bims-cesiha Biomed News
on Cell signalling in the heart
Issue of 2021‒03‒28
33 papers selected by
Danae Angelidaki
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

  1. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Mar 22. pii: cvab112. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Autophagy protects against the development of cardiac hypertrophy and failure. While aberrant Ca2+ handling promotes myocardial remodelling and contributes to contractile dysfunction, the role of autophagy in maintaining Ca2+ homeostasis remains elusive. Here, we examined whether Atg5 deficiency-mediated autophagy promotes early changes in subcellular Ca2+ handling in ventricular cardiomyocytes, and whether those alterations associate with compromised cardiac reserve capacity, which commonly precedes the onset of heart failure.METHODS AND RESULTS: RT-qPCR and immunoblotting demonstrated reduced Atg5 gene and protein expression and decreased abundancy of autophagy markers in hypertrophied and failing human hearts. The function of ATG5 was examined using cardiomyocyte-specific Atg5-knockout mice (Atg5-/-). Before manifesting cardiac dysfunction, Atg5-/- mice showed compromised cardiac reserve in response to β-adrenergic stimulation. Consequently, effort intolerance and maximal oxygen consumption were reduced during treadmill-based exercise tolerance testing. Mechanistically, cellular imaging revealed that Atg5 deprivation did not alter spatial and functional organization of intracellular Ca2+ stores or affect Ca2+ cycling in response to slow pacing or upon acute isoprenaline administration. However, high frequency stimulation exposed stunted amplitude of Ca2+ transients, augmented nucleoplasmic Ca2+ load and increased CaMKII activity, especially in the nuclear region of hypertrophied Atg5-/- cardiomyocytes. These changes in Ca2+ cycling were recapitulated in hypertrophied human cardiomyocytes. Finally, ultrastructural analysis revealed accumulation of mitochondria with reduced volume and size distribution, meanwhile functional measurements showed impaired redox balance in Atg5-/- cardiomyocytes, implying energetic unsustainability due to overcompensation of single mitochondria, particularly under increased workload.
    CONCLUSION: Loss of cardiac Atg5-dependent autophagy reduces mitochondrial abundance and causes subtle alterations in subcellular Ca2+ cycling upon increased workload in mice. Autophagy-related impairment of Ca2+ handling is progressively worsened by β-adrenergic signalling in ventricular cardiomyocytes, thereby leading to energetic exhaustion and compromised cardiac reserve.
    Keywords:  autophagy; beta-adrenergic signalling; calcium; cardiomyocytes; mitochondria
  2. Physiol Rep. 2021 Mar;9(6): e14807
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a key mediator of energy metabolism, cell growth, and survival. While previous studies using transgenic mice with cardiac-specific overexpression of mTOR (mTOR-Tg) demonstrated the protective effects of cardiac mTOR against ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury in both ex vivo and in vivo models, the mechanisms underlying the role of cardiac mTOR in cardiac function following I/R injury are not well-understood. Torin1, a pharmacological inhibitor of mTOR complex (mTORC) 1 and mTORC2, significantly decreased functional recovery of LV developed pressure in ex vivo I/R models (p < 0.05). To confirm the role of mTOR complexes in I/R injury, we generated cardiac-specific mTOR-knockout (CKO) mice. In contrast to the effects of Torin1, CKO hearts recovered better after I/R injury than control hearts (p < 0.05). Interestingly, the CKO hearts had exhibited irregular contractions during the reperfusion phase. Calcium is a major factor in Excitation-Contraction (EC) coupling via Sarcoplasmic Reticulum (SR) calcium release. Calcium is also key in opening the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and cell death following I/R injury. Caffeine-induced SR calcium release in isolated CMs showed that total SR calcium content was lower in CKO than in control CMs. Western blotting showed that a significant amount of mTOR localizes to the SR/mitochondria and that GSK3-β phosphorylation, a key factor in SR calcium mobilization, was decreased. These findings suggest that cardiac mTOR located to the SR/mitochondria plays a vital role in EC coupling and cell survival in I/R injury.
    Keywords:  calcium; cardiomyocyte; ischemia-reperfusion; mTOR
  3. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2021 Mar 25.
      Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with high incidence of cardiovascular events but the mechanism remains elusive. Our previous study reveals a tight correlation between cardiac dysfunction and low mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) activity in elderly AD patients. In the present study we investigated the effect of ALDH2 overexpression on cardiac function in APP/PS1 mouse model of AD. Global ALDH2 transgenic mice were crossed with APP/PS1 mutant mice to generate the ALDH2-APP/PS1 mutant mice. Cognitive function, cardiac contractile, and morphological properties were assessed. We showed that APP/PS1 mice displayed significant cognitive deficit in Morris water maze test, myocardial ultrastructural, geometric (cardiac atrophy, interstitial fibrosis) and functional (reduced fractional shortening and cardiomyocyte contraction) anomalies along with oxidative stress, apoptosis, and inflammation in myocardium. ALDH2 transgene significantly attenuated or mitigated these anomalies. We also noted the markedly elevated levels of lipid peroxidation, the essential lipid peroxidation enzyme acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 (ACSL4), the transcriptional regulator for ACLS4 special protein 1 (SP1) and ferroptosis, evidenced by elevated NCOA4, decreased GPx4, and SLC7A11 in myocardium of APP/PS1 mutant mice; these effects were nullified by ALDH2 transgene. In cardiomyocytes isolated from WT mice and in H9C2 myoblasts in vitro, application of Aβ (20 μM) decreased cell survival, compromised cardiomyocyte contractile function, and induced lipid peroxidation; ALDH2 transgene or activator Alda-1 rescued Aβ-induced deteriorating effects. ALDH2-induced protection against Aβ-induced lipid peroxidation was mimicked by the SP1 inhibitor tolfenamic acid (TA) or the ACSL4 inhibitor triacsin C (TC), and mitigated by the lipid peroxidation inducer 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) or the ferroptosis inducer erastin. These results demonstrate an essential role for ALDH2 in AD-induced cardiac anomalies through regulation of lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis.
