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Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2017;70:16-24 - Vol. 70 Num.01 DOI: 10.1016/j.rec.2016.04.034

PI3Kγ Inhibition Protects Against Diabetic Cardiomyopathy in Mice

Angelo Maffei a, Giuseppe Cifelli a, Raimondo Carnevale a, Roberta Iacobucci a, Fabio Pallante a, Valentina Fardella a, Stefania Fardella a, Emilio Hirsch b, Giuseppe Lembo a,c, Daniela Carnevale a,c,

a Department of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine, IRCCS Neuromed, Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo, Pozzilli, Isernia, Italy
b Department of Molecular Biotechnologies and Health Sciences, University of Torino, Turin, Italy
c Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy


Diabetes mellitus. Cardiomyopathy. Investigational drugs. PI3Kγ protein. Mouse.


Introduction and objectives

Cardiovascular diseases, including cardiomyopathy, are the major complications in diabetes. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to cardiomyopathy is critical for developing novel therapies. We proposed phosphoinositide3-kinase gamma (PI3Kγ) as a molecular target against diabetic cardiomyopathy, given the role of PI3Kγ in cardiac remodeling to pressure overload. Given the availability of a pharmacological inhibitor of this molecular target GE21, we tested the validity of our hypothesis by inducing diabetes in mice with genetic ablation of PI3Kγ or knock-in for a catalytically inactive PI3Kγ.


Mice were made diabetic by streptozotocin. Cardiac function was assessed by serial echocardiographic analyses, while fibrosis and inflammation were evaluated by histological analysis.


Diabetes induced cardiac dysfunction in wild-type mice. Systolic dysfunction was completely prevented, and diastolic dysfunction was partially blocked, in both PI3Kγ knock-out and kinase-dead mice. Cardiac dysfunction was similarly rescued by administration of the PI3Kγ inhibitor GE21 in a dose-dependent manner. These actions of genetic and pharmacological PI3Kγ inhibition were associated with a decrease in inflammation and fibrosis in diabetic hearts.


Our study demonstrates a fundamental role of PI3Kγ in diabetic cardiomyopathy in mice and the beneficial effect of pharmacological PI3Kγ inhibition, highlighting its potential as a promising strategy for clinical treatment of cardiac complications of diabetic patients.

1885-5857/© 2017 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved