Left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC) is one of the most common forms of genetic cardiomyopathy characterized by excessive trabeculation and impaired myocardial compaction during fetal development. Patients with LVNC are at higher risk of developing left/right ventricular failure or both. Although the key regulators for cardiac chamber development are well studied, the role of semaphorin (Sema)/plexin signaling in this process remains poorly understood. In this article, we demonstrate that genetic deletion of Plxnd1, a class-3 Sema receptor in endothelial cells, leads to severe cardiac chamber defects. They were characterized by excessive trabeculation and noncompaction similar to patients with LVNC. Loss of Plxnd1 results in decreased expression of extracellular matrix proteolytic genes, leading to excessive deposition of cardiac jelly. We demonstrate that Plxnd1 deficiency is associated with an increase in Notch1 expression and its downstream target genes. In addition, inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway partially rescues the excessive trabeculation and noncompaction phenotype present in Plxnd1 mutants. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Semaphorin 3E (Sema3E), one of PlexinD1’s known ligands, is expressed in the developing heart and is required for myocardial compaction. Collectively, our study uncovers what we believe to be a previously undescribed role of the Sema3E/PlexinD1 signaling pathway in myocardial trabeculation and the compaction process.
Reddemma Sandireddy, Dasan Mary Cibi, Priyanka Gupta, Anamika Singh, Nicole Tee, Akiyoshi Uemura, Jonathan A. Epstein, Manvendra K. Singh
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can suppress pathological inflammation. However, the mechanisms underlying the association between MSCs and inflammation remain unclear. Under coculture conditions with macrophages, MSCs highly expressed angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) to blunt the polarization of macrophages toward the proinflammatory phenotype. ANGPTL4-deficient MSCs failed to inhibit the inflammatory macrophage phenotype. In inflammation-related animal models, the injection of coculture medium or ANGPTL4 protein increased the antiinflammatory macrophages in both peritonitis and myocardial infarction. In particular, cardiac function and pathology were markedly improved by ANGPTL4 treatment. We found that retinoic acid–related orphan receptor α (RORα) was increased by inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1β, and bound to ANGPTL4 promoter in MSCs. Collectively, RORα-mediated ANGPTL4 induction was shown to contribute to the antiinflammatory activity of MSCs against macrophages under pathological conditions. This study suggests that the capability of ANGPTL4 to induce tissue repair is a promising opportunity for safe stem cell–free regeneration therapy from a translational perspective.
Dong Im Cho, Hye-jin Kang, Ju Hee Jeon, Gwang Hyeon Eom, Hyang Hee Cho, Mi Ra Kim, Meeyoung Cho, Hye-yun Jeong, Hyen Chung Cho, Moon Hwa Hong, Yong Sook Kim, Youngkeun Ahn
Calorie restriction (CR) improved healthspan in two longitudinal studies in nonhuman primates (NHPs), yet only the University of Wisconsin (UW) study demonstrated an increase in survival in CR monkeys relative to controls; the National Institute on Aging (NIA) study did not. Here, analysis of left ventricle samples showed that CR did not reduce cardiac fibrosis relative to controls. However, there was a 5.9-fold increase of total fibrosis in UW hearts, compared to NIA. Diet composition was a prominent difference between the studies; therefore, we used the NHP diets to characterize diet-associated molecular and functional changes in the hearts of mice. Consistent with the findings from the NHP samples, mice fed UW or a modified NIA diet with increased sucrose and fat developed greater cardiac fibrosis compared to the NIA diet, and transcriptomics analysis revealed diet-induced activation of myocardial oxidative phosphorylation and cardiac muscle contraction pathways.