    Keywords:  ALDH2; Alda-1; Alzheimer’s disease; cardiac function; ferroptosis; landscape perceptions; lipid peroxidation; tolfenamic acid; triacsin C; 5-HETE; erastin
  4. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 03 22. 13
      Aging impairs mitochondrial function that leads to greater cardiac injury during ischemia and reperfusion. Cardiac endoplasm reticulum (ER) stress increases with age and contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction. Metformin is an anti-diabetic drug that protects cardiac mitochondria during acute ER stress. We hypothesized that metformin treatment would improve preexisting mitochondrial dysfunction in aged hearts by attenuating ER stress, followed by a decrease in cardiac injury during subsequent ischemia and reperfusion. Male young (3 mo.) and aged mice (24 mo.) received metformin (300 mg/kg/day) dissolved in drinking water with sucrose (0.2 g/100 ml) as sweetener for two weeks versus sucrose vehicle alone. Cytosol, subsarcolemmal (SSM), and interfibrillar mitochondria (IFM) were isolated. In separate groups, cardioprotection was evaluated using ex vivo isolated heart perfusion with 25 min. global ischemia and 60 min. reperfusion. Infarct size was measured. The contents of CHOP and cleaved ATF6 were decreased in metformin-treated 24 mo. mice compared to vehicle, supporting a decrease in ER stress. Metformin treatment improved OXPHOS in IFM in 24 mo. using a complex I substrate. Metformin treatment decreased infarct size following ischemia-reperfusion. Thus, metformin feeding decreased cardiac injury in aged mice during ischemia-reperfusion by improving pre-ischemic mitochondrial function via inhibition of ER stress.
    Keywords:  electron transport chain; electron transport complex I; endoplasmic reticulum stress; mitochondrial permeability transition pore; myocardial infarction
  5. Mol Biol Rep. 2021 Mar 23.
      Nesfatin-1 as a new energy-regulating peptide has been known to display a pivotal role in modulation of cardiovascular functions and protection against ischemia/reperfusion injury. However, the detailed knowledge about molecular mechanisms underlying this protection has not been completely investigated yet. This study was designed to clarify the molecular mechanisms by which nesfatin-1 exert cardioprotection effects against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (MI/R). Left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) was ligated for 30 min to create a MI/R model in rats. MI/R rats were treated with three concentrations of nesfatin-1 (10, 15 and 20 µg/kg) then expression of necroptosis and necrosis mediators were measured by western blotting assay. Fibrosis, morphological damages, cardiac function, myocardial injury indictors and oxidative stress factors were evaluated as well. Induction of MI/R model resulted in cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, increased activity of RIPK1-RIPK3-MLKL axis and RhoA/ROCK pathway, extension of fibrosis and heart tissue damage. Highest tested concentration of nesfatin-1 markedly improved cardiac function. Moreover, it reduced oxidative stress, collagen deposition, and morphological damages, through inhibiting the expression of necroptosis mediators and also, necrosis including RIPK1, RIPK3, MLKL, ROCK1, and ROCK2 proteins. The lowest and middle tested concentrations of nesfatin-1 failed to exert protective effects against MI/R. These findings have shown that nesfatin-1 can exert cardioprotection against MI/R in a dose dependent manner by suppressing necroptosis via modulation of RIPK1-RIPK3-MLKL axis and RhoA/ROCK/RIP3 signaling pathway.
    Keywords:  Myocardial infarction; Necroptosis; Nesfatin-1; RIPK1-RIPK3-MLKL axis
  6. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Mar 22. pii: cvab111. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Free fatty acid receptor 4 (Ffar4) is a G-protein coupled receptor for endogenous medium/long-chain fatty acids that attenuates metabolic disease and inflammation. However, the function of Ffar4 in the heart is unclear. Given its putative beneficial role, we hypothesized that Ffar4 would protect the heart from pathologic stress.METHODS AND RESULTS: In mice lacking Ffar4 (Ffar4KO), we found that Ffar4 is required for an adaptive response to pressure overload induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC), identifying a novel cardioprotective function for Ffar4. Following TAC, remodeling was worsened in Ffar4KO hearts, with greater hypertrophy and contractile dysfunction. Transcriptome analysis 3-days post-TAC identified transcriptional deficits in genes associated with cytoplasmic phospholipase A2α signaling and oxylipin synthesis as well as reduction of oxidative stress in Ffar4KO myocytes. In cultured adult cardiac myocytes, Ffar4 induced production of the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)-derived, pro-resolving oxylipin 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (18-HEPE). Furthermore, activation of Ffar4 attenuated cardiac myocyte death from oxidative stress, while 18-HEPE rescued Ffar4KO myocytes. Systemically, Ffar4 maintained pro-resolving oxylipins and attenuated autoxidation basally, and increased pro-inflammatory and pro-resolving oxylipins, including 18-HEPE, in high density lipoproteins post-TAC. In humans, Ffar4 expression decreased in heart failure, while the signaling-deficient Ffar4 R270H polymorphism correlated with eccentric remodeling in a large clinical cohort paralleling changes observed in Ffar4KO mice post-TAC.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that Ffar4 in cardiac myocytes responds to endogenous fatty acids, reducing oxidative injury, and protecting the heart from pathologic stress, with significant translational implications for targeting Ffar4 in cardiovascular disease.
