Fibrosis is a major contributor to organ disease for which no specific therapy is available. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) has been implicated in the fibrogenetic response, and inhibitors of miR-21 are currently undergoing clinical trials. Here, we explore how miR-21 inhibition may attenuate fibrosis using a proteomics approach. Transfection of miR-21 mimic or inhibitor in murine cardiac fibroblasts revealed limited effects on extracellular matrix (ECM) protein secretion. Similarly, miR-21–null mouse hearts showed an unaltered ECM composition. Thus, we searched for additional explanations as to how miR-21 might regulate fibrosis. In plasma samples from the community-based Bruneck Study, we found a marked correlation of miR-21 levels with several platelet-derived profibrotic factors, including TGF-β1. Pharmacological miR-21 inhibition with an antagomiR reduced the platelet release of TGF-β1 in mice. Mechanistically, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein, a negative regulator of platelet TGF-β1 secretion, was identified as a direct target of miR-21. miR-21–null mice had lower platelet and leukocyte counts compared with littermate controls but higher megakaryocyte numbers in the bone marrow. Thus, to our knowledge this study reports a previously unrecognized effect of miR-21 inhibition on platelets. The effect of antagomiR-21 treatment on platelet TGF-β1 release, in particular, may contribute to the antifibrotic effects of miR-21 inhibitors.
Temo Barwari, Seda Eminaga, Ursula Mayr, Ruifang Lu, Paul C. Armstrong, Melissa V. Chan, Mahnaz Sahraei, Marta Fernández-Fuertes, Thomas Moreau, Javier Barallobre-Barreiro, Marc Lynch, Xiaoke Yin, Christian Schulte, Ferheen Baig, Raimund Pechlaner, Sarah R. Langley, Anna Zampetaki, Peter Santer, Martin Weger, Roberto Plasenzotti, Markus Schosserer, Johannes Grillari, Stefan Kiechl, Johann Willeit, Ajay M. Shah, Cedric Ghevaert, Timothy D. Warner, Carlos Fernández-Hernando, Yajaira Suárez, Manuel Mayr
Patients with diabetes are at significantly higher risk of developing heart failure. Increases in advanced glycation end products are a proposed pathophysiological link, but their impact and mechanism remain incompletely understood. Methylglyoxal (MG) is a glycolysis byproduct, elevated in diabetes, and modifies arginine and lysine residues. We show that left ventricular myofilament from patients with diabetes and heart failure (dbHF) exhibited increased MG modifications compared with nonfailing controls (NF) or heart failure patients without diabetes. In skinned NF human and mouse cardiomyocytes, acute MG treatment depressed both calcium sensitivity and maximal calcium-activated force in a dose-dependent manner. Importantly, dbHF myocytes were resistant to myofilament functional changes from MG treatment, indicating that myofilaments from dbHF patients already had depressed function arising from MG modifications. In human dbHF and MG-treated mice, mass spectrometry identified increased MG modifications on actin and myosin. Cosedimentation and in vitro motility assays indicate that MG modifications on actin and myosin independently depress calcium sensitivity, and mechanistically, the functional consequence requires actin/myosin interaction with thin-filament regulatory proteins. MG modification of the myofilament may represent a critical mechanism by which diabetes induces heart failure, as well as a therapeutic target to avoid the development of or ameliorate heart failure in these patients.
Maria Papadaki, Ronald J. Holewinski, Samantha Beck Previs, Thomas G. Martin, Marisa J. Stachowski, Amy Li, Cheavar A. Blair, Christine S. Moravec, Jennifer E. Van Eyk, Kenneth S. Campbell, David M. Warshaw, Jonathan A. Kirk
BACKGROUND. Because injury is universal in organ transplantation, heart transplant endomyocardial biopsies present an opportunity to explore response to injury in heart parenchyma. Histology has limited ability to assess injury, potentially confusing it with rejection, whereas molecular changes have potential to distinguish injury from rejection. Building on previous studies of transcripts associated with T cell–mediated rejection (TCMR) and antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR), we explored transcripts reflecting injury. METHODS. Microarray data from 889 prospectively collected endomyocardial biopsies from 454 transplant recipients at 14 centers were subjected to unsupervised principal component analysis and archetypal analysis to detect variation not explained by rejection. The resulting principal component and archetype scores were then examined for their transcript, transcript set, and pathway associations and compared to the histology diagnoses and left ventricular function. RESULTS. Rejection was reflected by principal components PC1 and PC2, and by archetype scores S2TCMR, and S3ABMR, with S1normal indicating normalness. PC3 and a new archetype score, S4injury, identified unexplained variation correlating with expression of transcripts inducible in injury models, many expressed in macrophages and associated with inflammation in pathway analysis. S4injury scores were high in recent transplants, reflecting donation-implantation injury, and both S4injury and S2TCMR were associated with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. CONCLUSION. Assessment of injury is necessary for accurate estimates of rejection and for understanding heart transplant phenotypes. Biopsies with molecular injury but no molecular rejection were often misdiagnosed rejection by histology. TRAIL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02670408 FUNDING. Roche Organ Transplant Research Foundation, the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, and Alberta Health Services.
