ResearchPad - muscle-tissue https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The adipokine vaspin is associated with decreased coronary in-stent restenosis <i>in vivo</i> and inhibits migration of human coronary smooth muscle cells <i>in vitro</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7692 Percutaneous coronary intervention represents the most important treatment modality of coronary artery stenosis. In-stent restenosis (ISR) is still a limitation for the long-term outcome despite the introduction of drug eluting stents. It has been shown that adipokines directly influence vessel wall homeostasis by influencing the function of endothelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells. Visceral adipose tissue-derived serpin vaspin was recently identified as a member of serine protease inhibitor family and serveral studies could demonstrate a relation to metabolic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate a role of vaspin in the development of in-stent restenosis in vivo and on migration of smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells in vitro.MethodsWe studied 85 patients with stable coronary artery disease who underwent elective and successful PCI with implatation of drug eluting stents. Blood samples were taken directly before PCI. Vaspin plasma levels were measured by specific ELISA. ISR was evaluated eight months later by coronary angiography. Human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) migration was analyzed by an in-vitro migration assay with different concentrations (0.004ng/mL up to 40ng/mL) of vaspin as well as by an scratch assay. For proliferation an impedance measurement with specialiced E-Plates was performed.ResultsDuring the follow up period, 14 patients developed ISR. Patients with ISR had significantly lower vaspin plasma levels compared to patients without ISR (0.213 ng/ml vs 0.382 ng/ml; p = 0.001). In patients with plasma vaspin levels above 1.35 ng/ml we could not observe any restenosis. There was also a significant correlation of plasma vaspin levels and late lumen loss in the stented coronary segments. Further we could demonstrate that vaspin nearly abolishes serum induced migration of HCASMC (100% vs. 9%; p<0.001) in a biphasic manner but not migration of HUVEC. Proliferation of HCASMC and HUVEC was not modulated by vaspin treatment.ConclusionWe were able to show that the adipokine vaspin selectively inhibits human coronary SMC migration in vitro and has no effect on HUVEC migration. Vaspin had no effect on proliferation of HUVEC which is an important process of the healing of the stented vessel. In addition, the occurrence of ISR after PCI with implantation of drug eluting stents was significantly associated with low vaspin plasma levels before intervention. Determination of vaspin plasma levels before PCI might be helpful in the identification of patients with high risk for development of ISR after stent implantation. In addition, the selective effects of vaspin on smooth muscle cell migration could potentially be used to reduce ISR without inhibition of re-endothelialization of the stented segment. ]]> <![CDATA[Influence of the tubular network on the characteristics of calcium transients in cardiac myocytes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7f446290-780e-4486-a1de-95187c6060a1

Transverse and axial tubules (TATS) are an essential ingredient of the excitation-contraction machinery that allow the effective coupling of L-type Calcium Channels (LCC) and ryanodine receptors (RyR2). They form a regular network in ventricular cells, while their presence in atrial myocytes is variable regionally and among animal species We have studied the effect of variations in the TAT network using a bidomain computational model of an atrial myocyte with variable density of tubules. At each z-line the t-tubule length is obtained from an exponential distribution, with a given mean penetration length. This gives rise to a distribution of t-tubules in the cell that is characterized by the fractional area (F.A.) occupied by the t-tubules. To obtain consistent results, we average over different realizations of the same mean penetration length. To this, in some simulations we add the effect of a network of axial tubules. Then we study global properties of calcium signaling, as well as regional heterogeneities and local properties of sparks and RyR2 openings. In agreement with recent experiments in detubulated ventricular and atrial cells, we find that detubulation reduces the calcium transient and synchronization in release. However, it does not affect sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) load, so the decrease in SR calcium release is due to regional differences in Ca2+ release, that is restricted to the cell periphery in detubulated cells. Despite the decrease in release, the release gain is larger in detubulated cells, due to recruitment of orphaned RyR2s, i.e, those that are not confronting a cluster of LCCs. This probably provides a safeguard mechanism, allowing physiological values to be maintained upon small changes in the t-tubule density. Finally, we do not find any relevant change in spark properties between tubulated and detubulated cells, suggesting that the differences found in experiments could be due to differential properties of the RyR2s in the membrane and in the t-tubules, not incorporated in the present model. This work will help understand the effect of detubulation, that has been shown to occur in disease conditions such as heart failure (HF) in ventricular cells, or atrial fibrillation (AF) in atrial cells.