    Keywords:  (cPLA2α); 18-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (18-HEPE); Free fatty acid receptor 4 (Ffar4); GPR120; cytoplasmic phospholipase A2α; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); heart failure
  7. Front Pharmacol. 2021 ;12 566470
      Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is an unavoidable injury that occurs during revascularization procedures. In the previous study, we reported that fisetin is a natural flavonoid that attenuates I/R injury by suppressing mitochondrial oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Though fisetin is reported as a GSK3β inhibitor, it remains unclear whether it attenuates myocardial ischemia by activating the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/Akt) pathway, thereby inhibiting the downstream GSK3β, or by directly interacting with GSK3β while rendering its cardioprotection. In this study, the research team investigates the possible mechanism of action of fisetin while rendering its cardioprotective effect against myocardial I/R injury in rats. For this investigation, the team utilized two myocardial I/R models: Ligation of the left anterior descending artery and Langendorff isolated heart perfusion system. The latter has no neurohormonal influences. The PI3K inhibitor (Wortmannin, 0.015 mg/kg), GSK3β inhibitor (SB216763, 0.7 mg/kg), and fisetin (20 mg/kg) were administered intraperitoneally before inducing myocardial I/R. The result of this study reveals that the administration of fisetin decreases the myocardial infarct size, apoptosis, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase in serum\perfusate of the rat hearts subjected to I/R. However, the inhibition of PI3K with Wortmannin significantly reduced the cardioprotective effect of fisetin both in the ex vivo and vivo models. The administration of GSK3β inhibitor after the administration of fisetin and Wortmannin, re-establishing the cardioprotection, indicates the major role of PI3K in fisetin action. Changes in myocardial oxidative stress (level) and mitochondrial functional preservation of interfibrillar and subsarcolemmal mitochondria support the above findings. Hence, the team here reports that fisetin conferred its cardioprotection against I/R injury by activating the PI3K/Akt/GSK3β signaling pathway in rat hearts.
    Keywords:  GSK3β = glycogen synthase kinase-3β; PI3K/Akt (PKB) axis; SB216763 GSK inhibitor; cardioprotection; fisetin (PubChem CID, 5281614); ischemia-reperfusion injury (I/R); reperfusion injury salvage kinase (RISK) pathway; wortmannin (PubChem CID, 312145)
  8. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(10): 4710-4727
      Background: Telomere shortening and dysfunction may cause metabolic disorders, tissue damage and age-dependent pathologies. However, little is known about the association of telomere-associated protein Rap1 with mitochondrial energy metabolism and cardiac aging. Methods: Echocardiography was performed to detect cardiac structure and function in Rap1+/+ and Rap1-/- mice at different ages (3 months, 12 months and 20 months). Telomere length, DNA damage, cardiac senescence and cardiomyocyte size were analyzed using the real-time PCR, Western blotting, senescence associated β-galactosidase assay and wheat germ agglutinin staining, respectively. Western blotting was also used to determine the level of cardiac fatty acid metabolism related key enzymes in mouse and human myocardium. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was used to verify the direct link between p53 and PPARα. The p53 inhibitor, Pifithrin-α and PPARα activator WY14643 were utilized to identify the effects of Rap1/p53/PPARα signaling pathway. Results: Telomere was shortened concomitant with extensive DNA damage in aged Rap1-/- mouse hearts, evidenced by reduced T/S ratios and increased nuclear γH2AX. Meanwhile, the aging-associated phenotypes were pronounced as reflected by altered mitochondrial ultrastructure, enhanced senescence, cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction. Mechanistically, acetylated p53 and nuclear p53 was enhanced in the Rap1-/- mouse hearts, concomitant with reduced PPARα. Importantly, p53 directly binds to the promoter of PPARα in mouse hearts and suppresses the transcription of PPARα. In addition, aged Rap1-/- mice exhibited reduced cardiac fatty acid metabolism. Pifithrin-α alleviated cardiac aging and enhanced fatty acid metabolism in the aged Rap1-/- mice. Activating PPARα with WY14643 in primarily cultured Rap1-/- cardiomyocytes restored maximal oxygen consumption rates. Reduced Rap1 expression and impaired p53/PPARα signaling also presented in aged human myocardium. Conclusion: In summary, Rap1 may link telomere biology to fatty acid metabolism and aging-related cardiac pathologies via modulating the p53/PPARα signaling pathway, which could represent a therapeutic target in preventing/attenuating cardiac aging.
