ResearchPad - myocardium https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Pulmonary ductal coarctation and left pulmonary artery interruption; pathology and role of neural crest and second heart field during development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14709 In congenital heart malformations with pulmonary stenosis to atresia an abnormal lateral ductus arteriosus to left pulmonary artery connection can lead to a localised narrowing (pulmonary ductal coarctation) or even interruption We investigated embryonic remodelling and pathogenesis of this area.Material and methodsNormal development was studied in WntCre reporter mice (E10.0–12.5) for neural crest cells and Nkx2.5 immunostaining for second heart field cells. Data were compared to stage matched human embryos and a VEGF120/120 mutant mouse strain developing pulmonary atresia.ResultsNormal mouse and human embryos showed that the mid-pharyngeal endothelial plexus, connected side-ways to the 6th pharyngeal arch artery. The ventral segment formed the proximal pulmonary artery. The dorsal segment (future DA) was solely surrounded by neural crest cells. The ventral segment had a dual outer lining with neural crest and second heart field cells, while the distal pulmonary artery was covered by none of these cells. The asymmetric contribution of second heart field to the future pulmonary trunk on the left side of the aortic sac (so-called pulmonary push) was evident. The ventral segment became incorporated into the pulmonary trunk leading to a separate connection of the left and right pulmonary arteries. The VEGF120/120 embryos showed a stunted pulmonary push and a variety of vascular anomalies.SummarySide-way connection of the DA to the left pulmonary artery is a congenital anomaly. The primary problem is a stunted development of the pulmonary push leading to pulmonary stenosis/atresia and a subsequent lack of proper incorporation of the ventral segment into the aortic sac. Clinically, the aberrant smooth muscle tissue of the ductus arteriosus should be addressed to prohibit development of severe pulmonary ductal coarctation or even interruption of the left pulmonary artery. ]]> <![CDATA[Evaluation of upconverting nanoparticles towards heart theranostics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf188e231-36c5-4bb6-9ed3-e7a465fadb41

Restricted and controlled drug delivery to the heart remains a challenge giving frequent off-target effects as well as limited retention of drugs in the heart. There is a need to develop and optimize tools to allow for improved design of drug candidates for treatment of heart diseases. Over the last decade, novel drug platforms and nanomaterials were designed to confine bioactive materials to the heart. Yet, the research remains in its infancy, not only in the development of tools but also in the understanding of effects of these materials on cardiac function and tissue integrity. Upconverting nanoparticles are nanomaterials that recently accelerated interest in theranostic nanomedicine technologies. Their unique photophysical properties allow for sensitive in vivo imaging that can be combined with spatio-temporal control for targeted release of encapsulated drugs.

Here we synthesized upconverting NaYF4:Yb,Tm nanoparticles and show for the first time their innocuity in the heart, when injected in the myocardium or in the pericardial space in mice. Nanoparticle retention and upconversion in the cardiac region did not alter heart rate variability, nor cardiac function as determined over a 15-day time course ensuing the sole injection. Altogether, our nanoparticles show innocuity primarily in the pericardial region and can be safely used for controlled spatiotemporal drug delivery. Our results support the use of upconverting nanoparticles as potential theranostics tools overcoming some of the key limitations associated with conventional experimental cardiology.

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<![CDATA[Improved visualisation of hepatic metastases in gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MRI: Potential of contrast-optimised (phase-sensitive) inversion recovery imaging]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897740d5eed0c4847d2834

Background

Detection of metastases can have a significant impact on therapy. Nevertheless, even in gadoxetate disodium-enhanced MR scans, very small hepatic metastases may be difficult to see.

Purpose

To investigate the potential of a contrast-optimised (phase-sensitive) inversion recovery MR sequence in gadoxetate disodium-enhanced scans for detection of hepatic metastases.

Materials and methods

With institutional review board approval and after written informed consent, 40 patients (18 male, 22 female) with suspected or known hepatic metastases were examined on a 1.5 T MR system. A T1-weighted gradient-echo volumetric-interpolated-breath-hold (VIBE) sequence was acquired as part of the standard imaging protocol 20 minutes after administration of gadoxetate disodium. Additionally, an IR sequence was acquired with an inversion time to suppress native signal from metastases. Overall image quality and delineation of lesions were assessed on VIBE as well as on magnitude-reconstructed (MAG) and phase-sensitive IR (PSIR) sequences. Lesion-to-liver contrast (LLC) was compared between VIBE and MAG images.

