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Keywords:

  • aorta;
  • coronary arteries;
  • left ventricle;
  • MT2 melatonin receptors

Abstract: We showed that the melatonin receptor subtype, MT1, is expressed in healthy and diseased human coronary arteries. As studies in experimental animals suggest that the MT2 melatonin receptor subtype is also present in the vasculature, we investigated whether the MT2 is expressed in human aorta and coronary arteries. Additionally, MT2 expression in human ventricular specimens was analysed, as melatonin was shown to affect myocyte function. Expression of the MT2-receptor was studied in sections of isolated coronary arteries, aorta and left ventricular specimens from healthy heart donors (control) and patients with dilated or ischemic cardiomyopathy. MT2 expression was found by reverse transcriptase (RT)-nested-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in all of the specimens (aorta, left ventricle and coronary arteries) derived from controls. Also, visible evidence for receptor expression was found in 12 of 15 samples from cardiomyopathy patients and 10 of 15 of coronary heart disease patients. Additionally, the expression of MT2-receptor between aorta, left ventricle and coronary arteries varied among the individuals, some of them showing highest expression in the aorta while in others principal expression sites were coronary arteries or left ventricles. In conclusion, the MT2-receptor subtype is present in human arteries and left ventricles and it is suggested that in coronary heart disease MT2-receptor expression is altered. Furthermore, there is evidence for heterogeneous MT2 expression patterns in individual patients.