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<![CDATA[Disruption of genes associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2 lead to common behavioural, cellular and molecular defects in Caenorhabditis elegans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5d50b5cf-e057-490e-9c44-60569e9f28d4

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is an inherited peripheral motor and sensory neuropathy. The disease is divided into demyelinating (CMT1) and axonal (CMT2) neuropathies, and although we have gained molecular information into the details of CMT1 pathology, much less is known about CMT2. Due to its clinical and genetic heterogeneity, coupled with a lack of animal models, common underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In order to gain an understanding of the normal function of genes associated with CMT2, and to draw direct comparisons between them, we have studied the behavioural, cellular and molecular consequences of mutating nine different genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (lin-41/TRIM2, dyn-1/DNM2, unc-116/KIF5A, fzo-1/MFN2, osm-9/TRPV4, cua-1/ATP7A, hsp-25/HSPB1, hint-1/HINT1, nep-2/MME). We show that C. elegans defective for these genes display debilitated movement in crawling and swimming assays. Severe morphological defects in cholinergic motors neurons are also evident in two of the mutants (dyn-1 and unc-116). Furthermore, we establish methods for quantifying muscle morphology and use these to demonstrate that loss of muscle structure occurs in the majority of mutants studied. Finally, using electrophysiological recordings of neuromuscular junction (NMJ) activity, we uncover reductions in spontaneous postsynaptic current frequency in lin-41, dyn-1, unc-116 and fzo-1 mutants. By comparing the consequences of mutating numerous CMT2-related genes, this study reveals common deficits in muscle structure and function, as well as NMJ signalling when these genes are disrupted.

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<![CDATA[Micro-RNA signatures in monozygotic twins discordant for congenital heart defects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5a7c737e-22cf-4de0-b5e8-861cb3f8f58f

Background

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs regulating gene expression post-transcriptionally. Recent studies demonstrated that miRNAs are involved in the development of congenital heart defects (CHD). In this study, we aimed at identifying the specific patterns of miRNAs in blood of monozygotic twin pairs discordant for CHD and to assess whether miRNAs might be involved in the development or reflect the consequences of CHD.

Methods

miRNA microarray analysis and Real-Time Quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) were employed to determine the miRNA abundance level from 12 monozygotic twins discordant for CHD and their non-CHD co-twins (n = 12). Enrichment analyses of altered miRNAs were performed using bioinformatics tools.

Results

Compared with non-CHD co-twins, profiling analysis indicated 34 miRNAs with a significant difference in abundance level (p<0.05, fold change ≥ 1.3), of which 11 miRNAs were up-regulated and 23 miRNAs were down-regulated. Seven miRNAs were validated with RT-qPCR including miR-511-3p, miR-1306-5p, miR-421, miR-4707-3p, miR-4732-3p, miR-5189-3p, and miR-890, and the results were consistent with microarray analysis. Five miRNAs namely miR-511-3p, miR-1306-5p, miR-4732-3p, miR-5189-3p, and miR-890 were found to be significantly up-regulated in twins < 10 years old. Bioinformatics analysis showed that the 7 validated miRNAs were involved in phosphatidylinositol signaling, gap junction signaling, and adrenergic signaling in cardiomyocytes.

Conclusions

Our data show deregulated miRNA abundance levels in the peripheral blood of monozygotic twins discordant for CHD, and identify new candidates for further analysis, which may contribute to understanding the development of CHD in the future. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that the target genes of these miRNAs are likely involved in signaling and communication of cardiomyocytes.

