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    Inhibition of the Notch1 pathway induces peripartum cardiomyopathy. Zhu Rong-Rong,Chen Qian,Liu Zhi-Bo,Ruan Han-Guang,Wu Qi-Cai,Zhou Xue-Liang Journal of cellular and molecular medicine Increased expression and activity of cardiac and circulating cathepsin D and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) have been demonstrated to induce and promote peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) via promoting cleavage of 23-kD prolactin (PRL) to 16-kD PRL and neutralizing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), respectively. We hypothesized that activation of Hes1 is proposed to suppress cathepsin D via activating Stat3, leading to alleviated development of PPCM. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the role of Notch1/Hes1 pathway in PPCM. Pregnant mice between prenatal 3 days and postpartum 3 weeks were fed with LY-411575 (a notch inhibitor, 10 mg/kg/d). Ventricular function and pathology were evaluated by echocardiography and histological analysis. Western blotting analysis was used to examine the expression at the protein level. The results found that inhibition of Notch1 significantly promoted postpartum ventricular dilatation, myocardial hypertrophy and myocardial interstitial fibrosis and suppressed myocardial angiogenesis. Western blotting analysis showed that inhibition of Notch1 markedly increased cathepsin D and sFlt-1, reduced Hes1, phosphorylated Stat3 (p-Stat3), VEGFA and PDGFB, and promoted cleavage of 23k-D PRL to 16-kD PRL. Collectively, inhibition of Notch1/Hes1 pathway induced and promoted PPCM via increasing the expressions of cathepsin D and sFlt-1. Notch1/Hes1 was a promising target for prevention and therapeutic regimen of PPCM. 10.1111/jcmm.15423