Results

Overall image quality was high in both VIBE and MAG IR sequences (VIBE 4.275; MAG 4.313), yet significantly lower in PSIR (4.038). Subjective delineation of lesions was higher on MAG and PSIR images compared to VIBE in all size groups with an overall statistically significant difference for VIBE vs. MAG vs. PSIR (p < .001) in the variance analysis. Mean LLC was 0.35±0.01 for VIBE sequences, and 0.73±0.01 for MAG.

Conclusion

Contrast-optimised PSIR seems to improve imaging characteristics of hepatic metastases in gadoxetate disodium-enhanced scans compared to T1 gradient-echo VIBE sequences.

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<![CDATA[Deletion of Nkx2-5 in trabecular myocardium reveals the developmental origins of pathological heterogeneity associated with ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a28c7463d7e4513b8982a

Left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC) is a rare cardiomyopathy associated with a hypertrabeculated phenotype and a large spectrum of symptoms. It is still unclear whether LVNC results from a defect of ventricular trabeculae development and the mechanistic basis that underlies the varying severity of this pathology is unknown. To investigate these issues, we inactivated the cardiac transcription factor Nkx2-5 in trabecular myocardium at different stages of trabecular morphogenesis using an inducible Cx40-creERT2 allele. Conditional deletion of Nkx2-5 at embryonic stages, during trabecular formation, provokes a severe hypertrabeculated phenotype associated with subendocardial fibrosis and Purkinje fiber hypoplasia. A milder phenotype was observed after Nkx2-5 deletion at fetal stages, during trabecular compaction. A longitudinal study of cardiac function in adult Nkx2-5 conditional mutant mice demonstrates that excessive trabeculation is associated with complex ventricular conduction defects, progressively leading to strain defects, and, in 50% of mutant mice, to heart failure. Progressive impaired cardiac function correlates with conduction and strain defects independently of the degree of hypertrabeculation. Transcriptomic analysis of molecular pathways reflects myocardial remodeling with a larger number of differentially expressed genes in the severe versus mild phenotype and identifies Six1 as being upregulated in hypertrabeculated hearts. Our results provide insights into the etiology of LVNC and link its pathogenicity with compromised trabecular development including compaction defects and ventricular conduction system hypoplasia.

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<![CDATA[The Alpha-1A Adrenergic Receptor in the Rabbit Heart]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad8ab0ee8fa60bb8d8f

The alpha-1A-adrenergic receptor (AR) subtype is associated with cardioprotective signaling in the mouse and human heart. The rabbit is useful for cardiac disease modeling, but data on the alpha-1A in the rabbit heart are limited. Our objective was to test for expression and function of the alpha-1A in rabbit heart. By quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (qPCR) on mRNA from ventricular myocardium of adult male New Zealand White rabbits, the alpha-1B was 99% of total alpha-1-AR mRNA, with <1% alpha-1A and alpha-1D, whereas alpha-1A mRNA was over 50% of total in brain and liver. Saturation radioligand binding identified ~4 fmol total alpha-1-ARs per mg myocardial protein, with 17% alpha-1A by competition with the selective antagonist 5-methylurapidil. The alpha-1D was not detected by competition with BMY-7378, indicating that 83% of alpha-1-ARs were alpha-1B. In isolated left ventricle and right ventricle, the selective alpha-1A agonist A61603 stimulated a negative inotropic effect, versus a positive inotropic effect with the nonselective alpha-1-agonist phenylephrine and the beta-agonist isoproterenol. Blood pressure assay in conscious rabbits using an indwelling aortic telemeter showed that A61603 by bolus intravenous dosing increased mean arterial pressure by 20 mm Hg at 0.14 μg/kg, 10-fold lower than norepinephrine, and chronic A61603 infusion by iPRECIO programmable micro Infusion pump did not increase BP at 22 μg/kg/d. A myocardial slice model useful in human myocardium and an anthracycline cardiotoxicity model useful in mouse were both problematic in rabbit. We conclude that alpha-1A mRNA is very low in rabbit heart, but the receptor is present by binding and mediates a negative inotropic response. Expression and function of the alpha-1A in rabbit heart differ from mouse and human, but the vasopressor response is similar to mouse.

