The vulnerability of the heart as a pluricellular paracrine organ: lessons from unexpected triggers of heart failure in targeted ErbB2 anticancer therapy
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Circulation research / American Heart Association. - New York
, p. 35-46
University of Antwerp
In this review, we address clinical aspects and mechanisms of ventricular dysfunction induced by anticancer drugs targeted to the ErbB2 receptor. ErbB2 antagonists prolong survival in cancer, but also interfere with homeostatic processes in the heart. ErbB2 is a coreceptor for ErbB4, which is activated by neuregulin-1. This epidermal growth factor-like growth factor is released from endothelial cells in the endocardium and in the myocardial microcirculation, hence contributing to intercellular crosstalk in the ventricle. We look at the physiological aspects of neuregulin-1/ErbB signaling in the ventricle, and review its (mal)adaptive responses in chronic heart failure. We also compare structural aspects of ErbB receptor activation in cancer and cardiac cells, and analyze the mode of action of current ErbB2 antagonists. This allows us to predict how these drugs interfere with paracrine processes in the ventricle. Differences in the mode of action of individual ErbB2 antagonists affect their impact on the function of the ventricle, considered to be "on-target" or "off-target." Establishing the relation between the cardiac side effects of ErbB2 antagonists and their impact on paracrine ventricular control mechanisms may direct the design of a next generation of ErbB2 inhibitors. For cardiologists, there are lessons to be learned from the unexpected side effects of ErbB2-targeted cancer therapy. The vulnerability of the heart as a pluricellular paracrine system appears greater than anticipated and intercellular crosstalk an essential component of its functional and structural integrity.