Does inorganic arsenic in drinking water lead to cardiac hypertrophy? In this episode, host Dominic Del Re (Rutgers New Jersey Medical School) interviews lead author Mark Kohr (Johns Hopkins University) and expert Nicole Purcell (Huntington Medical Research Institutes) about the new study by Kohr and colleagues, which studied the effects of an environmentally-relevant level of inorganic arsenic in the drinking water of male and female mice. Kabir et al were inspired by the public health crisis in Bangladesh caused by arsenic contaminated drinking water. In their study the authors found increased systolic blood pressure, increased LV mass and wall thickness, and induction of the fetal gene program in male mice, but not in female mice. Kohr and co-authors found arsenic promoted calcineurin NFAT signaling but did not disrupt nitric oxide-dependent mechanisms of cardioprotection. The authors uncover sex differences in the cardiovascular response to arsenic, as well as a clear mechanistic link between this environmental risk factor – arsenic in drinking water – and cardiac pathology. Can this work be translated on a larger scale to inspire everyday interventions to mitigate adverse environmental effects on human heart health? To find out, listen now.
Raihan Kabir, Prithvi Sinha, Sumita Mishra, Obialunanma V. Ebenebe, Nicole Taube, Chistian U. Oeing, Gizem Keceli, Rui Chen, Nazareno Paolocci, Ana Rule, Mark J. Kohr Inorganic arsenic induces sex-dependent pathological hypertrophy in the heart Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published March 24, 2021. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00435.2020