Niranjana Natarajan, Ana Vujic, Jishnu Das, Annie C. Wang, Krystal K. Phu, Spencer H. Kiehm, Elisabeth M. Ricci-Blair, Anthony Y. Zhu, Kelli L. Vaughan, Ricki J. Colman, Julie A. Mattison, Richard T. Lee
It has been hypothesized that interleukin-1alpha (IL-1α) is released from damaged cardiomyocytes following myocardial infarction (MI) and activates cardiac fibroblasts via its receptor (IL-1R1) to drive the early stages of cardiac remodeling. This study aimed to definitively test this hypothesis using cell type-specific IL-1α and IL-1R1 knockout (KO) mouse models. A floxed Il1α mouse was created and used to generate a cardiomyocyte-specific IL-1α KO mouse line (MIL1AKO). A tamoxifen-inducible fibroblast-specific IL-1R1 hemizygous KO mouse line (FIL1R1KO) was also generated. Mice underwent experimental MI (permanent left anterior descending coronary artery ligation) and cardiac function was determined 4 weeks later by conductance pressure-volume catheter analysis. Molecular markers of remodeling were evaluated at various time points by real-time RT-PCR and histology. MIL1AKO mice showed no difference in cardiac function or molecular markers of remodeling post-MI compared with littermate controls. In contrast, FIL1R1KO mice showed improved cardiac function and reduced remodeling markers post-MI compared with littermate controls. In conclusion, these data highlight a key role for the IL-1R1/cardiac fibroblast signaling axis in regulating post-MI remodeling and provide support for the continued development of anti-IL-1 therapies for improving cardiac function after MI. Cardiomyocyte-derived IL-1α was not an important contributor to post-MI remodeling in this model.
Sumia A. Bageghni, Karen E. Hemmings, Nadira Y. Yuldasheva, Azhar Maqbool, Filomena O. Gamboa-Esteves, Neil E. Humphreys, Maj Simonsen Jackson, Christopher P. Denton, Sheila Francis, Karen E. Porter, Justin F. X. Ainscough, Emmanuel Pinteaux, Mark J. Drinkhill, Neil A. Turner
BACKGROUND. Lewy body diseases, a family of aging-related neurodegenerative disorders, entail loss of the catecholamine dopamine in the nigrostriatal system and equally severe deficiency of the closely related catecholamine norepinephrine in the heart. The myocardial noradrenergic lesion is associated with major non-motor symptoms and decreased survival. Numerous mechanisms determine norepinephrine stores, and which of these are altered in Lewy body diseases has not been examined in an integrated way. We used a computational modeling approach to assess comprehensively pathways of cardiac norepinephrine synthesis, storage, release, reuptake, and metabolism in Lewy body diseases. Application of a novel kinetic model identified a pattern of dysfunctional steps contributing to norepinephrine deficiency. We then tested predictions from the model in a new cohort of Parkinson disease patients. METHODS. Rate constants were calculated for 17 reactions determining intra-neuronal norepinephrine stores. Model predictions were tested by measuring post-mortem apical ventricular concentrations and concentration ratios of catechols in controls and patients with Parkinson disease. RESULTS. The model identified low rate constants for three types of processes in the Lewy body group—catecholamine biosynthesis via tyrosine hydroxylase and L-aromatic-amino-acid decarboxylase, vesicular storage of dopamine and norepinephrine, and neuronal norepinephrine reuptake via the cell membrane norepinephrine transporter. Post-mortem catechols and catechol ratios confirmed this triad of model-predicted functional abnormalities. CONCLUSION. Denervation-independent impairments of neurotransmitter biosynthesis, vesicular sequestration, and norepinephrine recycling contribute to the myocardial norepinephrine deficiency attending Lewy body diseases. A proportion of cardiac sympathetic nerves are “sick but not dead,” suggesting targeted disease-modification strategies might retard clinical progression. TRIAL REGISTRATION. This study was not a clinical trial. FUNDING. The research reported here was supported by the Division of Intramural Research, NINDS.