Philip F. Halloran, Jeff Reeve, Arezu Z. Aliabadi, Martin Cadeiras, Marisa G. Crespo-Leiro, Mario Deng, Eugene C. Depasquale, Johannes Goekler, Xavier Jouven, Daniel H. Kim, Jon Kobashigawa, Alexandre Loupy, Peter Macdonald, Luciano Potena, Andreas Zuckermann, Michael D. Parkes
Sudden death is the most common mode of exodus in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) reduce inflammation and fibrosis in a rat model of HFpEF, improving diastolic function and prolonging survival. We tested the hypothesis that CDCs decrease ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) and thereby possibly contribute to prolonged survival. Dahl salt-sensitive rats were fed a high-salt diet to induce HFpEF. Allogeneic rat CDCs (or phosphate-buffered saline as placebo) were injected in rats with echo-verified HFpEF. CDC-injected HFpEF rats were less prone to VA induction by programmed electrical stimulation. Action potential duration (APD) was shortened, and APD homogeneity was increased by CDC injection. Transient outward potassium current density was upregulated in cardiomyocytes from CDC rats relative to placebo, as were the underlying transcript (Kcnd3) and protein (Kv4.3) levels. Fibrosis was attenuated in CDC-treated hearts, and survival was increased. Sudden death risk also trended down, albeit nonsignificantly. CDC therapy decreased VA in HFpEF rats by shortening APD, improving APD homogeneity, and decreasing fibrosis. Unlike other stem/progenitor cells, which often exacerbate arrhythmias, CDCs reverse electrical remodeling and suppress arrhythmogenesis in HFpEF.
Jae Hyung Cho, Peter J. Kilfoil, Rui Zhang, Ryan E. Solymani, Catherine Bresee, Elliot M. Kang, Kristin Luther, Russell G. Rogers, Geoffrey de Couto, Joshua I. Goldhaber, Eduardo Marbán, Eugenio Cingolani
Cardiac Nav1.5 and Kir2.1–2.3 channels generate Na (INa) and inward rectifier K (IK1) currents, respectively. The functional INa and IK1 interplay is reinforced by the positive and reciprocal modulation between Nav15 and Kir2.1/2.2 channels to strengthen the control of ventricular excitability. Loss-of-function mutations in the SCN5A gene, which encodes Nav1.5 channels, underlie several inherited arrhythmogenic syndromes, including Brugada syndrome (BrS). We investigated whether the presence of BrS-associated mutations alters IK1 density concomitantly with INa density. Results obtained using mouse models of SCN5A haploinsufficiency, and the overexpression of native and mutated Nav1.5 channels in expression systems — rat ventricular cardiomyocytes and human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) — demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) trafficking–defective Nav1.5 channels significantly decreased IK1, since they did not positively modulate Kir2.1/2.2 channels. Moreover, Golgi trafficking–defective Nav1.5 mutants produced a dominant negative effect on Kir2.1/2.2 and thus an additional IK1 reduction. Moreover, ER trafficking–defective Nav1.5 channels can be partially rescued by Kir2.1/2.2 channels through an unconventional secretory route that involves Golgi reassembly stacking proteins (GRASPs). Therefore, cardiac excitability would be greatly affected in subjects harboring Nav1.5 mutations with Golgi trafficking defects, since these mutants can concomitantly trap Kir2.1/2.2 channels, thus unexpectedly decreasing IK1 in addition to INa.