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<![CDATA[Regeneration of esophagus using a scaffold-free biomimetic structure created with bio-three-dimensional printing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1978d5eed0c484b4d71e

Various strategies have been attempted to replace esophageal defects with natural or artificial substitutes using tissue engineering. However, these methods have not yet reached clinical application because of the high risks related to their immunogenicity or insufficient biocompatibility. In this study, we developed a scaffold-free structure with a mixture of cell types using bio-three-dimensional (3D) printing technology and assessed its characteristics in vitro and in vivo after transplantation into rats. Normal human dermal fibroblasts, human esophageal smooth muscle cells, human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, and human umbilical vein endothelial cells were purchased and used as a cell source. After the preparation of multicellular spheroids, esophageal-like tube structures were prepared by bio-3D printing. The structures were matured in a bioreactor and transplanted into 10-12-week-old F344 male rats as esophageal grafts under general anesthesia. Mechanical and histochemical assessment of the structures were performed. Among 4 types of structures evaluated, those with the larger proportion of mesenchymal stem cells tended to show greater strength and expansion on mechanical testing and highly expressed α-smooth muscle actin and vascular endothelial growth factor on immunohistochemistry. Therefore, the structure with the larger proportion of mesenchymal stem cells was selected for transplantation. The scaffold-free structures had sufficient strength for transplantation between the esophagus and stomach using silicon stents. The structures were maintained in vivo for 30 days after transplantation. Smooth muscle cells were maintained, and flat epithelium extended and covered the inner surface of the lumen. Food had also passed through the structure. These results suggested that the esophagus-like scaffold-free tubular structures created using bio-3D printing could hold promise as a substitute for the repair of esophageal defects.

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<![CDATA[Furin, a transcriptional target of NKX2-5, has an essential role in heart development and function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897793d5eed0c4847d307a

The homeodomain transcription factor NKX2-5 is known to be essential for both normal heart development and for heart function. But little is yet known about the identities of its downstream effectors or their function during differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). We have used transgenic analysis and CRISPR-mediated ablation to identify a cardiac enhancer of the Furin gene. The Furin gene, encoding a proprotein convertase, is directly repressed by NKX2-5. Deletion of Furin in CPCs is embryonic lethal, with mutant hearts showing a range of abnormalities in the outflow tract. Those defects are associated with a reduction in proliferation and premature differentiation of the CPCs. Deletion of Furin in differentiated cardiomyocytes results in viable adult mutant mice showing an elongation of the PR interval, a phenotype that is consistent with the phenotype of mice and human mutant for Nkx2-5. Our results show that Furin mediate some aspects of Nkx2-5 function in the heart.

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<![CDATA[The associations of fat tissue and muscle mass indices with all-cause mortality in patients undergoing hemodialysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9bbd5eed0c48452a0c8

Protein-energy wasting, which involves loss of fat and muscle mass, is prevalent and is associated with mortality in hemodialysis (HD) patients. We investigated the associations of fat tissue and muscle mass indices with all-cause mortality in HD patients. The study included 162 patients undergoing HD. The fat tissue index (FTI) and skeletal muscle mass index (SMI), which represent respective tissue masses normalized to height squared, were measured by bioimpedance analysis after dialysis. Patients were divided into the following four groups according to the medians of FTI and SMI values: group 1 (G1), lower FTI and lower SMI; G2, higher FTI and lower SMI; G3, lower FTI and higher SMI; and G4, higher FTI and higher SMI. The associations of the FTI, SMI, and body mass index (BMI) with all-cause mortality were evaluated. During a median follow-up of 2.5 years, 29 patients died. The 5-year survival rates were 48.6%, 76.1%, 95.7%, and 87.4% in the G1, G2, G3, and G4 groups, respectively (P = 0.0002). The adjusted hazard ratio values were 0.34 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.10–0.95, P = 0.040) for G2 vs. G1, 0.13 (95%CI 0.01–0.69, P = 0.013) for G3 vs. G1, and 0.25 (95%CI 0.07–0.72, P = 0.0092) for G4 vs. G1, respectively. With regard to model discrimination, on adding both FTI and SMI to a model with established risk factors, the C-index increased significantly when compared with the value for a model with BMI (0.763 vs. 0.740, P = 0.016). Higher FTI and/or higher SMI values were independently associated with reduced risks of all-cause mortality in HD patients. Moreover, the combination of the FTI and SMI may more accurately predict all-cause mortality when compared with BMI. Therefore, these body composition indicators should be evaluated simultaneously in this population.