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<![CDATA[Quantification of Coupled Stiffness and Fiber Orientation Remodeling in Hypertensive Rat Right-Ventricular Myocardium Using 3D Ultrasound Speckle Tracking with Biaxial Testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da10ab0ee8fa60b797b5

Mechanical and structural changes of right ventricular (RV) in response to pulmonary hypertension (PH) are inadequately understood. While current standard biaxial testing provides information on the mechanical behavior of RV tissues using surface markers, it is unable to fully assess structural and mechanical properties across the full tissue thickness. In this study, the mechanical and structural properties of normotensive and pulmonary hypertension right ventricular (PHRV) myocardium through its full thickness were examined using mechanical testing combined with 3D ultrasound speckle tracking (3D-UST). RV pressure overload was induced in Sprague–Dawley rats by pulmonary artery (PA) banding. The second Piola–Kirchhoff stress tensors and Green-Lagrangian strain tensors were computed in the RV myocardium using the biaxial testing combined with 3D-UST. A previously established non-linear curve-fitting algorithm was applied to fit experimental data to a Strain Energy Function (SEF) for computation of myofiber orientation. The fiber orientations obtained by the biaxial testing with 3D-UST compared well with the fiber orientations computed from the histology. In addition, the re-orientation of myofiber in the right ventricular free wall (RVFW) along longitudinal direction (apex-to-outflow-tract direction) was noticeable in response to PH. For normotensive RVFW samples, the average fiber orientation angles obtained by 3D-UST with biaxial test spiraled from 20° at the endo-cardium to -42° at the epi-cardium (Δ = 62°). For PHRV samples, the average fiber orientation angles obtained by 3D-UST with biaxial test had much less spiral across tissue thickness: 3° at endo-cardium to -7° at epi-cardium (Δ = 10°, P<0.005 compared to normotensive).

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<![CDATA[The Hole and the Whole: Lessons from Manipulation of Nipbl Deficiency]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7d70e

Congenital heart defects (CHDs) affect 2%–3% of newborns and remain challenging clinically. There is an ongoing project to elucidate the causes of CHDs, focusing primarily on genetics as dictated by the epidemiology. In a paper published in this issue, Santos and colleagues describe studies of Cornelia de Lange syndrome-associated secundum atrial septal defects (ASDs) caused by NIPBL mutations, undertaken with a targeted trapping allele in mice. They show that Nipbl haploinsufficiency in either of two cell populations was sufficient to engender ASDs but that expression solely in either one of those populations was sufficient to rescue them. This work provides novel insights into incomplete penetrance and oligogenic effects underlying CHDs.

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<![CDATA[Inhibiting Extracellular Vesicle Release from Human Cardiosphere Derived Cells with Lentiviral Knockdown of nSMase2 Differentially Effects Proliferation and Apoptosis in Cardiomyocytes, Fibroblasts and Endothelial Cells In Vitro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba0fc5

Numerous studies have shown a beneficial effect of cardiosphere-derived cell (CDC) therapy on regeneration of injured myocardium. Paracrine signaling by CDC secreted exosomes may contribute to improved cardiac function. However, it has not yet been demonstrated by a genetic approach that exosome release contributes to the therapeutic effect of transplanted CDCs. By employing a lentiviral knockdown (KD) strategy against neutral spingomyelinase 2 (nSMase2), a crucial gene in exosome secretion, we have defined the role of physiologically secreted human CDC-derived exosomes on cardiac fibroblast, endothelial cell and primary cardiomyocyte proliferation, cell death, migration and angiogenesis using a series of in vitro coculture assays. We found that secretion of hCDC-derived exosomes was effectively inhibited by nSMase2 lentiviral KD and shRNAi expression was stable and constitutive. hCDC exosome release contributed to the angiogenic and pro-migratory effects of hCDCs on HUVECs, decreased proliferation of fibroblasts, and decreased apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. These in vitro reactions support a role for exosome secretion as a paracrine mechanism of stem cell-mediated cardiac repair in vivo. Importantly, we have established a novel tool to test constitutive inhibition of exosome secretion in stem cell populations in animal models of cardiac disease.