Marta Pérez-Hernández, Marcos Matamoros, Silvia Alfayate, Paloma Nieto-Marín, Raquel G. Utrilla, David Tinaquero, Raquel de Andrés, Teresa Crespo, Daniela Ponce-Balbuena, B. Cicero Willis, Eric N. Jiménez-Vazquez, Guadalupe Guerrero-Serna, Andre M. da Rocha, Katherine Campbell, Todd J. Herron, F. Javier Díez-Guerra, Juan Tamargo, José Jalife, Ricardo Caballero, Eva Delpón
Stroke triggers a complex inflammatory process in which the balance between pro- and antiinflammatory mediators is critical for the development of the brain infarct. However, systemic changes may also occur in parallel with brain inflammation. Here we demonstrate that administration of recombinant IL-33, a recently described member of the IL-1 superfamily of cytokines, promotes Th2-type effects following focal ischemic stroke, resulting in increased plasma levels of Th2-type cytokines and fewer proinflammatory (3-nitrotyrosine+F4/80+) microglia/macrophages in the brain. These effects of IL-33 were associated with reduced infarct size, fewer activated microglia and infiltrating cytotoxic (natural killer–like) T cells, and more IL-10–expressing regulatory T cells. Despite these neuroprotective effects, mice treated with IL-33 displayed exacerbated post-stroke lung bacterial infection in association with greater functional deficits and mortality at 24 hours. Supplementary antibiotics (gentamicin and ampicillin) mitigated these systemic effects of IL-33 after stroke. Our findings highlight the complex nature of the inflammatory mechanisms differentially activated in the brain and periphery during the acute phase after ischemic stroke. The data indicate that a Th2-promoting agent can provide neuroprotection without adverse systemic effects when given in combination with antibiotics.
Shenpeng R. Zhang, Marius Piepke, Hannah X. Chu, Brad R.S. Broughton, Raymond Shim, Connie H.Y. Wong, Seyoung Lee, Megan A. Evans, Antony Vinh, Samy Sakkal, Thiruma V. Arumugam, Tim Magnus, Samuel Huber, Mathias Gelderblom, Grant R. Drummond, Christopher G. Sobey, Hyun Ah Kim
BACKGROUND. Plasma lipidomic measures may enable improved prediction of cardiovascular outcomes in secondary prevention. The aim of this study is to determine the association of plasma lipidomic measurements with cardiovascular events and assess their potential to predict such events. METHODS. Plasma lipids (n = 342) were measured in a retrospective subcohort (n = 5,991) of the LIPID study. Proportional hazards regression was used to identify lipids associated with future cardiovascular events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or cardiovascular death) and cardiovascular death. Multivariable models adding lipid species to traditional risk factors were created using lipid ranking established from the Akaike information criterion within a 5-fold cross-validation framework. The results were tested on a diabetic case cohort from the ADVANCE study (n = 3,779). RESULTS. Specific ceramide species, sphingolipids, phospholipids, and neutral lipids containing omega-6 fatty acids or odd-chain fatty acids were associated with future cardiovascular events (106 species) and cardiovascular death (139 species). The addition of 7 lipid species to a base model (11 conventional risk factors) resulted in an increase in the C-statistics from 0.629 (95% CI, 0.628–0.630) to 0.654 (95% CI, 0.653–0.656) for prediction of cardiovascular events and from 0.673 (95% CI, 0.671–0.675) to 0.727 (95% CI, 0.725–0.728) for prediction of cardiovascular death. Categorical net reclassification improvements for cardiovascular events and cardiovascular death were 0.083 (95% CI, 0.081–0.086) and 0.166 (95% CI, 0.162–0.170), respectively. Evaluation on the ADVANCE case cohort demonstrated significant improvement on the base models. CONCLUSIONS. The improvement in the prediction of cardiovascular outcomes, above conventional risk factors, demonstrates the potential of plasma lipidomic profiles as biomarkers for cardiovascular risk stratification in secondary prevention. FUNDING. Bristol-Myers Squibb, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (grants 211086, 358395, and 1029754), and the Operational Infrastructure Support Program of the Victorian government of Australia.