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<![CDATA[Treatment with mononuclear cell populations improves post-infarction cardiac function but does not reduce arrhythmia susceptibility]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1496d5eed0c48467a361

Background

Clinical and experimental data give evidence that transplantation of stem and progenitor cells in myocardial infarction could be beneficial, although the underlying mechanism has remained elusive. Ventricular tachyarrhythmia is the most frequent and potentially lethal complication of myocardial infarction, but the impact of mono nuclear cells on the incidence of ventricular arrhythmia is still not clear.

Objective

We aimed to characterize the influence of splenic mononuclear cell populations on ventricular arrhythmia after myocardial infarction.

Methods

We assessed electrical vulnerability in vivo in mice with left ventricular cryoinfarction 14 days after injury and intramyocardial injection of specific subpopulations of mononuclear cells (MNCs) (CD11b-positive cells, Sca-1-positive cells, early endothelial progenitor cells (eEPCs)). As positive control group we used embryonic cardiomyocytes (eCMs). Epicardial mapping was performed for analysing conduction velocities in the border zone. Left ventricular function was quantified by echocardiography and left heart catheterization.

Results

In vivo pacing protocols induced ventricular tachycardia (VT) in 30% of non-infarcted mice. In contrast, monomorphic or polymorphic VT could be evoked in 94% of infarcted and vehicle-injected mice (p<0.01). Only transplantation of eCMs prevented post-infarction VT and improved conduction velocities in the border zone in accordance to increased expression of connexin 43. Cryoinfarction resulted in a broad aggravation of left ventricular function. All transplanted cell types augmented left ventricular function to a similar extent.

Conclusions

Transplantation of different MNC populations after myocardial infarction improves left ventricular function similar to effects of eCMs. Prevention of inducible ventricular arrhythmia is only seen after transplantation of eCMs.

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<![CDATA[Changes in the spatial distribution of the Purkinje network after acute myocardial infarction in the pig]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b267bd5eed0c484289b76

Purkinje cells (PCs) are more resistant to ischemia than myocardial cells, and are suspected to participate in ventricular arrhythmias following myocardial infarction (MI). Histological studies afford little evidence on the behavior and adaptation of PCs in the different stages of MI, especially in the chronic stage, and no quantitative data have been reported to date beyond subjective qualitative depictions. The present study uses a porcine model to present the first quantitative analysis of the distal cardiac conduction system and the first reported change in the spatial distribution of PCs in three representative stages of MI: an acute model both with and without reperfusion; a subacute model one week after reperfusion; and a chronic model one month after reperfusion. Purkinje cells are able to survive after 90 minutes of ischemia and subsequent reperfusion to a greater extent than cardiomyocytes. A decrease is observed in the number of PCs, which suffer reversible subcellular alterations such as cytoplasm vacuolization, together with redistribution from the mesocardium—the main localization of PCs in the heart of ungulate species—towards the endocardium and perivascular epicardial areas. However, these changes mainly occur during the first week after ischemia and reperfusion, and are maintained in the chronic stages. This anatomical substrate can explain the effectiveness of endo-epicardial catheter ablation of monomorphic ventricular tachycardias in the chronic scar after infarction, and sets a basis for further electrophysiological and molecular studies, and future therapeutic strategies.

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<![CDATA[Identification of qPCR reference genes suitable for normalizing gene expression in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b525fd5eed0c4842bc6fe

The mdx mouse is the most widely-used animal model of the human disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and quantitative PCR analysis of gene expression in the muscles of this animal plays a key role in the study of pathogenesis and disease progression and in evaluation of potential therapeutic interventions. Normalization to appropriate stably-expressed reference genes is essential for accurate quantitative measurement, but determination of such genes is challenging: healthy and dystrophic muscles present very different transcriptional environments, further altering with disease progression and muscle use, raising the possibility that no single gene or combination of genes may be stable under all experimental comparative scenarios. Despite the pedigree of this animal model, this problem remains unaddressed. The aim of this work was therefore to comprehensively assess reference gene suitability in the muscles of healthy and dystrophic mice, identifying reference genes appropriate for specific experimental comparisons, and determining whether an essentially universally-applicable set of genes exists. Using a large sample collection comprising multiple muscles (including the tibialis anterior, diaphragm and heart muscles) taken from healthy and mdx mice at three disease-relevant ages, and a panel of sixteen candidate reference genes (FBXO38, FBXW2, MON2, ZFP91, HTATSF1, GAPDH, ACTB, 18S, CDC40, SDHA, RPL13a, CSNK2A2, AP3D1, PAK1IP1, B2M and HPRT1), we used the geNorm, BestKeeper and Normfinder algorithms to identify genes that were stable under multiple possible comparative scenarios. We reveal that no single gene is stable under all conditions, but a normalization factor derived from multiple genes (RPL13a, CSNK2A2, AP3D1 and the widely-used ACTB) appears suitable for normalizing gene expression in both healthy and dystrophic mouse muscle regardless of muscle type or animal age. We further show that other popular reference genes, including GAPDH, are markedly disease- or muscle-type correlated. This study demonstrates the importance of empirical reference gene identification, and should serve as a valuable resource for investigators wishing to study gene expression in mdx mice.