    Keywords:  PPARα; Rap1; cardiac aging; fatty acid metabolism; p53
  9. Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 24. 11(1): 6722
      Prognosis of severe heart failure remains poor. Urgent new therapies are required. Some heart failure patients do not respond to established multidisciplinary treatment and are classified as "non-responders". The outcome is especially poor for non-responders, and underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Mitofusin-1 (Mfn1), a mitochondrial fusion protein, is significantly reduced in non-responding patients. This study aimed to elucidate the role of Mfn1 in the failing heart. Twenty-two idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) patients who underwent endomyocardial biopsy of intraventricular septum were included. Of the 22 patients, 8 were non-responders (left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (LVEF) of < 10% improvement at late phase follow-up). Electron microscopy (EM), quantitative PCR, and immunofluorescence studies were performed to explore the biological processes and molecules involved in failure to respond. Studies in cardiac specific Mfn1 knockout mice (c-Mfn1 KO), and in vitro studies with neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) were also conducted. A significant reduction in mitochondrial size in cardiomyocytes, and Mfn1, was observed in non-responders. A LV pressure overload with thoracic aortic constriction (TAC) c-Mfn1 KO mouse model was generated. Systolic function was reduced in c-Mfn1 KO mice, while mitochondria alteration in TAC c-Mfn1 KO mice increased. In vitro studies in NRVMs indicated negative regulation of Mfn1 by the β-AR/cAMP/PKA/miR-140-5p pathway resulting in significant reduction in mitochondrial respiration of NRVMs. The level of miR140-5p was increased in cardiac tissues of non-responders. Mfn1 is a biomarker of heart failure in non-responders. Therapies targeting mitochondrial dynamics and homeostasis are next generation therapy for non-responding heart failure patients.
  10. Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Mar 18. pii: S0891-5849(21)00166-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Inflammation response and subsequent ventricular remodeling are critically involved in the development of ventricular arrhythmia post myocardial infarction (MI). However, as the vital endogenous inhibitor of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), the effects of CaMKII inhibitor 1 (Camk2n1) on the process of arrhythmia substrate generation following MI remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of Camk2n1 in ventricular arrhythmia post-MI and the underlying mechanisms.METHODS AND RESULTS: Camk2n1 was mainly expressed in cardiomyocytes and inhibited the phosphorylation of CaMKIIδ in the infarcted border zone. Compared to wild type (WT) littermates mice, Camk2n1 knockout mice (Camk2n1-/-) manifested exacerbated cardiac dysfunction, larger fibrosis area, higher incidence of premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and higher vulnerability to ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) after MI. The results of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) identified that excessive activation of NLRP3 inflammasome was responsible for aggravated inflammation response which led to adverse cardiac remodeling in Camk2n1-/- mice subjected to MI. More importantly, both in vivo and in vitro experiments verified that aggravated NLRP3 inflammasome activation occurred via CaMKIIδ-p38/JNK pathway in Camk2n1-/- mice.
    CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, our results highlight the importance of Camk2n1 in alleviating ventricular remodeling and malignant ventricular arrhythmia post-MI by reducing cardiomyocytes inflammation activation via CaMKIIδ-p38/JNK-NLRP3 inflammasome pathway, targeting Camk2n1 might serve as a novel therapeutic strategy after MI.
    Keywords:  Camk2n1; Cardiac remodeling; NLRP3 inflammasome; Ventricular arrhythmia
  11. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(9): 4207-4231
      Rationale: Among all the diabetic complications, diabetic cardiomyopathy, which is characterized by myocyte loss and myocardial fibrosis, is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in diabetic patients. Tissue kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) are secreted serine proteases, that have distinct and overlapping roles in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. However, whether KLKs are involved in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy remains unknown.The present study aimed to determine the role of a specific KLK in the initiation of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) during the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy. Methods and Results-By screening gene expression profiles of KLKs, it was found that KLK8 was highly induced in the myocardium of mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. KLK8 deficiency attenuated diabetic cardiac fibrosis, and rescued the impaired cardiac function in diabetic mice. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated KLK8 knockdown significantly attenuated high glucose-induced endothelial damage and EndMT in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs). Diabetes-induced endothelial injury and cardiac EndMT were significantly alleviated in KLK8-deficient mice. In addition, transgenic overexpression of KLK8 led to interstitial and perivascular cardiac fibrosis, endothelial injury and EndMT in the heart. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of KLK8 (Ad-KLK8) resulted in increases in endothelial cell damage, permeability and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 release in HCAECs. KLK8 overexpression also induced EndMT in HCAECs, which was alleviated by a TGF-β1-neutralizing antibody. A specificity protein-1 (Sp-1) consensus site was identified in the human KLK8 promoter and was found to mediate the high glucose-induced KLK8 expression. Mechanistically, it was identified that the vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin/plakoglobin complex may associate with KLK8 in HCAECs. KLK8 cleaved the VE-cadherin extracellular domain, thus promoting plakoglobin nuclear translocation. Plakoglobin was required for KLK8-induced EndMT by cooperating with p53. KLK8 overexpression led to plakoglobin-dependent association of p53 with hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α, which further enhanced the transactivation effect of HIF-1α on the TGF-β1 promoter. KLK8 also induced the binding of p53 with Smad3, subsequently promoting pro-EndMT reprogramming via the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway in HCAECs. The in vitro and in vivo findings further demonstrated that high glucose may promote plakoglobin-dependent cooperation of p53 with HIF-1α and Smad3, subsequently increasing the expression of TGF-β1 and the pro-EndMT target genes of the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway in a KLK8-dependent manner. Conclusions: The present findings uncovered a novel pro-EndMT mechanism during the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiac fibrosis via the upregulation of KLK8, and may contribute to the development of future KLK8-based therapeutic strategies for diabetic cardiomyopathy.