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<![CDATA[Non-Invasive Evaluation of Heart Function with Four-Dimensional Echocardiography]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3bab0ee8fa60bd4e6d

Background

The aim of this study is to assess the accuracy and feasibility of left ventricular systolic function determined by four-dimensional echocardiography (4DE).

Methods

Latex balloons were sewn into the left ventricle (LV) of 20 freshly harvested pig hearts which were then passively driven by a pulsatile pump apparatus. Global longitudinal strain (GLS), global circumferential strain (GCS), global area strain (GAS) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) derived from 4DEand two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE)-derived LVEF were quantified at different stroke volumes (SV) 30–70 ml and correlated with sonomicrometry data.

Results

In all comparisons, GLS, GCS, GAS, 2DE-LVEF, and 4DE-LVEF demonstrated strong correlations with sonomicrometry data (r = 0.77, r = 0.89, r = 0.79, r = 0.93, r = 0.96, all P <0.001). Bland-Altman analyses showed slight overestimations of echo-derived GLS, GCS, 2DE-LVEF and 3DE-LVEF over sonomicrometry values (bias = 2.88, bias = 3.99, bias = 3.37, bias = 2.78, respectively). Furthermore, there is better agreement between GCS, 4D LVEF and sonomicrometry values compared with GLS and 2D LVEF.

Conclusion

Four-dimensional echocardiography accurately assesses LV function. GCS derived by 4DE is a potential alternative parameter to quantify LV systolic function.

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<![CDATA[Transplantation of purified iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes in myocardial infarction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf75b

Background

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) can be differentiated into cardiomyocytes and represent a possible autologous cell source for myocardial repair. We analyzed the engraftment and functional effects of murine iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) in a murine model of myocardial infarction.

Methods and results

To maximize cardiomyocyte yield and purity a genetic purification protocol was applied. Murine iPSCs were genetically modified to express a Zeocin resistance gene under control of the cardiac-specific α-myosin heavy chain (α-MHC, MYH6) promoter. Thus, CM selection was performed during in vitro differentiation. iPSC-CM aggregates (“cardiac bodies”, CBs) were transplanted on day 14 after LAD ligation into the hearts of previously LAD-ligated mice (800 CBs/animal; 2-3x106 CMs). Animals were treated with placebo (PBS, n = 14) or iPSC-CMs (n = 35). Myocardial remodeling and function were evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), conductance catheter (CC) analysis and histological morphometry. In vitro and in vivo differentiation was investigated. Follow up was 28 days (including histological assessment and functional analysis). iPSC-CM purity was >99%. Transplanted iPSC-CMs formed mature grafts within the myocardium, expressed cardiac markers and exhibited sarcomeric structures. Intramyocardial transplantation of iPSC-CMs significantly improved myocardial remodeling and left ventricular function 28 days after LAD-ligation.

Conclusions

We conclude that iPSCs can effectively be differentiated into cardiomyocytes and genetically enriched to high purity. iPSC derived cardiomyocytes engraft within the myocardium of LAD-ligated mice and contribute to improve left ventricular function.

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<![CDATA[A Translational Study of a New Therapeutic Approach for Acute Myocardial Infarction: Nanoparticle-Mediated Delivery of Pitavastatin into Reperfused Myocardium Reduces Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in a Preclinical Porcine Model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2bab0ee8fa60bd149f

Background

There is an unmet need to develop an innovative cardioprotective modality for acute myocardial infarction, for which interventional reperfusion therapy is hampered by ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury. We recently reported that bioabsorbable poly(lactic acid/glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle-mediated treatment with pitavastatin (pitavastatin-NP) exerts a cardioprotective effect in a rat IR injury model by activating the PI3K-Akt pathway and inhibiting inflammation. To obtain preclinical proof-of-concept evidence, in this study, we examined the effect of pitavastatin-NP on myocardial IR injury in conscious and anesthetized pig models.