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<![CDATA[Serotonin and neuropeptides are both released by the HSN command neuron to initiate Caenorhabditis elegans egg laying]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536ad5d5eed0c484a479f2

Neurons typically release both a small-molecule neurotransmitter and one or more neuropeptides, but how these two types of signal from the same neuron might act together remains largely obscure. For example, serotonergic neurons in mammalian brain express the neuropeptide Substance P, but it is unclear how this co-released neuropeptide might modulate serotonin signaling. We studied this issue in C. elegans, in which all serotonergic neurons express the neuropeptide NLP-3. The serotonergic Hermaphrodite Specific Neurons (HSNs) are command motor neurons within the egg-laying circuit which have been shown to release serotonin to initiate egg-laying behavior. We found that egg-laying defects in animals lacking serotonin were far milder than in animals lacking HSNs, suggesting that HSNs must release other signal(s) in addition to serotonin to stimulate egg laying. While null mutants for nlp-3 had only mild egg-laying defects, animals lacking both serotonin and NLP-3 had severe defects, similar to those of animals lacking HSNs. Optogenetic activation of HSNs induced egg laying in wild-type animals, and in mutant animals lacking either serotonin or NLP-3, but failed to induce egg laying in animals lacking both. We recorded calcium activity in the egg-laying muscles of animals lacking either serotonin, NLP-3, or both. The single mutants, and to a greater extent the double mutant, showed muscle activity that was uncoordinated and unable to expel eggs. Specifically, the vm2 muscles cells, which are direct postsynaptic targets of the HSN, failed to contract simultaneously with other egg-laying muscle cells. Our results show that the HSN neurons use serotonin and the neuropeptide NLP-3 as partially redundant co-transmitters that together stimulate and coordinate activity of the target cells onto which they are released.

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<![CDATA[Physical stimulation by REAC and BMP4/WNT-1 inhibitor synergistically enhance cardiogenic commitment in iPSCs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217b6d5eed0c48479441d

It is currently known that pluripotent stem cells can be committed in vitro to the cardiac lineage by the modulation of specific signaling pathways, but it is also well known that, despite the significant increase in cardiomyocyte yield provided by the currently available conditioned media, the resulting cardiogenic commitment remains a highly variable process. Previous studies provided evidence that radio electric fields asymmetrically conveyed through the Radio Electric Asymmetric Conveyer (REAC) technology are able to commit R1 embryonic stem cells and human adipose derived stem cells toward a cardiac phenotype. The present study aimed at investigating whether the effect of physical stimulation by REAC in combination with specific chemical inductors enhance the cardiogenic potential in human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The appearance of a cardiac-like phenotype in iPSCs cultured in the presence of a cardiogenic medium, based upon BMP4 and a WNT-inhibitor, was consistently increased by REAC treatment used only during the early fate differentiation for the first 72 hours. REAC-exposed iPSCs exhibited an upregulation in the expression of specific cardiogenic transcripts and morphologically in the number of beating clusters, as compared to cells cultured in the cardiogenic medium alone. Our results indicate that physical modulation of cellular dynamics provided by the REAC offers an affordable strategy to mimic iPSC cardiac-like fates in the presence of a cardiogenic milieu.