    Keywords:  KLK8; cardiac fibrosis; diabetic cardiomyopathy; endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition; plakoglobin
  12. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Mar 21. pii: cvab102. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: We prospectively isolate and characterize first and second heart field- and nodal-like cardiomyocytes using a double reporter line from human embryonic stem cells. Our double reporter line utilizes two important transcription factors in cardiac development, TBX5 and NKX2-5. TBX5 expression marks first heart field progenitors and cardiomyocytes while NKX2-5 is expressed in nearly all myocytes of the developing heart (excluding nodal cells). We address the shortcomings of prior work in the generation of heart-field specific cardiomyocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells and provide a comprehensive early developmental transcriptomic as well as electrophysiological analyses of these three populations.METHODS AND RESULTS: Transcriptional, immunocytochemical, and functional studies support the cellular identities of isolated populations based on the expression pattern of NKX2-5 and TBX5. Importantly, bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing analyses provide evidence of unique molecular signatures of isolated first and second heart-field cardiomyocytes, as well as nodal-like cells. Extensive electrophysiological analyses reveal dominant atrial action potential phenotypes in first and second heart fields in alignment with our findings in single-cell RNA sequencing. Lastly, we identify two novel surface markers, POPDC2 and CORIN, that enables purification of cardiomyocytes and first heart field cardiomyocytes, respectively.
    CONCLUSIONS: We describe a high yield approach for isolation and characterization of human embryonic stem cell-derived heart field specific and nodal-like cardiomyocytes. Obtaining enriched populations of these different cardiomyocyte subtypes increases the resolution of gene expression profiling during early cardiogenesis, arrhythmia modeling, and drug screening. This paves the way for the development of effective stem cell therapy to treat diseases that affect specific regions of the heart or chamber-specific congenital heart defects.
    TRANSLATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: Myocardial infarction leads to irreversible loss of cardiomyocytes and eventually heart failure. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be differentiated to cardiomyocytes and are considered a potential source of cell therapy for cardiac regeneration. However, current differentiation strategies yield a mixture of cardiomyocyte subtypes and safety concerns stemming from the use of a heterogenous population of cardiomyocytes have hindered its application. Here, we report generation of enriched heart field-specific cardiomyocytes using a hESC double reporter. Our study facilitates investigating early human cardiogenesis in vitro and generating chamber-specific cardiomyocytes to treat diseases that affect specific regions of the heart.
  13. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(10): 4790-4808
      Rationale: Doxorubicin is a widely used anticancer drug. However, its major side effect, cardiotoxicity, results from cardiomyocyte loss that causes left ventricle (LV) wall thinning, chronic LV dysfunction and heart failure. Cardiomyocyte number expansion by thyroid hormone (T3) during preadolescence is suppressed by the developmental induction of an ERK1/2-specific dual specificity phosphatase 5 (DUSP5). Here, we sought to determine if a brief course of combined DUSP5 suppression plus T3 therapy replaces cardiomyocytes lost due to preexisting doxorubicin injury and reverses heart failure. Methods: We used in vivo-jetPEI to deliver DUSP5 or scrambled siRNA to ~5-week-old C57BL6 mice followed by 5 daily injections of T3 (2 ng/µg body weight). Genetic lineage tracing using Myh6-MerCreMer::Rosa26fs-Confetti mice and direct cardiomyocyte number counting, along with cell cycle inhibition (danusertib), was used to test if this treatment leads to de novo cardiomyocyte generation and improves LV contractile function. Three doses of doxorubicin (20 µg/g) given at 2-weekly intervals, starting at 5-weeks of age in C57BL6 mice, caused severe heart failure, as evident by a decrease in LV ejection fraction. Mice with an ~40 percentage point decrease in LVEF post-doxorubicin injury were randomized to receive either DUSP5 siRNA plus T3, or scrambled siRNA plus vehicle for T3. Age-matched mice without doxorubicin injury served as controls. Results: In uninjured adult mice, transient therapy with DUSP5 siRNA and T3 increases cardiomyocyte numbers, which is required for the associated increase in LV contractile function, since both are blocked by danusertib. In mice with chronic doxorubicin injury, DUSP5 siRNA plus T3 therapy rebuilds LV muscle by increasing cardiomyocyte numbers, which reverses LV dysfunction and prevents progressive chamber dilatation. Conclusion: RNA therapies are showing great potential. Importantly, a GMP compliant in vivo-jetPEI system for delivery of siRNA is already in use in humans, as is T3. Given these considerations, our findings provide a potentially highly translatable strategy for addressing doxorubicin cardiomyopathy, a currently untreatable condition.
    Keywords:  DUSP5; cardiomyocytes; doxorubicin cardiotoxicity; heart failure; thyroid hormone
  14. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021 Mar 24.
      The nuclear genome-encoded mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transcription factor A (TFAM) is indispensable for mitochondrial energy production in the developing and postnatal heart; a similar role for TFAM is inferred in adult heart. Here, we provide evidence that challenges this long-standing paradigm. Unexpectedly, conditionalTfam ablation in vivo in adult mouse cardiomyocytes resulted in a prolonged period of functional resilience characterized by preserved mtDNA content, mitochondrial function, and cardiac function, despite mitochondrial structural alterations and decreased transcript abundance. Remarkably, TFAM protein levels did not directly dictate mtDNA content in the adult heart, and mitochondrial translation was preserved with acute TFAM inactivation, suggesting maintenance of respiratory chain assembly/function. Long-term Tfam inactivation, however, downregulated the core mtDNA transcription and replication machinery, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiomyopathy. Collectively, in contrast to the developing heart, these data reveal a striking resilience of the differentiated adult heart to acute insults to mtDNA regulation.