Methods and Results

Eighty-four Bama mini-pigs were surgically implanted with a pneumatic cuff occluder at the left circumflex coronary artery (LCx) and telemetry transmitters to continuously monitor electrocardiogram as well as to monitor arterial blood pressure and heart rate. The LCx was occluded for 60 minutes, followed by 24 hours of reperfusion under conscious conditions. Intravenous administration of pitavastatin-NP containing ≥ 8 mg/body of pitavastatin 5 minutes before reperfusion significantly reduced infarct size; by contrast, pitavastatin alone (8 mg/body) showed no therapeutic effects. Pitavastatin-NP produced anti-apoptotic effects on cultured cardiomyocytes in vitro. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging performed 4 weeks after IR injury revealed that pitavastatin-NP reduced the extent of left ventricle remodeling. Importantly, pitavastatin-NP exerted no significant effects on blood pressure, heart rate, or serum biochemistry. Exploratory examinations in anesthetized pigs showed pharmacokinetic analysis and the effects of pitavastatin-NP on no-reflow phenomenon.

Conclusions

NP-mediated delivery of pitavastatin to IR-injured myocardium exerts cardioprotective effects on IR injury without apparent adverse side effects in a preclinical conscious pig model. Thus, pitavastatin-NP represents a novel therapeutic modality for IR injury in acute myocardial infarction.

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<![CDATA[Evidence for Acute Myocardial and Skeletal Muscle Injury after Serial Transthoracic Shocks in Healthy Swine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db03ab0ee8fa60bc74ef

Background

Previous serological studies have shown controversial results whether defibrillation or cardioversion can cause myocardial injury. Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) can be used to detect myocardial edema, hyperemia and capillary leak as features of acute myocardial injury. The aim of this study was to assess for myocardial and skeletal muscle injury in swine following transthoracic shocks.

Methods

Seventeen anaesthetized swine were examined, with 11 undergoing five synchronized transthoracic shocks (200J). Myocardial and skeletal muscle injury were assessed at baseline and up to 5h post-shock employing T1 mapping, T2 mapping, early and late gadolinium enhancement. Serologic markers (cFABP, TnI, CK, and CK-MB) and myocardial tissue were assessed by standard histology methods.

Results

In myocardial regions within the shock path, T1 and T2 were significantly increased compared to remote myocardium in the same animals. The early gadolinium enhancement ratio between the left-ventricular myocardium and the right pectoral muscle was also increased compared to control animals. After the shocks cFABP and CK were significantly elevated. After shock application, the regions identified as abnormal by CMR showed significantly increased interstitial and myocardial cell areas in histological analysis. This increased cell area suggests significant cellular and interstitial edema.

Conclusion

Our pilot study data indicate that serial defibrillator shocks lead to acute skeletal muscle and myocardial injury. CMR is a useful tool to detect and localize myocardial and skeletal muscle injury early after transthoracic shocks in vivo. In the future the technique could potentially be used as an additional tool for quality control such as verifying insufficient local shock application in non-responders after cardioversion or to develop safer shock forms.

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<![CDATA[Measurement of Myocardial T1ρ with a Motion Corrected, Parametric Mapping Sequence in Humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daebab0ee8fa60bbf59b

Purpose

To develop a robust T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence for assessment of myocardial disease in humans.

Materials and Methods

We developed a breath-held T mapping method using a single-shot, T-prepared balanced steady-state free-precession (bSSFP) sequence. The magnetization trajectory was simulated to identify sources of T error. To limit motion artifacts, an optical flow-based image registration method was used to align T images. The reproducibility and accuracy of these methods was assessed in phantoms and 10 healthy subjects. Results are shown in 1 patient with pre-ventricular contractions (PVCs), 1 patient with chronic myocardial infarction (MI) and 2 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Results

In phantoms, the mean bias was 1.0 ± 2.7 msec (100 msec phantom) and 0.9 ± 0.9 msec (60 msec phantom) at 60 bpm and 2.2 ± 3.2 msec (100 msec) and 1.4 ± 0.9 msec (60 msec) at 80 bpm. The coefficient of variation (COV) was 2.2 (100 msec) and 1.3 (60 msec) at 60 bpm and 2.6 (100 msec) and 1.4 (60 msec) at 80 bpm. Motion correction improved the alignment of T images in subjects, as determined by the increase in Dice Score Coefficient (DSC) from 0.76 to 0.88. T reproducibility was high (COV < 0.05, intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) = 0.85–0.97). Mean myocardial T value in healthy subjects was 63.5 ± 4.6 msec. There was good correspondence between late-gadolinium enhanced (LGE) MRI and increased T relaxation times in patients.

