Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), the most common genetic cardiac disorder, is frequently caused by mutations in MYBPC3, encoding cardiac myosin-binding protein C (cMyBP-C). Moreover, HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young athletes. Interestingly, SCD is more likely to occur in male than in female athletes. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to sex-specific differences are poorly understood. Therefore, we studied the effect of sex and exercise on functional properties of the heart and sarcomeres in mice carrying a MYBPC3 point mutation (G > A transition in exon 6) associated with human HCM. Echocardiography followed by isometric force measurements in left ventricular (LV) membrane-permeabilized cardiomyocytes was performed in wild-type (WT) and heterozygous (HET) knock-in mice of both sex (N = 5 per group) in sedentary mice and mice that underwent an 8-week voluntary wheel-running exercise protocol. Isometric force measurements in single cardiomyocytes revealed a lower maximal force generation (Fmax) of the sarcomeres in male sedentary HET (13.0 ± 1.1 kN/m2) compared to corresponding WT (18.4 ± 1.8 kN/m2) male mice. Exercise induced a higher Fmax in HET male mice, while it did not affect HET females. Interestingly, a low cardiac troponin I bisphosphorylation, increased myofilament Ca2+-sensitivity, and LV hypertrophy were particularly observed in exercised HET females. In conclusion, in sedentary animals, contractile differences are seen between male and female HET mice. Male and female HET hearts adapted differently to a voluntary exercise protocol, indicating that physiological stimuli elicit a sexually dimorphic cardiac response in heterozygous MYBPC3-targeted knock-in mice.

Cardiac myosin-binding protein C, Exercise, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Sex differences
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00424-014-1570-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/62709
Pfluegers Archiv: European journal of physiology
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Najafi, A, Schlossarek, S, van Deel, E.D, van den Heuvel, N, Güçlü, A, Goebel, M, … van der Velden, J. (2014). Sexual dimorphic response to exercise in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-associated MYBPC3-targeted knock-in mice. Pfluegers Archiv: European journal of physiology. doi:10.1007/s00424-014-1570-7