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<![CDATA[Fluorescent labelling of membrane fatty acid transporter CD36 (SR-B2) in the extracellular loop]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521873d5eed0c484798546

Context

Upon palmitate oversupply, membrane fatty acid-transporter CD36 (SR-B2) permanently translocates from endosomal storage to the sarcolemma, inducing lipotoxicity. CD36 translocation results from endosomal alkalinisation elicited by palmitate-induced disattachment of the cytoplasmic V1-subcomplex from the membrane-integrated V0-subcomplex of vacuolar-type H+-ATPase.

Objective

Develop a CD36 fluorescent labeling technique as initial step towards live cell imaging.

Methods

Three human CD36 (hCD36) mutants were constructed via insertion of a tetracysteine motif at different positions within the extracellular domain. Constructs were lentivirally transduced for subsequent CD36 labeling with fluorescein-arsenical hairpin-binder (FlAsH). Cell imaging was combined with V0/V1 immunostaining and Western blotting.

Results

Transduction of hCD36-wildtype and mutants yielded corresponding proteins in HL-1 cardiomyocytes. Tetracysteine mutant-2 (hCD36-TC2) showed similar fatty acid uptake to wildtype. FlAsH staining revealed a speckled pattern reminiscent of endosomes. We found decreased V1 co-localization with CD36 upon high-palmitate culturing. Conversely, V0 consistently co-localized with CD36.

Conclusion

hCD36-TC2 is a possible candidate for application of biarsenical dyes in live imaging studies pending further investigation. Our data is compatible with V0/V1 disassembly in high-palmitate-treated cells.

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<![CDATA[Aging and the relationships between long-axis systolic and early diastolic excursion, isovolumic relaxation time and left ventricular length—Implications for the interpretation of aging effects on e`]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0155d5eed0c48403a5b7

Background

Both the left ventricular (LV) long-axis peak early diastolic lengthening velocity (e`) and long-axis early diastolic excursion (EDExc) decrease with age, but the mechanisms underlying these decreases are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative contributions to aging-related decreases in e`and EDExc from LV long-axis systolic excursion (SExc), isovolumic relaxation time (IVRT, as a measure of the speed of relaxation) and LV end-diastolic length (LVEDL).

Methods

The study group was 50 healthy adult subjects of ages 17–75 years with a normal LV ejection fraction. SExc, EDExc, e`and IVRT were measured from pulsed wave tissue Doppler signals acquired from the septal and lateral walls. Multivariate modelling was performed to identify independent predictors of EDExc and e`which were consistent for the septal and lateral walls.

Results

EDExc decreased with age and the major determinant of EDExc was SExc, which also decreased with age. There was also a decrease of e`with age, and the major determinant of e`was EDExc. IVRT decreased with age and on univariate analysis was not only inversely correlated with EDExc and e`, but also with SExc. IVRT was only a minor contributor to models of EDExc which included SExc, and was an inconsistent contributor to models of e`which included EDExc. LVEDL decreased with age independent of sex and body size, and was positively correlated with SExc, EDExc and e`.

Conclusion

Major mechanisms underlying the decrease in e`seen during aging are the concomitant decreases in long-axis contraction and early diastolic excursion, which are in turn related in part to long-axis remodelling of the left ventricle. After adjusting for the extent of systolic and early diastolic excursion, slowing of relaxation, as reflected in prolongation of the IVRT, makes no more than a minor contribution to aging-related decreases in EDExc and e`.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of gastric smooth muscle contraction via Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-independent actin polymerization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254570d5eed0c48442c760

