Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) can arise from cardiac and vascular remodeling processes following long-lasting hypertension. Efficacy of common HF therapeutics is unsatisfactory in HFpEF. Evidence suggests that stimulators of the nitric oxide–sensitive soluble guanylyl cyclase (NOsGC) could be of use here. We aimed to characterize the complex cardiovascular effects of NOsGC stimulation using NO-independent stimulator BAY 41-8543 in a double-transgenic rat (dTGR) model of HFpEF. We show a drastically improved survival rate of treated dTGR. We observed less cardiac fibrosis, macrophage infiltration, and gap junction remodeling in treated dTGR. Microarray analysis revealed that treatment of dTGR corrected the dysregulateion of cardiac genes associated with fibrosis, inflammation, apoptosis, oxidative stress, and ion channel function toward an expression profile similar to healthy controls. Treatment reduced systemic blood pressure levels and improved endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation of resistance vessels. Further comprehensive in vivo phenotyping showed an improved diastolic cardiac function, improved hemodynamics, and less susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias. Short-term BAY 41-8543 application in isolated untreated transgenic hearts with structural remodeling significantly reduced the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias, suggesting a direct nongenomic role of NOsGC stimulation on excitation. Thus, NOsGC stimulation was highly effective in improving several HFpEF facets in this animal model, underscoring its potential value for patients.
Nicola Wilck, Lajos Markó, András Balogh, Kristin Kräker, Florian Herse, Hendrik Bartolomaeus, István A. Szijártó, Maik Gollasch, Nadine Reichhart, Olaf Strauss, Arnd Heuser, Damian Brockschnieder, Axel Kretschmer, Ralf Lesche, Florian Sohler, Johannes-Peter Stasch, Peter Sandner, Friedrich C. Luft, Dominik N. Müller, Ralf Dechend, Nadine Haase
The role of proinflammation, and specifically TNF-α, on downstream fibrosis and healing after cardiac injury remains unknown. Using iRhom2-deficient mice, which lack myeloid-specific shedding of TNF-α, we reveal increased macrophages (MΦs) that were skewed towards a more proinflammatory (M1) state at day 4, followed by more reparative, antiinflammatory (M2) state at day 7 after myocardial infarction (MI). However, associated functional cytokine expression was significantly reduced in iRhom2-mutant M1 and M2 MΦs, respectively. A dampened proinflammatory signature in iRhom2-deficient mice during the acute phase of injury and subsequent changes in MΦ polarization were associated with reduced phagocytosis and a more sparse distribution within the scar region. This resulted in impaired collagen deposition and fibrosis, and increased left ventricular remodelling and mortality in iRhom2-deficient mice after MI. Our findings reveal a requirement for an iRhom2-mediated proinflammatory response during downstream scarring and fibrosis, which is driven in part by TNF-α signaling. These conclusions challenge the existing model that infarct repair is determined exclusively by antiinflammatory signaling of M2 MΦs, and as such we propose an alternative view of immunomodulation to maintain effective healing after infarction.
Damien N. Barnette, Thomas J. Cahill, Mala Gunadasa-Rohling, Carolyn A. Carr, Matthew Freeman, Paul R. Riley
To elucidate the mechanisms responsible for cytoprotective effects of TNF receptor–activated factor 2 (TRAF2) in the heart, we employed genetic gain- and loss-of-function studies ex vivo and in vivo in mice with cardiac-restricted overexpression of TRAF2 (Myh6-TRAF2LC). Crossing Myh6-TRAF2LC mice with mice lacking canonical signaling (Myh6-TRAF2LC/Myh6-IκBαΔN) abrogated the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2 ex vivo. In contrast, inhibiting the JAK/STAT pathway did not abrogate the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2. Transcriptional profiling of WT, Myh6-TRAF2LC, and Myh6-TRAF2LC/Myh6-IκBαΔN mouse hearts suggested that the noncanonical NF-κB signaling pathway was upregulated in the Myh6-TRAF2LC mouse hearts. Western blotting and ELISA for the NF-κB family proteins p50, p65, p52, and RelB on nuclear and cytoplasmic extracts from naive 12-week-old WT, Myh6-TRAF2LC, and Myh6-TRAF2LC/Myh6-IκBαΔN mouse hearts showed increased expression levels and increased DNA binding of p52 and RelB, whereas there was no increase in expression or DNA binding of the p50 and p65 subunits. Crossing Myh6-TRAF2LC mice with RelB–/+ mice (Myh6-TRAF2LC/RelB–/+) attenuated the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2 ex vivo and in vivo. Viewed together, these results suggest that crosstalk between the canonical and noncanonical NF-κB signaling pathways is required for mediating the cytoprotective effects of TRAF2.
