Lusitrophic effects of dobutamine in young and aged mice in vivo

Emily D. Hirleman, Qianli Yu, Douglas F. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aged individuals have impaired diastolic relaxation-lusitropic function. Dobutamine, a selective B1-adrenergic agonist, is used to augment systolic cardiac function at the termination of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). However, our question is whether dobutamine will also enhance the lusitropic function in the aged individual. The myocyte mechanism for the rate of ventricular relaxation is dependent on the velocity of calcium removal from the myocyte contractile elements by sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca 2+-ATPase (SERCA2a), which is regulated by an inhibitory protein, phospholamban (PLB). Ventricular tissues harvested from young (4 month) and aged (20 months) mice were analyzed to compare the protein levels of SERCA2a and PLB with immunoblot and gene expression for PLB with reverse-transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction. The molecular analyses were compared with in vivo left ventricular function in the young and old mice before and during an intravenous infusion of dobutamine (5 μg/kg/min). The SERCA2a levels were not different between the groups; however, there was a 2-fold increase in PLB in the aged group compared with the young group (p < .05). The gene expression for PLB was increased by 5-fold in the aged group compared with the young group (p < .01). There were significant differences between the young and aged groups related to the lusitropic parameters, tau (τ) and dP/dt min, and dobutamine infusion increased these parameters in the aged group to that of the young group. This report supports the concept that altered PLB levels correspond with the respective lusitropic function and that dobutamine administration in the aged group increased lusitropic function that was comparable with the young group. Because the patient population requiring CPB is aging, these data suggest that the use of dobutamine at the terminal phase of CPB is warranted to increase systolic and diastolic function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Extra-Corporeal Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Aging
  • Diastole
  • Phospholamban
  • Sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase
  • β-receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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