David S. Goldstein, Mark J. Pekker, Graeme Eisenhofer, Yehonatan Sharabi
Cardiac pressure overload (for example due to aortic stenosis) induces irreversible myocardial dysfunction, cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis in patients. In contrast to adult, neonatal mice can efficiently regenerate the heart after injury in the first week after birth. To decipher whether insufficient cardiac regeneration contributes to the progression of pressure overload dependent disease, we established a transverse aortic constriction protocol in neonatal mice (nTAC). nTAC in the non-regenerative stage (at postnatal day P7) induced cardiac dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. In contrast, nTAC in the regenerative stage (at P1) largely prevented these maladaptive responses and was in particular associated with enhanced myocardial angiogenesis and increased cardiomyocyte proliferation, which both supported adaptation during nTAC. A comparative transcriptomic analysis between hearts after regenerative versus non-regenerative nTAC suggested the transcription factor GATA4 as master regulator of the regenerative gene-program. Indeed, cardiomyocyte specific deletion of GATA4 converted the regenerative nTAC into a non-regenerative, maladaptive response. Our new nTAC model can be used to identify mediators of adaptation during pressure overload and to discover novel potential therapeutic strategies.
Mona Malek Mohammadi, Aya Abouissa, Azizah Isyatul, Yinuo Xie, Julio Cordero, Amir Shirvani, Anna Gigina, Maren Engelhardt, Felix A. Trogisch, Robert Geffers, Gergana Dobreva, Johann Bauersachs, Joerg Heineke
Fibrotic scarring drives the progression of heart failure after myocardial infarction (MI). Therefore, the development of specific treatment regimens to counteract fibrosis is of high clinical relevance. The transcription factor SOX9 functions as an important regulator during embryogenesis, but recent data point towards an additional causal role in organ fibrosis. We show here that SOX9 is upregulated in the scar after MI in mice. Fibroblast specific deletion of Sox9 ameliorated MI-induced left ventricular dysfunction, dilatation and myocardial scarring in vivo. Unexpectedly, deletion of Sox9 also potently eliminated persisting leukocyte infiltration of the scar in the chronic phase after MI. RNA-sequencing from the infarct scar revealed that Sox9 deletion in fibroblasts resulted in strongly downregulated expression of genes related to extracellular matrix, proteolysis and inflammation. Importantly, Sox9 deletion in isolated cardiac fibroblasts in vitro similarly affected gene expression as in the cardiac scar and reduced fibroblast proliferation, migration and contraction capacity. Together, our data demonstrate that fibroblast SOX9 functions as a master regulator of cardiac fibrosis and inflammation and might constitute a novel therapeutic target during MI.
Gesine M. Scharf, Katja Kilian, Julio Cordero, Yong Wang, Andrea Grund, Melanie Hofmann, Natali Froese, Xue Wang, Andreas Kispert, Ralf Kist, Simon J. Conway, Robert Geffers, Kai C. Wollert, Gergana Dobreva, Johann Bauersachs, Joerg Heineke
Podoplanin, a small mucine-type transmembrane glycoprotein, has been recently shown to be expressed by lymphangiogenic, fibrogenic and mesenchymal progenitor cells in the acutely and chronically infarcted myocardium. Podoplanin binds to CLEC-2, a C-type lectin-like receptor 2 highly expressed by CD11bhigh cells following inflammatory stimuli. Why podoplanin expression appears only after organ injury is currently unknown. Here, we characterize the role of podoplanin in different stages of myocardial repair after infarction and propose a podoplanin-mediated mechanism in the resolution of post-MI inflammatory response and cardiac repair. Neutralization of podoplanin led to significant improvements in the left ventricular functions and scar composition in animals treated with podoplanin neutralizing antibody. The inhibition of the interaction between podoplanin and CLEC-2 expressing immune cells in the heart enhances the cardiac performance, regeneration and angiogenesis post MI. Our data indicates that modulating the interaction between podoplanin positive cells with the immune cells after myocardial infarction positively affects immune cell recruitment and may represent a novel therapeutic target to augment post-MI cardiac repair, regeneration and function.