Piyushkumar A. Mundra, Christopher K. Barlow, Paul J. Nestel, Elizabeth H. Barnes, Adrienne Kirby, Peter Thompson, David R. Sullivan, Zahir H. Alshehry, Natalie A. Mellett, Kevin Huynh, Kaushala S. Jayawardana, Corey Giles, Malcolm J. McConville, Sophia Zoungas, Graham S. Hillis, John Chalmers, Mark Woodward, Gerard Wong, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, John Simes, Andrew M. Tonkin, Peter J. Meikle, LIPID Study Investigators
Inhibiting MAPK14 (p38α) diminishes cardiac damage in myocardial ischemia. During myocardial ischemia, p38α interacts with TAB1, a scaffold protein, which promotes p38α autoactivation; active p38α (pp38α) then transphosphorylates TAB1. Previously, we solved the X-ray structure of the p38α-TAB1 (residues 384–412) complex. Here, we further characterize the interaction by solving the structure of the pp38α-TAB1 (residues 1–438) complex in the active state. Based on this information, we created a global knock-in (KI) mouse with substitution of 4 residues on TAB1 that we show are required for docking onto p38α. Whereas ablating p38α or TAB1 resulted in early embryonal lethality, the TAB1-KI mice were viable and had no appreciable alteration in their lymphocyte repertoire or myocardial transcriptional profile; nonetheless, following in vivo regional myocardial ischemia, infarction volume was significantly reduced and the transphosphorylation of TAB1 was disabled. Unexpectedly, the activation of myocardial p38α during ischemia was only mildly attenuated in TAB1-KI hearts. We also identified a group of fragments able to disrupt the interaction between p38α and TAB1. We conclude that the interaction between the 2 proteins can be targeted with small molecules. The data reveal that it is possible to selectively inhibit signaling downstream of p38α to attenuate ischemic injury.
Gian F. De Nicola, Rekha Bassi, Charlie Nichols, Mariana Fernandez-Caggiano, Pelin Arabacilar Golforoush, Dibesh Thapa, Rhys Anderson, Eva Denise Martin, Sharwari Verma, Jens Kleinjung, Adam Laing, Jonathan P. Hutchinson, Philip Eaton, James Clark, Michael S. Marber
Despite advances in antithrombotic therapy, the risk of recurrent coronary/cerebrovascular ischemia or venous thromboembolism remains high. Dual pathway antithrombotic blockade, using both antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, offers the promise of improved thrombotic protection; however, widespread adoption remains tempered by substantial risk of major bleeding. Here, we report a dual pathway therapeutic capable of site-specific targeting to activated platelets and therapeutic enrichment at the site of thrombus growth to allow reduced dosing without compromised antithrombotic efficacy. We engineered a recombinant fusion protein, SCE5-TAP, which consists of a single-chain antibody (SCE5) that targets and blocks the activated GPIIb/IIIa complex, and tick anticoagulant peptide (TAP), a potent direct inhibitor of activated factor X (FXa). SCE5-TAP demonstrated selective platelet targeting and inhibition of thrombosis in murine models of both carotid artery and inferior vena cava thrombosis, without a significant impact on hemostasis. Selective targeting to activated platelets provides an attractive strategy to achieve high antithrombotic efficacy with reduced risk of bleeding complications.
Donny Hanjaya-Putra, Carolyn Haller, Xiaowei Wang, Erbin Dai, Bock Lim, Liying Liu, Patrick Jaminet, Joy Yao, Amy Searle, Thomas Bonnard, Christoph E. Hagemeyer, Karlheinz Peter, Elliot L. Chaikof
MicroRNAs (miRs) posttranscriptionally regulate mRNA and its translation into protein, and are considered master controllers of genes modulating normal physiology and disease. There is growing interest in how miRs change with drug treatment, and leveraging this for precision guided therapy. Here we contrast 2 closely related therapies, inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 or type 9 (PDE5-I, PDE9-I), given to mice subjected to sustained cardiac pressure overload (PO). Both inhibitors augment cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) to activate protein kinase G, with PDE5-I regulating nitric oxide (NO) and PDE9-I natriuretic peptide–dependent signaling. While both produced strong phenotypic improvement of PO pathobiology, they surprisingly showed binary differences in miR profiles; PDE5-I broadly reduces more than 120 miRs, including nearly half those increased by PO, whereas PDE9-I has minimal impact on any miR (P < 0.0001). The disparity evolves after pre-miR processing and is organ specific. Lastly, even enhancing NO-coupled cGMP by different methods leads to altered miR regulation. Thus, seemingly similar therapeutic interventions can be barcoded by profound differences in miR signatures, and reversing disease-associated miR changes is not required for therapy success.
Kristen M. Kokkonen-Simon, Amir Saberi, Taishi Nakamura, Mark J. Ranek, Guangshuo Zhu, Djahida Bedja, Michaela Kuhn, Marc K. Halushka, Dong Ik Lee, David A. Kass
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