In gastrointestinal smooth muscle, acetylcholine induced muscle contraction is biphasic, initial peak followed by sustained contraction. Contraction is regulated by phosphorylation of 20 kDa myosin light chain (MLC) at Ser19, interaction of actin and myosin, and actin polymerization. The present study characterized the signaling mechanisms involved in actin polymerization during initial and sustained muscle contraction in response to muscarinic M3 receptor activation in gastric smooth muscle cells by targeting the effectors of initial (phospholipase C (PLC)-β/Ca2+ pathway) and sustained (RhoA/focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/Rho kinase pathway) contraction. The initial Ca2+ dependent contraction and actin polymerization is mediated by sequential activation of PLC-β1 via Gαq, IP3 formation, Ca2+ release and Ca2+ dependent phosphorylation of proline-rich-tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) at Tyr402. The sustained Ca2+ independent contraction and actin polymerization is mediated by activation of RhoA, and phosphorylation of FAK at Tyr397. Both phosphorylation of Pyk2 and FAK leads to phosphorylation of paxillin at Tyr118 and association of phosphorylated paxillin with the GEF proteins p21-activated kinase (PAK) interacting exchange factor α, β (α and β PIX) and DOCK 180. These GEF proteins stimulate Cdc42 leading to the activation of nucleation promoting factor N-WASP (neuronal Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein), which interacts with actin related protein complex 2/3 (Arp2/3) to induce actin polymerization and muscle contraction. Acetylcholine induced muscle contraction is inhibited by actin polymerization inhibitors. Thus, our results suggest that a novel mechanism for the regulation of smooth muscle contraction is mediated by actin polymerization in gastrointestinal smooth muscle which is independent of MLC20 phosphorylation.

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<![CDATA[Insights on the impact of mitochondrial organisation on bioenergetics in high-resolution computational models of cardiac cell architecture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117ba4d5eed0c484699f6e

Recent electron microscopy data have revealed that cardiac mitochondria are not arranged in crystalline columns but are organised with several mitochondria aggregated into columns of varying sizes spanning the cell cross-section. This raises the question—how does the mitochondrial arrangement affect the metabolite distributions within cardiomyocytes and what is its impact on force dynamics? Here, we address this question by employing finite element modeling of cardiac bioenergetics on computational meshes derived from electron microscope images. Our results indicate that heterogeneous mitochondrial distributions can lead to significant spatial variation across the cell in concentrations of inorganic phosphate, creatine (Cr) and creatine phosphate (PCr). However, our model predicts that sufficient activity of the creatine kinase (CK) system, coupled with rapid diffusion of Cr and PCr, maintains near uniform ATP and ADP ratios across the cell cross sections. This homogenous distribution of ATP and ADP should also evenly distribute force production and twitch duration with contraction. These results suggest that the PCr shuttle and associated enzymatic reactions act to maintain uniform force dynamics in the cell despite the heterogeneous mitochondrial organization. However, our model also predicts that under hypoxia activity of mitochondrial CK enzymes and diffusion of high-energy phosphate compounds may be insufficient to sustain uniform ATP/ADP distribution and hence force generation.

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<![CDATA[Plasma endothelin-1 levels are increased in atrial fibrillation patients with hyperthyroidism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1028acd5eed0c484247c44

Background

Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictor, mitogen and inflammatory factor that may contribute to development of atrial fibrillation (AF). Plasma ET-1 levels are increased in hyperthyroid patients, but studies evaluating its relation to AF development in hyperthyroid patients are lacking.

Objective

The present study seeks to evaluate the relation of plasma ET-1 to AF development as a function of thyroid status.

Methods

Blood samples from euthyroid patients (n = 41), hypothyroid (n = 61), hyperthyroid (n = 41), AF with hyperthyroidism (n = 9), and euthyroid AF (n = 10) patients were collected. Plasma ET-1, CRP, and thyroid hormone levels were measured and compared between groups.

Results

Plasma ET-1 levels were higher in hyperthyroid and euthyroid AF patients> hyperthyroid-non-AF > hypo and euthyroid non-AF patients. Plasma ET-1 levels positively correlated with free T3 and T4 levels, and negatively with TSH levels. By multivariate analysis, plasma ET-1 was positively associated with AF, hyperthyroidism, and age. Plasma CRP did not vary by study group in either univariate or multivariate analyses.

Conclusion

Plasma ET-1 is associated with AF, elevated in hyperthyroid patients and positively correlated with thyroid hormone levels, suggesting that hyperthyroidism may increase ET-1 expression and release. This study may guide development of novel predictors of AF associated with hyperthyroidism, and may help to personalize therapy in hyperthyroid patients.