Conclusion

Single-shot, motion corrected, spin echo, spin lock MRI permits 2D T mapping in a breath-hold with good accuracy and precision.

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<![CDATA[A Regional Reduction in Ito and IKACh in the Murine Posterior Left Atrial Myocardium Is Associated with Action Potential Prolongation and Increased Ectopic Activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0dab0ee8fa60b78576

Background

The left atrial posterior wall (LAPW) is potentially an important area for the development and maintenance of atrial fibrillation. We assessed whether there are regional electrical differences throughout the murine left atrial myocardium that could underlie regional differences in arrhythmia susceptibility.

Methods

We used high-resolution optical mapping and sharp microelectrode recordings to quantify regional differences in electrical activation and repolarisation within the intact, superfused murine left atrium and quantified regional ion channel mRNA expression by Taqman Low Density Array. We also performed selected cellular electrophysiology experiments to validate regional differences in ion channel function.

Results

Spontaneous ectopic activity was observed during sustained 1Hz pacing in 10/19 intact LA and this was abolished following resection of LAPW (0/19 resected LA, P<0.001). The source of the ectopic activity was the LAPW myocardium, distinct from the pulmonary vein sleeve and LAA, determined by optical mapping. Overall, LAPW action potentials (APs) were ca. 40% longer than the LAA and this region displayed more APD heterogeneity. mRNA expression of Kcna4, Kcnj3 and Kcnj5 was lower in the LAPW myocardium than in the LAA. Cardiomyocytes isolated from the LAPW had decreased Ito and a reduced IKACh current density at both positive and negative test potentials.

Conclusions

The murine LAPW myocardium has a different electrical phenotype and ion channel mRNA expression profile compared with other regions of the LA, and this is associated with increased ectopic activity. If similar regional electrical differences are present in the human LA, then the LAPW may be a potential future target for treatment of atrial fibrillation.

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<![CDATA[Lack of Genetic Interaction between Tbx18 and Tbx2/Tbx20 in Mouse Epicardial Development]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da08ab0ee8fa60b76953

The epicardium, the outermost layer of the heart, is an essential source of cells and signals for the formation of the cardiac fibrous skeleton and the coronary vasculature, and for the maturation of the myocardium during embryonic development. The molecular factors that control epicardial mobilization and differentiation, and direct the epicardial-myocardial cross-talk are, however, insufficiently understood. The T-box transcription factor gene Tbx18 is specifically expressed in the epicardium of vertebrate embryos. Loss of Tbx18 is dispensable for epicardial development, but may influence coronary vessel maturation. In contrast, over-expression of an activator version of TBX18 severely impairs epicardial development by premature differentiation of epicardial cells into SMCs indicating a potential redundancy of Tbx18 with other repressors of the T-box gene family. Here, we show that Tbx2 and Tbx20 are co-expressed with Tbx18 at different stages of epicardial development. Using a conditional gene targeting approach we find that neither the epicardial loss of Tbx2 nor the combined loss of Tbx2 and Tbx18 affects epicardial development. Similarly, we observed that the heterozygous loss of Tbx20 with and without additional loss of Tbx18 does not impact on epicardial integrity and mobilization in mouse embryos. Thus, Tbx18 does not function redundantly with Tbx2 or Tbx20 in epicardial development.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Ventricular Inducibility with Late Gadolinium Enhancement and Myocardial Inflammation in Endomyocardial Biopsy in Patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa3ab0ee8fa60ba6a92

Background

Risk stratification of patients with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy remains a matter of debate in the era of device implantation.

Objective

We investigated associations between histopathological findings, contrast-enhanced cardiac MRI and the inducibility of ventricular tachycardia (VT) or fibrillation (VF) in programmed ventricular stimulation.

Methods

56 patients with impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF≤50%, mean 36.6±10.5%) due to non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy underwent cardiac MRI, programmed ventricular stimulation, and endomyocardial biopsy and were retrospectively investigated. Inducibility was defined as sustained mono- or polymorphic VT or unstable VT/VF requiring cardioversion/defibrillation. Primary study endpoint was defined as the occurrence of hemodynamically relevant VT/VF and/or adequate ICD-therapy during follow-up.