Maria Cimini, Venkata Naga Srikanth Garikipati, Claudio de Lucia, Zhongjian Cheng, Chunlin Wang, May M. Truongcao, Anna Maria Lucchese, Rajika Roy, Cindy Benedict, David A. Goukassian, Walter J. Koch, Raj Kishore
Collagen production in the adult heart is thought to be regulated by the fibroblast, although cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells also express multiple collagen mRNAs. Molecular chaperones are required for procollagen biosynthesis, including heat-shock protein 47 (Hsp47). To determine the cell types critically involved in cardiac injury-induced fibrosis the Hsp47 gene was deleted in cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells or myofibroblasts. Deletion of Hsp47 from cardiomyocytes during embryonic development or adult stages, or deletion from adult endothelial cells, did not affect cardiac fibrosis after pressure overload injury. However, myofibroblast-specific ablation of Hsp47 blocked fibrosis and deposition of collagens type-I, -III and -V following pressure overload, as well as significantly reduced cardiac hypertrophy. Fibroblast-specific Hsp47 deleted mice showed lethality after myocardial infarction injury with ineffective scar formation and ventricular wall rupture. Similarly, only myofibroblast-specific deletion of Hsp47 reduced fibrosis and disease in skeletal muscle in a mouse model of muscular dystrophy. Mechanistically, deletion of Hsp47 from myofibroblasts reduced mRNA expression of fibrillar collagens and attenuated their proliferation in the heart without affecting paracrine secretory activity of these cells. The results show that myofibroblasts are the primary mediators of tissue fibrosis and scar formation in the injured adult heart, which unexpectedly affects cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.
Hadi Khalil, Onur Kanisicak, Ronald J. Vagnozzi, Anne Katrine Johansen, Bryan D. Maliken, Vikram Prasad, Justin G. Boyer, Matthew J. Brody, Tobias Schips, Katja K. Kilian, Robert N. Correll, Kunito Kawasaki, Kazuhiro Nagata, Jeffery D. Molkentin
Atrial dysfunction is highly prevalent and associated with increased severity of heart failure. While rapid excitation-contraction coupling depends on axial junctions in atrial myocytes, the molecular basis of atrial loss of function remains unclear. We identified approximately 5-fold lower junctophilin-2 levels in atrial compared with ventricular tissue in mouse and human hearts. In atrial myocytes, this resulted in subcellular expression of large junctophilin-2 clusters at axial junctions, together with highly phosphorylated ryanodine receptor (RyR2) channels. To investigate the contribution of junctophilin-2 to atrial pathology in adult hearts, we developed a cardiomyocyte-selective junctophilin-2–knockdown model with 0 mortality. Junctophilin-2 knockdown in mice disrupted atrial RyR2 clustering and contractility without hypertrophy or interstitial fibrosis. In contrast, aortic pressure overload resulted in left atrial hypertrophy with decreased junctophilin-2 and RyR2 expression, disrupted axial junctions, and atrial fibrosis. Whereas pressure overload accrued atrial dysfunction and heart failure with 40% mortality, additional junctophilin-2 knockdown greatly exacerbated atrial dysfunction with 100% mortality. Strikingly, transgenic junctophilin-2 overexpression restored atrial contractility and survival through de novo biogenesis of polyadic junctional membrane complexes maintained after pressure overload. Our data show a central role of junctophilin-2 cluster disruption in atrial hypertrophy and identify transgenic augmentation of junctophilin-2 as a disease-mitigating rationale to improve atrial dysfunction and prevent heart failure deterioration.
Sören Brandenburg, Jan Pawlowitz, Benjamin Eikenbusch, Jonas Peper, Tobias Kohl, Gyuzel Y. Mitronova, Samuel Sossalla, Gerd Hasenfuss, Xander H.T. Wehrens, Peter Kohl, Eva A. Rog-Zielinska, Stephan E. Lehnart
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