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<![CDATA[Determinants of early afterdepolarization properties in ventricular myocyte models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c059df8d5eed0c4849c996b

Early afterdepolarizations (EADs) are spontaneous depolarizations during the repolarization phase of an action potential in cardiac myocytes. It is widely known that EADs are promoted by increasing inward currents and/or decreasing outward currents, a condition called reduced repolarization reserve. Recent studies based on bifurcation theories show that EADs are caused by a dual Hopf-homoclinic bifurcation, bringing in further mechanistic insights into the genesis and dynamics of EADs. In this study, we investigated the EAD properties, such as the EAD amplitude, the inter-EAD interval, and the latency of the first EAD, and their major determinants. We first made predictions based on the bifurcation theory and then validated them in physiologically more detailed action potential models. These properties were investigated by varying one parameter at a time or using parameter sets randomly drawn from assigned intervals. The theoretical and simulation results were compared with experimental data from the literature. Our major findings are that the EAD amplitude and takeoff potential exhibit a negative linear correlation; the inter-EAD interval is insensitive to the maximum ionic current conductance but mainly determined by the kinetics of ICa,L and the dual Hopf-homoclinic bifurcation; and both inter-EAD interval and latency vary largely from model to model. Most of the model results generally agree with experimental observations in isolated ventricular myocytes. However, a major discrepancy between modeling results and experimental observations is that the inter-EAD intervals observed in experiments are mainly between 200 and 500 ms, irrespective of species, while those of the mathematical models exhibit a much wider range with some models exhibiting inter-EAD intervals less than 100 ms. Our simulations show that the cause of this discrepancy is likely due to the difference in ICa,L recovery properties in different mathematical models, which needs to be addressed in future action potential model development.

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<![CDATA[CCN5 knockout mice exhibit lipotoxic cardiomyopathy with mild obesity and diabetes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23ffc9d5eed0c484093ac5

Obesity is associated with various human disorders, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and cancers. In this study, we observed that knockout (KO) of CCN5, which encodes a matricellular protein, caused mild obesity in mice. The CCN5 KO mice also exhibited mild diabetes characterized by high fasting glucose levels and impaired insulin and glucose tolerances. Cardiac hypertrophy, ectopic lipid accumulation, and impaired lipid metabolism in hearts were observed in the CCN5 KO mice, as determined using histology, quantitative RT-PCR, and western blotting. Fibrosis was significantly greater in hearts from the CCN5 KO mice both in interstitial and perivascular regions, which was accompanied by higher expression of pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory genes. Both systolic and diastolic functions were significantly impaired in hearts from the CCN5 KO mice, as assessed using echocardiography. Taken together, these results indicate that CCN5 KO leads to lipotoxic cardiomyopathy with mild obesity and diabetes in mice.

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<![CDATA[Changes in Achilles tendon stiffness and energy cost following a prolonged run in trained distance runners]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b87836b40307c3c4509766e

During prolonged running, the magnitude of Achilles tendon (AT) length change may increase, resulting in increased tendon strain energy return with each step. AT elongation might also affect the magnitude of triceps surae (TS) muscle shortening and shortening velocity, requiring greater activation and increased muscle energy cost. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the tendon strain energy return and muscle energy cost necessary to allow energy storage to occur prior to and following prolonged running. 14 trained male (n = 10) and female (n = 4) distance runners (24±4 years, 1.72±0.09 m, 61±10 kg, V˙O2max 64.6±5.8 ml•kg-1•min-1) ran 90 minutes (RUN) at approximately 85% of lactate threshold speed (sLT). Prior to and following RUN, AT stiffness and running energy cost (Erun) at 85% sLT were determined. AT energy return was calculated from AT stiffness, measured with dynamometry and ultrasound and estimated TS force during stance. TS energy cost was estimated on the basis of AT force and assumed crossbridge mechanics and energetics. Following RUN, AT stiffness was reduced from 328±172 N•mm-1 to 299±148 N•mm-1 (p = 0.022). Erun increased from 4.56±0.32 J•kg-1•m-1 to 4.62±0.32 J•kg-1•m-1 (p = 0.049). Estimated AT energy return was not different following RUN (p = 0.99). Estimated TS muscle energy cost increased significantly by 11.8±12.3 J•stride-1, (p = 0.0034), accounting for much of the post-RUN increase in Erun (8.6±14.5 J•stride-1,r2 = 0.31). These results demonstrate that a prolonged, submaximal run can reduce AT stiffness and increase Erun in trained runners, and that the elevated TS energy cost contributes substantially to the elevated Erun.

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