    Keywords:  heart; mitochondria; mtDNA
  15. Circulation. 2021 Mar 24.
      Background: Exercise can induce physiological myocardial hypertrophy (PMH), and former athletes can live 5-6 years longer than nonathletic controls, suggesting a benefit after regression of PMH. We previously reported that regression of pathological myocardial hypertrophy has antihypertrophic effects. Accordingly, we hypothesized that antihypertrophic memory exists even after PMH has regressed, increasing myocardial resistance to subsequent pathological hypertrophic stress. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were submitted to 21 days of swimming training to develop PMH. After termination of exercise, PMH regressed within 1 week. PMH regression mice (exercise hypertrophic preconditioning group, EHP) and sedentary mice (control group) then underwent transverse aortic constriction (TAC) or a sham operation for 4 weeks. Cardiac remodeling and function were evaluated using echocardiography, invasive left ventricular hemodynamic measurement and histological analysis. LncRNA sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP), and comprehensive identification of RNA-binding proteins by mass spectrometry (CHIRP-MS) and Western blot were used to investigate the role of Mhrt779 involved in the anti-hypertrophy effect induced by EHP. Results: At 1 and 4 weeks after TAC, the EHP group showed less increase in myocardial hypertrophy and lower expression of the Nppa and Myh7 genes than the sedentary group. At 4 weeks after TAC, EHP mice had less pulmonary congestion, smaller left ventricular dimensions and end-diastolic pressure, and a larger left ventricular ejection fraction and maximum pressure change rate than sedentary mice. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) revealed that the long noncoding myosin heavy chain associated RNA transcript Mhrt779 was one of the markedly upregulated long noncoding RNAs in the EHP group. Silencing of Mhrt779 attenuated the antihypertrophic effect of EHP in mice with TAC and in cultured cardiomyocytes treated with angiotensin II, and overexpression enhanced the antihypertrophic effect. By ChIP and qPCR, we found that EHP increased histone 3 trimethylation (H3K4me3 and H3K36me3) at the a4 promoter of Mhrt779. CHIRP-MS and Western blot showed that Mhrt779 can bind Brg1 to inhibit the activation of Hdac2/Akt/GSK3β pathway induced by pressure overload. Conclusions: Myocardial hypertrophy preconditioning evoked by exercise increases resistance to pathological stress via an antihypertrophic effect mediated by a signal pathway of Mhrt779 /Brg1/Hdac2/p-Akt/p-GSK3β.
    Keywords:  Myocardial hypertrophy; hypertrophic preconditioning; lnc RNA Mhrt779
  16. Basic Res Cardiol. 2021 Mar 22. 116(1): 21
      Myocardial connexin 43 (Cx43) forms gap junctions and hemichannels, and is also present within subsarcolemmal mitochondria. The protein is phosphorylated by several kinases including mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), protein kinase C (PKC), and casein kinase 1 (CK1). A reduction in Cx43 content abrogates myocardial infarct size reduction by ischemic preconditioning (IPC). The present study characterizes the contribution of Cx43 phosphorylation towards mitochondrial function, hemichannel activity, and the cardioprotection by IPC in wild-type (WT) mice and in mice in which Cx43-phosphorylation sites targeted by above kinases are mutated to non-phosphorylatable residues (Cx43MAPKmut, Cx43PKCmut, and Cx43CK1mut mice). The amount of Cx43 in the left ventricle and in mitochondria was reduced in all mutant strains compared to WT mice and Cx43 phosphorylation was altered at residues not directly targeted by the mutations. Whereas complex 1 respiration was reduced in all strains, complex 2 respiration was decreased in Cx43CK1mut mice only. In Cx43 epitope-mutated mice, formation of reactive oxygen species and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore were not affected. The hemichannel open probability was reduced in Cx43PKCmut and Cx43CK1mut but not in Cx43MAPKmut cardiomyocytes. Infarct size in isolated saline-perfused hearts after ischemia/reperfusion (45 min/120 min) was comparable between genotypes and was significantly reduced by IPC (3 × 3 min ischemia/5 min reperfusion) in WT, Cx43MAPKmut, and Cx43PKCmut, but not in Cx43CK1mut mice, an effect independent from the amount of Cx43 and the probability of hemichannel opening. Taken together, our study shows that alterations of Cx43 phosphorylation affect specific cellular functions and highlights the importance of Cx43 phosphorylation by CK1 for IPC's cardioprotection.
    Keywords:  Connexin; Hemichannel; Ischemia/reperfusion; Ischemic preconditioning; Mitochondria; Phosphorylation
  17. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Mar 22. pii: cvab110. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Macrophage-mediated inflammatory response represents a key pathophysiological process in a host of cardiovascular diseases including heart failure. Regardless of etiology, heart failure is invariably preceded by cardiac hypertrophy. In the present study we investigated the effect of macrophage-specific deletion of myocardin-related transcription factor A (MRTF-A) on cardiac hypertrophy and the underlying mechanism.METHODS AND RESULTS: We report that when subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC), macrophage MRTF-A conditional knockout (CKO) mice developed a less severe phenotype of cardiac hypertrophy compared to wild type (WT) littermates and were partially protected from the loss of heart function. In addition, there was less extensive cardiac fibrosis in the CKO mice than WT mice following the TAC procedure. Further analysis revealed that cardiac inflammation, as assessed by levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, was dampened in CKO mice paralleling reduced infiltration of macrophages in the heart. Mechanistically, MRTF-A deficiency attenuated the expression of integrin beta 2 (ITGB2/CD18) in macrophage thereby disrupting adhesion of macrophages to vascular endothelial cells. MRTF-A was recruited by Sp1 to the ITGB2 promoter and cooperated with Sp1 to activate ITGB2 transcription in macrophages. Administration of a CD18 blocking antibody attenuated TAC induced cardiac hypertrophy in mice. Interaction between MRTF-A and the histone demethylase KDM3A likely contributed to IGTB2 transcription and consequently adhesion of macrophages to endothelial cells.
    CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that MRTF-A may regulate macrophage trafficking and contribute to the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy by activating ITGB2 transcription.
    Keywords:  adhesion molecule; cardiac hypertrophy; epigenetics; macrophage; transcriptional regulation
  18. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2021 Mar 26.
      Increases in calorie consumption and sedentary lifestyles are fuelling a global pandemic of cardiometabolic diseases, including coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, cardiomyopathy and heart failure. These lifestyle factors, when combined with genetic predispositions, increase the levels of circulating lipids, which can accumulate in non-adipose tissues, including blood vessel walls and the heart. The metabolism of these lipids produces bioactive intermediates that disrupt cellular function and survival. A compelling body of evidence suggests that sphingolipids, such as ceramides, account for much of the tissue damage in these cardiometabolic diseases. In humans, serum ceramide levels are proving to be accurate biomarkers of adverse cardiovascular disease outcomes. In mice and rats, pharmacological inhibition or depletion of enzymes driving de novo ceramide synthesis prevents the development of diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension and heart failure. In cultured cells and isolated tissues, ceramides perturb mitochondrial function, block fuel usage, disrupt vasodilatation and promote apoptosis. In this Review, we discuss the body of literature suggesting that ceramides are drivers - and not merely passengers - on the road to cardiovascular disease. Moreover, we explore the feasibility of therapeutic strategies to lower ceramide levels to improve cardiovascular health.
  19. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 5545261
      Mitochondrial dysfunction has been suggested to be the key factor in the development and progression of cardiac hypertrophy. The onset of mitochondrial dysfunction and the mechanisms underlying the development of cardiac hypertrophy (CH) are incompletely understood. The present study is based on the use of multiple bioinformatics analyses for the organization and analysis of scRNA-seq and microarray datasets from a transverse aortic constriction (TAC) model to examine the potential role of mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of CH. The results showed that NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase core subunit S1- (Ndufs1-) dependent mitochondrial dysfunction plays a key role in pressure overload-induced CH. Furthermore, in vivo animal studies using a TAC mouse model of CH showed that Ndufs1 expression was significantly downregulated in hypertrophic heart tissue compared to that in normal controls. In an in vitro model of angiotensin II- (Ang II-) induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, Ang II treatment significantly downregulated the expression of Ndufs1 in cardiomyocytes. In vitro mechanistic studies showed that Ndufs1 knockdown induced CH; decreased the mitochondrial DNA content, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and mitochondrial mass; and increased the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cardiomyocytes. On the other hand, Ang II treatment upregulated the expression levels of atrial natriuretic peptide, brain natriuretic peptide, and myosin heavy chain beta; decreased the mitochondrial DNA content, MMP, and mitochondrial mass; and increased mitochondrial ROS production in cardiomyocytes. The Ang II-mediated effects were significantly attenuated by overexpression of Ndufs1 in rat cardiomyocytes. In conclusion, our results demonstrate downregulation of Ndufs1 in hypertrophic heart tissue, and the results of mechanistic studies suggest that Ndufs1 deficiency may cause mitochondrial dysfunction in cardiomyocytes, which may be associated with the development and progression of CH.
  20. iScience. 2021 Mar 19. 24(3): 102233
      Cardiac hypertrophy is an adaptive response to all forms of heart disease, including hypertension, myocardial infarction, and cardiomyopathy. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) overexpression results in inflammatory response, cardiac cell apoptosis, and hypertrophy in adult heart after injury. However, immune response-mediated cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis have not been well documented in injured neonatal heart. This study showed that cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis are significantly attenuated in celecoxib (a selective COX-2 inhibitor)-treated P8 ICR mice after cryoinjury. Molecular and cellular profiling of immune response shows that celecoxib inhibits the production of cytokines and the expression of adhesion molecular genes, increases the recruitment of M1-like macrophage at wound site, and alleviates cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis. Furthermore, celecoxib administration improves cardiac function at 4 weeks after injury. These results demonstrate that COX-2 inhibition promotes the recruitment of M1-like macrophages during early wound healing, which may contribute to the suppression of cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis after injury.
    Keywords:  Animal Physiology; Molecular Biology; Molecular Physiology
  21. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Mar 19. pii: S0753-3322(21)00195-5. [Epub ahead of print] 111410
      Cardiovascular complications are the leading cause of morbidity in diabetes. Oxidative stress and inflammation are implicated in the development and progression of diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM). This study explored the cardioprotective effect of galangin (Gal), a natural flavonoid with radical-scavenging and anti-inflammatory activities, in diabetic rats. An experimental diabetic rat model was achieved by a single injection of 50 mg/kg streptozotocin. Gal (15 mg/kg) was administered daily for six weeks and the samples were then collected. Diabetic rats exhibited hyperglycemia, increased glycosylated hemoglobin, triglycerides and cholesterol levels and reduced serum insulin. Serum troponin I, CK-MB and LDH were increased in diabetic rats. Furthermore, hearts of diabetic rats were characterized by elevated malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl, NF-κB p65, TNF-α, IL-1β, iNOS, IL-6, Bax, caspase-3 and 8-Oxo-dG, and decreased superoxide dismutase, catalase, reduced GSH, and Bcl-2. Gal ameliorated hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and heart function markers, and prevented histopathological alterations in diabetic rats. In addition, Gal attenuated cardiac oxidative injury, inflammation and apoptosis, and boosted antioxidant defenses. In conclusion, Gal has a protective effect on cardiomyopathy by attenuating hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, oxidative stress and inflammation in diabetic rats.