Sarah Evans, Huei-Ping Tzeng, Deborah J. Veis, Scot Matkovich, Carla Weinheimer, Attila Kovacs, Philip M. Barger, Douglas L. Mann
Anthracyclines such as doxorubicin are highly effective chemotherapy agents used to treat many common malignancies. However, their use is limited by cardiotoxicity. We previously identified visnagin as protecting against doxorubicin toxicity in cardiac but not tumor cells. In this study, we sought to develop more potent visnagin analogs in order to use these analogs as tools to clarify the mechanisms of visnagin-mediated cardioprotection. Structure-activity relationship studies were performed in a zebrafish model of doxorubicin cardiomyopathy. Movement of the 5-carbonyl to the 7 position and addition of short ester side chains led to development of visnagin analogs with 1,000-fold increased potency in zebrafish and 250-fold increased potency in mice. Using proteomics, we discovered that doxorubicin caused robust induction of Cytochrome P450 family 1 (CYP1) that was mitigated by visnagin and its potent analog 23. Treatment with structurally divergent CYP1 inhibitors, as well as knockdown of CYP1A, prevented doxorubicin cardiomyopathy in zebrafish. The identification of potent cardioprotective agents may facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies for patients receiving cardiotoxic chemotherapy. Moreover, these studies support the idea that CYP1 is an important contributor to doxorubicin cardiotoxicity and suggest that modulation of this pathway could be beneficial in the clinical setting.
Aarti Asnani, Bahoui Zheng, Yan Liu, You Wang, Howard H. Chen, Anita Vohra, An Chi, Ivan Cornella-Taracido, Huijun Wang, Douglas G. Johns, David E. Sosnovik, Randall T. Peterson
Inflammation is critical to atherogenesis. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that accelerates atherosclerosis in humans and provides a compelling model to understand potential pathways linking these diseases. A murine model capturing the vascular and metabolic diseases in psoriasis would accelerate our understanding and provide a platform to test emerging therapies. We aimed to characterize a new murine model of skin inflammation (Rac1V12) from a cardiovascular standpoint to identify novel atherosclerotic signaling pathways modulated in chronic skin inflammation. The RacV12 psoriasis mouse resembled the human disease state, including presence of systemic inflammation, dyslipidemia, and cardiometabolic dysfunction. Psoriasis macrophages had a proatherosclerotic phenotype with increased lipid uptake and foam cell formation, and also showed a 6-fold increase in cholesterol crystal formation. We generated a triple-genetic K14-RacV12–/+/Srb1–/–/ApoER61H/H mouse and confirmed psoriasis accelerates atherogenesis (~7-fold increase). Finally, we noted a 60% reduction in superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) expression in human psoriasis macrophages. When SOD2 activity was restored in macrophages, their proatherogenic phenotype reversed. We demonstrate that the K14-RacV12 murine model captures the cardiometabolic dysfunction and accelerates vascular disease observed in chronic inflammation and that skin inflammation induces a proatherosclerotic macrophage phenotype with impaired SOD2 function, which associated with accelerated atherogenesis.
Yvonne Baumer, Qimin Ng, Gregory E. Sanda, Amit K. Dey, Heather L. Teague, Alexander V. Sorokin, Pradeep K. Dagur, Joanna I. Silverman, Charlotte L. Harrington, Justin A. Rodante, Shawn M. Rose, Nevin J. Varghese, Agastya D. Belur, Aditya Goyal, Joel M. Gelfand, Danielle A. Springer, Christopher K.E. Bleck, Crystal L. Thomas, Zu-Xi Yu, Mårten C.G. Winge, Howard S. Kruth, M. Peter Marinkovich, Aditya A. Joshi, Martin P. Playford, Nehal N. Mehta
Cardiac hypertrophic remodeling during chronic hemodynamic stress is associated with a switch in preferred energy substrate from fatty acids to glucose, usually considered to be energetically favorable. The mechanistic interrelationship between altered energy metabolism, remodeling, and function remains unclear. The ROS-generating NADPH oxidase-4 (Nox4) is upregulated in the overloaded heart, where it ameliorates adverse remodeling. Here, we show that Nox4 redirects glucose metabolism away from oxidation but increases fatty acid oxidation, thereby maintaining cardiac energetics during acute or chronic stresses. The changes in glucose and fatty acid metabolism are interlinked via a Nox4-ATF4–dependent increase in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway, which mediates the attachment of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAcylation) to the fatty acid transporter CD36 and enhances fatty acid utilization. These data uncover a potentially novel redox pathway that regulates protein O-GlcNAcylation and reprograms cardiac substrate metabolism to favorably modify adaptation to chronic stress. Our results also suggest that increased fatty acid oxidation in the chronically stressed heart may be beneficial.
