in the hypertrophic response . For the first time we identified
that Tead-1 and Tead-3 are the major players in the hypertrophic
response as their transcripts levels were significantly increased in
WT animals treated with isoproterenol. In the R6/2 mice there
was no further up-regulation of all 4 isoforms of the TEAD family.
However, only Tead-3 was clearly significantly up-regulated in the
R6/2 mice treated with isoproterenol. Also the expression pattern
of Mck and Bdnf transcripts in R6/2 hearts was similar to that in
WT animals treated with isoproterenol and was not further
modified in the R6/2 Iso treated mice.
Global protein acetylation was found to be increased in the
symptomatic R6/2 hearts based on immunohistochemistry 
and it is well know that epigenetic remodelling is crucial for
cellular differentiation and development. HDACs in the heart
control events such as hypertrophy [33,34], fibrosis ,
contractility  and energy metabolism . Global HDAC
Figure 6. Chronic administration of isoproterenol causes a significant transcriptional deregulation of many Hdacs and Sirtuins. (A)
Hdac1, Hdac2, Hdac4, Hdac6, Hdac7 and Hdac8 transcript levels were increased while Hdac3 mRNA was significantly reduced in the heart of WT mice
treated with Isoproterenol. Only Hdac4 and Hdac6 were significantly increased in the hearts of R6/2 mice. (B) Sirt3 and Sirt5 transcript levels were
significantly increased in the heart of WT mice treated with Isoproterenol. Sirt 1 and Sirt 2 were decreased in the hearts of WT mice, but only Sirt2 was
decreased in the hearts of R6/2 mice. All Taqman qPCR values were normalized to the geometric mean of three housekeeping genes: Actb, Cyc1 and
Gapdh. Error bars are SEM (n = 6). Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post-hoc test: *p,0.05, **p,0.01; ***p,0.001.
activity is increased in the hypertrophic rat hearts  and in a
model of cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury . The
mechanisms by which HDAC inhibitors suppress pathological cardiac
hypertrophy are still being elucidated. Previous studies has shown
that HDAC inhibitors can reduce cardiac hypertrophy under
pathological conditions [34,38] and may also attenuate structural
remodelling after myocardial infarction . Hence, we were
interested in profiling the expression pattern of all 18 HDACs in
the R6/2 hearts. We found that Hdac1, Hdac3, Hdac4, Hdac5,
Hdac6 and Hdac8 were significantly deregulated in the murine
R6/2 hearts at the end stage of disease. Our longitudal analysis
clearly showed that there was no difference in the expression of all
Hdacs in early symptomatic animals. Similarly we found that Sirt4
and Sirt6 transcripts were significantly up-regulated in the fully
In addition, we found the following Hdacs to be significantly
deregulated in the isoproterenol treated murine WT hearts:
Hdac1, Hdac2, Hdac3, Hdac4, Hdac6, Hdac7, Hdac8, Sirt1,
Sirt2, Sirt3 and Sirt5. Some of the findings are in line with a
previous study and confirmed a role for Hdacs in hypertrophic
signalling. For example, it has been shown that Hdac2
overexpression provokes severe cardiac hypertrophy . Hdac3
overexpression in the heart resulted in cardiomyocyte hyperplasia .
Silencing of Hdac5  and Hdac9  resulted in an
exaggerated hypertrophic response to the pressure overload and
spontaneous hypertrophy in older animals while Sirt1 inhibition
resulted in enhanced apoptosis . In the R6/2 mouse model,
chronic isoproterenol treatment caused a further deregulation of
Hdac4, Hdac6 and Sirt1 while the expression profile of others
Hdacs remained unchanged. This might indicate that chronic
treatment with isoproterenol was able to partially replicate the
expression pattern observed in the WT animals and it is likely that
some hypertrophic pathways are altered in the HD mouse models.
In conclusion, our present work shed light on mutant HTT as
novel modulator of cardiac function. Given that beta-adrenergic
signalling is a vital regulator of myocardial function, it will be
important to elucidate and explore new pathways to further
understand this complex cardiac response in HD mouse models
and potentially in clinical settings.
Materials and Methods
All experimental procedures performed on mice were
conducted under a project licence from the Home Office and approved by
the Kings College London Ethical Review Process Committee.
Mouse maintenance and breeding
Hemizygous R6/2 mice were bred by backcrossing R6/2 males
to (CBA x C57BL/6) F1 females (B6CBAF1/OlaHsd, Harlan
Olac, Bicester, UK). All animals had unlimited access to water and
breeding chow (Special Diet Services, Witham, UK), and housing
conditions and environmental enrichment were as previously
described . Mice were subject to a 12-h light/dark cycle. All
experimental procedures were performed according to Home
Genomic DNA was isolated from an ear-punch. R6/2 mice
were genotyped by PCR and the CAG repeat length was
measured as previously described  and listed in Table S1.