Results

Endomyocardial biopsy detected cardiac fibrosis in 18 (32.1%) patients. Cardiac MRI revealed 35 (62.5%) patients with positive late gadolinium enhancement. VT/VF was induced in ten (17.9%) patients during programmed ventricular stimulation. Monomorphic VT was inducible in 70%, while 20% of patients showed polymorphic VT. One patient (10%) presented with VF. Inducibility correlated significantly with the presence of positive late gadolinium enhancement in cardiac MRI (p<0.01). We could not find a significant association between inducibility and the degree of cardiac inflammation and fibrosis in non-site directed routine right ventricular endomyocardial biopsy. During a mean follow-up of 2.6 years, nine (16.1%) patients reached the primary endpoint. Monomorphic VTs were found in 66.7% patients and were terminated by antitachycardia pacing therapy. One patient with polymorphic VT and two patients with VF received adequate therapy by an ICD-shock. However, inducibility did not correlate with the occurrence of endpoints.

Conclusion

Inducibilty during programmed ventricular stimulation is associated with positive late gadolinium enhancement in cardiac MRI of patients with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy. The presence of myocardial fibrosis or inflammation in undirected endomyocardial biopsy does not seem to be sufficient to predict future ventricular arrhythmias.

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<![CDATA[Cardiac Mitochondrial Respiratory Dysfunction and Tissue Damage in Chronic Hyperglycemia Correlate with Reduced Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2 Activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d7ab0ee8fa60b664e6

Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) 2 is a mitochondrial isozyme of the heart involved in the metabolism of toxic aldehydes produced from oxidative stress. We hypothesized that hyperglycemia-mediated decrease in ALDH2 activity may impair mitochondrial respiration and ultimately result in cardiac damage. A single dose (65 mg/kg; i.p.) streptozotocin injection to rats resulted in hyperglycemia with blood glucose levels of 443 ± 9 mg/dl versus 121 ± 7 mg/dl in control animals, p<0.0001, N = 7–11. After 6 months of diabetes mellitus (DM) induction, the rats were sacrificed after recording the functionality of their hearts. Increase in the cardiomyocyte cross sectional area (446 ± 32 μm2 Vs 221 ± 10 μm2; p<0.0001) indicated cardiac hypertrophy in DM rats. Both diastolic and systolic dysfunctions were observed with DM rats compared to controls. Most importantly, myocardial ALDH2 activity and levels were reduced, and immunostaining for 4HNE protein adducts was increased in DM hearts compared to controls. The mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate (OCR), an index of mitochondrial respiration, was decreased in mitochondria isolated from DM hearts compared to controls (p<0.0001). Furthermore, the rate of mitochondrial respiration and the increase in carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP)-induced maximal respiration were also decreased with chronic hyperglycemia. Chronic hyperglycemia reduced mitochondrial OXPHOS proteins. Reduced ALDH2 activity was correlated with mitochondrial dysfunction, pathological remodeling and cardiac dysfunction, respectively. Our results suggest that chronic hyperglycemia reduces ALDH2 activity, leading to mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction and consequently cardiac damage and dysfunction.

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<![CDATA[Depletion of Tip60 from In Vivo Cardiomyocytes Increases Myocyte Density, Followed by Cardiac Dysfunction, Myocyte Fallout and Lethality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f3ab0ee8fa60b6f33c

Tat-interactive protein 60 (Tip60), encoded by the Kat5 gene, is a member of the MYST family of acetyltransferases. Cancer biology studies have shown that Tip60 induces the DNA damage response, apoptosis, and cell-cycle inhibition. Although Tip60 is expressed in the myocardium, its role in cardiomyocytes (CMs) is unclear. Earlier studies here showed that application of cardiac stress to globally targeted Kat5+/—haploinsufficient mice resulted in inhibition of apoptosis and activation of the CM cell-cycle, despite only modest reduction of Tip60 protein levels. It was therefore of interest to ascertain the effects of specifically and substantially depleting Tip60 from CMs using Kat5LoxP/-;Myh6-Cre mice in the absence of stress. We report initial findings using this model, in which the effects of specifically depleting Tip60 protein from ventricular CMs, beginning at early neonatal stages, were assessed in 2–12 week-old mice. Although 5’-bromodeoxyuridine immunostaining indicated that CM proliferation was not altered at any of these stages, CM density was increased in 2 week-old ventricles, which persisted in 4 week-old hearts when TUNEL staining revealed inhibition of apoptosis. By week 4, levels of connexin-43 were depleted, and its patterning was dysmorphic, concomitant with an increase in cardiac hypertrophy marker expression and interstitial fibrosis. This was followed by systolic dysfunction at 8 weeks, after which extensive apoptosis and CM fallout occurred, followed by lethality as mice approached 12 weeks of age. In summary, chronic depletion of Tip60 from the ventricular myocardium beginning at early stages of neonatal heart development causes CM death after 8 weeks; hence, Tip60 protein has a crucial function in the heart.