Adam A. Nabeebaccus, Anna Zoccarato, Anne D. Hafstad, Celio X.C. Santos, Ellen Aasum, Alison C. Brewer, Min Zhang, Matteo Beretta, Xiaoke Yin, James A. West, Katrin Schröder, Julian L. Griffin, Thomas R. Eykyn, E. Dale Abel, Manuel Mayr, Ajay M. Shah
Restoring blood flow after myocardial infarction (MI) is essential for survival of existing and newly regenerated tissue. Endogenous vascular repair processes are deployed following injury but are poorly understood. We sought to determine whether developmental mechanisms of coronary vessel formation are intrinsically reactivated in the adult mouse after MI. Using pulse-chase genetic lineage tracing, we establish that de novo vessel formation constitutes a substantial component of the neovascular response, with apparent cellular contributions from the endocardium and coronary sinus. The adult heart reverts to its former hypertrabeculated state and repeats the process of compaction, which may facilitate endocardium-derived neovascularization. The capacity for angiogenic sprouting of the coronary sinus vein, the adult derivative of the sinus venosus, may also reflect its embryonic origin. The quiescent epicardium is reactivated and, while direct cellular contribution to new vessels is minimal, it supports the directional expansion of the neovessel network toward the infarcted myocardium. Thymosin β4, a peptide with roles in vascular development, was required for endocardial compaction, epicardial vessel expansion, and smooth muscle cell recruitment. Insight into pathways that regulate endogenous vascular repair, drawing on comparisons with development, may reveal novel targets for therapeutically enhancing neovascularization.
Karina N. Dubé, Tonia M. Thomas, Sonali Munshaw, Mala Rohling, Paul R. Riley, Nicola Smart
Currently, there is a limited ability to interactively study developmental cardiac mechanics and physiology. We therefore combined light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) with virtual reality (VR) to provide a hybrid platform for 3D architecture and time-dependent cardiac contractile function characterization. By taking advantage of the rapid acquisition, high axial resolution, low phototoxicity, and high fidelity in 3D and 4D (3D spatial + 1D time or spectra), this VR-LSFM hybrid methodology enables interactive visualization and quantification otherwise not available by conventional methods, such as routine optical microscopes. We hereby demonstrate multiscale applicability of VR-LSFM to (a) interrogate skin fibroblasts interacting with a hyaluronic acid–based hydrogel, (b) navigate through the endocardial trabecular network during zebrafish development, and (c) localize gene therapy-mediated potassium channel expression in adult murine hearts. We further combined our batch intensity normalized segmentation algorithm with deformable image registration to interface a VR environment with imaging computation for the analysis of cardiac contraction. Thus, the VR-LSFM hybrid platform demonstrates an efficient and robust framework for creating a user-directed microenvironment in which we uncovered developmental cardiac mechanics and physiology with high spatiotemporal resolution.
Yichen Ding, Arash Abiri, Parinaz Abiri, Shuoran Li, Chih-Chiang Chang, Kyung In Baek, Jeffrey J. Hsu, Elias Sideris, Yilei Li, Juhyun Lee, Tatiana Segura, Thao P. Nguyen, Alexander Bui, René R. Sevag Packard, Peng Fei, Tzung K. Hsiai
An ascending aortic aneurysm (AscAA) is a life-threatening disease whose molecular basis is poorly understood. Mutations in NOTCH1 have been linked to bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), which is associated with AscAA. Here, we describe a potentially novel role for Notch1 in AscAA. We found that Notch1 haploinsufficiency exacerbated the aneurysmal aortic root dilation seen in the Marfan syndrome mouse model and that heterozygous deletion of Notch1 in the second heart field (SHF) lineage recapitulated this exacerbated phenotype. Additionally, Notch1+/– mice in a predominantly 129S6 background develop aortic root dilation, indicating that loss of Notch1 is sufficient to cause AscAA. RNA sequencing analysis of the Notch1.129S6+/– aortic root demonstrated gene expression changes consistent with AscAA. These findings are the first to our knowledge to demonstrate an SHF lineage–specific role for Notch1 in AscAA and suggest that genes linked to the development of BAV may also contribute to the associated aortopathy.
Sara N. Koenig, Stephanie LaHaye, James D. Feller, Patrick Rowland, Kan N. Hor, Aaron J. Trask, Paul M.L. Janssen, Freddy Radtke, Brenda Lilly, Vidu Garg
Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality, and they are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Environmental risk factors may contribute to birth defects in genetically susceptible infants by altering critical molecular pathways during embryogenesis, but experimental evidence for gene-environment interactions is limited. Fetal hyperglycemia associated with maternal diabetes results in a 5-fold increased risk of congenital heart disease (CHD), but the molecular basis for this correlation is unknown. Here, we show that the effects of maternal hyperglycemia on cardiac development are sensitized by haploinsufficiency of Notch1, a key transcriptional regulator known to cause CHD. Using ATAC-seq, we found that hyperglycemia decreased chromatin accessibility at the endothelial NO synthase (Nos3) locus, resulting in reduced NO synthesis. Transcription of Jarid2, a regulator of histone methyltransferase complexes, was increased in response to reduced NO, and this upregulation directly resulted in inhibition of Notch1 expression to levels below a threshold necessary for normal heart development. We extended these findings using a Drosophila maternal diabetic model that revealed the evolutionary conservation of this interaction and the Jarid2-mediated mechanism. These findings identify a gene-environment interaction between maternal hyperglycemia and Notch signaling and support a model in which environmental factors cause birth defects in genetically susceptible infants.
Madhumita Basu, Jun-Yi Zhu, Stephanie LaHaye, Uddalak Majumdar, Kai Jiao, Zhe Han, Vidu Garg
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