Cyclin D2 is a critical mediator of exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy

Stephen W. Luckey, Chris D. Haines, John P. Konhilas, Elizabeth D. Luczak, Antke Messmer-Kratzsch, Leslie A. Leinwand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A number of signaling pathways underlying pathological cardiac hypertrophy have been identified. However, few studies have probed the functional significance of these signaling pathways in the context of exercise or physiological pathways. Exercise studies were performed on females from six different genetic mouse models that have been shown to exhibit alterations in pathological cardiac adaptation and hypertrophy. These include mice expressing constitutively active glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3βS9A), an inhibitor of CaMK II (AC3-I), both GSK-3βS9A and AC3-I (GSK-3βS9A/AC3-I), constitutively active Akt (myrAkt), mice deficient in MAPK/ERK kinase kinase-1 (MEKK1−/−), and mice deficient in cyclin D2 (cyclin D2−/−). Voluntary wheel running performance was similar to NTG littermates for five of the mouse lines. Exercise induced significant cardiac growth in all mouse models except the cyclin D2−/− mice. Cardiac function was not impacted in the cyclin D2−/− mice and studies using a phospho-antibody array identified six proteins with increased phosphorylation (greater than 150%) and nine proteins with decreased phosphorylation (greater than 33% decrease) in the hearts of exercised cyclin D2−/− mice compared to exercised NTG littermate controls. Our results demonstrate that unlike the other hypertrophic signaling molecules tested here, cyclin D2 is an important regulator of both pathologic and physiological hypertrophy. Impact statement: This research is relevant as the hypertrophic signaling pathways tested here have only been characterized for their role in pathological hypertrophy, and not in the context of exercise or physiological hypertrophy. By using the same transgenic mouse lines utilized in previous studies, our findings provide a novel and important understanding for the role of these signaling pathways in physiological hypertrophy. We found that alterations in the signaling pathways tested here had no impact on exercise performance. Exercise induced cardiac growth in all of the transgenic mice except for the mice deficient in cyclin D2. In the cyclin D2 null mice, cardiac function was not impacted even though the hypertrophic response was blunted and a number of signaling pathways are differentially regulated by exercise. These data provide the field with an understanding that cyclin D2 is a key mediator of physiological hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1820-1830
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • exercise
  • physiological hypertrophy
  • signaling molecules
  • voluntary wheel running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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