Dissected tissues were snap frozen in liquid nitrogen or embedded
in OCT and stored at 280uC until further analysis.
Chronic treatment with Isoproterenol
Isoproterenol hydrochloride was prepared fresh, diluted in PBS
(SIGMA, I6504-1G lot 018K5003). Mini osmotic pumps (Alzet
pumps Model 2002, Charles River 0000296) were loaded with
200 ml of either vehicle or isoproterenol at a dose of 220 mg/g/day
to allow diffusion at 0.5 ml/hour for 14 days. Animals were initially
anesthetized with 5% isoflurane, and then anaesthesia was
maintained at ,1.5% isoflurane throughout the surgical
procedure. Alzet pumps were implanted subcutaneously onto the back
of the mouse and the skin was stapled together using wound
clippers. After 14 days the mice were culled and their hearts taken
for analysis. Mice were randomised from litters born as closely
RNA extraction and Taqman real-time PCR expression
Total RNA from whole hearts was extracted with the
miniRNA kit according to manufacturers instructions (Qiagen). The
reverse transcription reaction (RT) was performed using MMLV
superscript reverse transcriptase (Invitrogen) and random
hexamers (Operon) as described elsewhere . The final RT reaction
was diluted 10-fold in nuclease free water (Sigma). All Taqman
qPCR reactions were performed as described previously  using
the Chromo4 Real-Time PCR Detector (BioRad). Estimation of
mRNA copy number was determined in triplicate for each RNA
sample by comparison to the geometric mean of three endogenous
housekeeping genes (Primer Design) as described . Primer and
probe sets for genes of interest were purchased from Primer Design
Immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy
For immunohistochemical studies, hearts were snap frozen in
liquid nitrogen, or frozen in isopentane at 250uC, or incubated
overnight in 4% PFA followed by overnight incubations in 20%
and 30% sucrose in PBS, prior to embedding in OCT and storage
at 280uC. 1015 mm sections were cut using a cryostat (Bright
instruments), air dried and immersed in 4% PFA in PBS or in
acetone at 220uC for 15 min and washed for 365 min in 0.1%
PBS-Triton X-100. Blocking was achieved by incubation with 5%
BSA-C (Aurion) in 0.1% PBS-Triton X-100 for at least 30 min at
RT. Immunolabeling with primary antibodies was performed in
0.1% PBS-Triton X-100, 1% BSA-C overnight in a humidity box
at 4uC as described previously . Sections were washed 36 in
PBS, incubated for 60 min at RT in a dark box with the
antirabbit (FITC Invitrogen 1:1000 in PBS), washed 36 in PBS and
counterstained with DAPI (Invitrogen). Sections were mounted in
Vectashield mounting medium (Vector Laboratories). Sections
were examined using the Leica TCS SP4 laser scanning confocal
microscope and analysed with Leica Application Suite (LAS) v5
(Leica Microsystems, Heidelberg, Germany).
ECG evaluation in conscious mice
Heart rate was monitored using the ECGenie apparatus (Mouse
Specifics, Inc., Boston, MA, USA). This device is a
PowerLabbased system that acquires signal through disposable footpad
electrodes located in the floor of a 6.5 cm by 7 cm recording
platform. Heart rate was determined from the average of the RR
Figure S1 Longitude changes in Hdac gene expression
in the hearts of R6/2 mice. Transcript levels of 11 Hdacs were
monitored in the hearts of pre- and symptomatic R6/2 mice at (A)
4 weeks, (B) 8 weeks, (C) 12 weeks and (D) 15 week of age. All
Taqman qPCR values were normalized to the geometric mean of
Figure S2 Longitude changes in the Sirtuin expression
in the hearts of R6/2 mice. Transcript levels of 7 Sirtuins
were monitored in the hearts of pre- and symptomatic R6/2 mice
at (A) 4 weeks, (B) 8 weeks, (C) 12 weeks and (D) 15 weeks od age.
All Taqman qPCR values were normalized to the geometric mean
of three housekeeping genes: Actb, Cyc1 and Gapdh. Error bars are
SEM (n = 6). Student t-test: *p,0.05, **p,0.01; ***p,0.001.
Conceived and designed the experiments: MM. Performed the
experiments: MM MKB SAF LI TM. Analyzed the data: MM. Contributed
reagents/materials/analysis tools: GPB. Wrote the paper: MM GPB.
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