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<![CDATA[Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion enhances transcriptional expression of endothelin-1 and vasoconstrictor ETB receptors via the protein kinase MEK-ERK1/2 signaling pathway in rat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc07c

Background

Coronary artery remodelling and vasospasm is a complication of acute myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. The underlying mechanisms are complex, but the vasoconstrictor peptide endothelin-1 is suggested to have an important role. This study aimed to determine whether the expression of endothelin-1 and its receptors are regulated in the myocardium and in coronary arteries after experimental ischemia-reperfusion. Furthermore, we evaluated whether treatment with a specific MEK1/2 inhibitor, U0126, modified the expression and function of these proteins.

Methods and findings

Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups: sham-operated, ischemia-reperfusion with vehicle treatment and ischemia-reperfusion with U0126 treatment. Ischemia was induced by ligating the left anterior descending coronary artery for 30 minutes followed by reperfusion. U0126 was administered before ischemia and repeated 6 hours after start of reperfusion. The contractile properties of isolated coronary arteries to endothelin-1 and sarafotoxin 6c were evaluated using wire-myography. The gene expression of endothelin-1 and endothelin receptors were measured using qPCR. Distribution and localization of proteins (pERK1/2, prepro-endothelin-1, endothelin-1, and endothelin ETA and ETB receptors) were analysed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. We found that pERK1/2 was significantly augmented in the ischemic area 3 hours after ischemia-reperfusion; this correlated with increased ETB receptor and ET-1 gene expressions in ischemic myocardium and in coronary arteries. ETB receptor-mediated vasoconstriction was observed to be increased in coronary arteries 24 hours after ischemia-reperfusion. Treatment with U0126 reduced pERK1/2, expression of ET-1 and ETB receptor, and ETB receptor-mediated vasoconstriction.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that the MEK-ERK1/2 signaling pathway is important for regulating endothelin-1 and ETB receptors in myocardium and coronary arteries after ischemia-reperfusion in the ischemic region. Inhibition of the MEK-ERK1/2 pathway may provide a novel target for reducing ischemia-reperfusion damage in the heart.

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<![CDATA[Changes in the Anatomic and Microscopic Structure and the Expression of HIF-1α and VEGF of the Yak Heart with Aging and Hypoxia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafaab0ee8fa60bc471d

The study aimed to identify the changes of anatomic and microscopic structure and the expression and localization of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the myocardium and coronary artery of the yak heart adapted to chronic hypoxia with aging. Thirty-two yaks (1 day, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 5 year old) were included, and immunoelectronmicroscopy, immunohistochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used. Right ventricular hypertrophy was not present in yaks with aging. There was no intima thickening phenomenon in the coronary artery. The ultrastructure of myofibrils, mitochondria, and collagen fibers and the diameter and quantity of collagen changed significantly with aging. The enzymatic activity of complexes I, II, and V increased with age. Immunogold labeling showed the localization of HIF-1α protein in the cytoplasm and nuclei of endothelial cells and cytoplasm of cardiac muscle cells, and VEGF protein in the nuclei and perinuclei areas of smooth muscle cells of coronary artery, and in the cytoplasm and nuclei of endothelial cells. ELISA results showed that HIF-1α secretion significantly increased in the myocardium and coronary artery from an age of 1 day to 2 years of yaks and decreased in old yaks. However, VEGF protein always increased with aging. The findings of this study suggest that 6 months is a key age of yak before which there are some adaptive changes to deal with low-oxygen environment, and there is a maturation of the yak heart from the age of 6 months to 2 years.

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