Circadian rhythms are biorhythms with a 24-hour period that are regulated by molecular clocks. Several clinical and animal models have been developed to analyze the role of these rhythms in cardiovascular physiology, disease and therapy, but a convenient in vitro model that mimics both molecular and functional circadian effects of the heart is not available. Therefore, we established a neonatal rat cardiomyocyte model that recapitulates in vivo circadian rhythmicity, as measured by anti-phasic oscillatory mRNA expression of two core clock genes, Bmal1 and Per2 and that shows functional dependence on the clock as indicated by an oscillating response in apoptosis induced by doxorubicin, hydroperoxide or hypoxia. In addition, perturbation of the cardiac clock by the use of several compounds including Resveratrol and Ex-527 was found to result in loss of functional rhythmicity. This indicates that neonatal rat cardiomyocytes are a good model to investigate the cardiac circadian clock as well as a system that allows for fast and easy preclinical testing of the influence of compounds on circadian rhythmicity that might have crucial effects on cardiac health.
- Journal Article