    Keywords:  Apoptosis; Diabetic cardiomyopathy; Flavonoids; Galangin; Oxidative stress
  22. Aging (Albany NY). 2021 Mar 19. 13
      The regulation of mTOR and the dimethylation of histone H3 on lysine 9 (H3K9me2) H3K9me2 by Uhrf1 and the mechanism of autophagy regulation in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (MIRI) were studied in vivo and in vitro. An in vitro I/R injury model was established using the primary mouse cardiomyocytes treated with H2O2. Subsequent analysis by qRT-PCR, western blot, and immunofluorescence indicated that overexpression of Uhrf1 significantly inhibited apoptosis of the H2O2-treated cardiomyocytes, reduced expression of apoptosis factors caspase-3 and Bax, and increased expression of apoptosis inhibitory factor Bcl-2. Furthermore, Uhrf1 was found to increase cardiomyocyte proliferation and promote the expression of mTOR, while the four expression peaks of H3K9me2 on the mTOR gene were inhibited by overexpression of Uhrf1. The expression of autophagy factors LC3, Beclin-1, and p-mTOR in Uhrf1-overexpressed cardiomyocytes was dramatically increased, and P62 expression was dramatically decreased. When an H3K9me2 inhibitor was added to the Uhrf1-knockdown cardiomyocytes, the expression of mTOR was increased, the expression of LC3, Beclin-1, and p-mTOR was decreased, and P62 expression was significantly increased. In the present study, Uhrf1 exhibits a protective function in MIRI, reducing the apoptosis of cardiomyocytes while increasing their proliferation and viability.
    Keywords:  H3K9me2; Uhrf1; autophagy; mTOR; myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury
  23. Mol Med Rep. 2021 May;pii: 334. [Epub ahead of print]23(5):
      Sepsis is a life‑threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host response to infection, and is a leading cause of mortality worldwide. Myocardial dysfunction is associated with poor prognosis in patients with sepsis and contributes to a high risk of mortality. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying sepsis‑induced myocardial dysfunction are not completely understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of toll‑like receptor 4 (TLR4)/c‑Jun N‑terminal kinase (JNK) signaling in pro‑inflammatory cytokine expression and cardiac dysfunction during lipopolysaccharide (LPS)‑induced sepsis in mice. C57BL/6 mice were pretreated with TAK‑242 or saline for 1 h and then subjected to LPS (12 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) treatment. Cardiac function was assessed using an echocardiogram. The morphological changes of the myocardium were examined by hematoxylin and eosin staining and transmission electron microscopy. The serum protein levels of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and tumor necrosis factor‑α (TNF‑α) were determined by an enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The TLR4 and JNK mRNA levels were analyzed via reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR. TLR4, JNK and phosphorylated‑JNK protein levels were measured by western blotting. In response to LPS, the activation of TLR4 and JNK in the myocardium was upregulated. There were significant increases in the serum levels of TNF‑α and cTnI, as well as histopathological changes in the myocardium and suppressed cardiac function, following LPS stimulation. Inhibition of TLR4 activation using TAK‑242 led to a decrease in the activation of JNK and reduced the protein expression of TNF‑α in plasma, and alleviated histological myocardial injury and improved cardiac function during sepsis in mice. The present data suggested that the TLR4/JNK signaling pathway played a critical role in regulating the production of pro‑inflammatory cytokines and myocardial dysfunction induced by LPS.
  24. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(3): e0248554
      Mitochondrial dynamics is a possible modulator of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injuries (IRI). We previously reported that mice partially deficient in the fusion protein OPA1 exhibited higher IRI. Therefore, we investigated whether deficiency in the fission protein DRP1 encoded by Dnm1l gene would affect IRI in Dnm1l+/- mouse. After baseline characterization of the Dnm1l+/- mice heart, using echocardiography, electron microscopy, and oxygraphy, 3-month-old Dnm1l+/- and wild type (WT) mice were exposed to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R). The ischemic area-at-risk (AAR) and area of necrosis (AN) were delimited, and the infarct size was expressed by AN/AAR. Proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics and autophagy were analyzed before and after I/R. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening sensitivity was assessed after I/R. Heart weight and left ventricular function were not significantly different in 3-, 6- and 12-month-old Dnm1l+/- mice than in WT. The cardiac DRP1 protein expression levels were 60% lower, whereas mitochondrial area and lipid degradation were significantly higher in Dnm1l+/- mice than in WT, though mitochondrial respiratory parameters and mPTP opening did not significantly differ. Following I/R, the infarct size was significantly smaller in Dnm1l+/- mice than in WT (34.6±3.1% vs. 44.5±3.3%, respectively; p<0.05) and the autophagic markers, LC3 II and P62 were significantly increased compared to baseline condition in Dnm1l+/- mice only. Altogether, data indicates that increasing fusion by means of Dnm1l deficiency was associated with protection against IRI, without alteration in cardiac or mitochondrial functions at basal conditions. This protection mechanism due to DRP1 haploinsufficiency increases the expression of autophagic markers.
  25. Cell Death Dis. 2021 Mar 22. 12(4): 307
      Resistin-like alpha (Retnla) is a member of the resistin family and known to modulate fibrosis and inflammation. Here, we investigated the role of Retnla in the cardiac injury model. Myocardial infarction (MI) was induced in wild type (WT), Retnla knockout (KO), and Retnla transgenic (TG) mice. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and was significantly preserved in the KO mice, while worsened in the TG group. Angiogenesis was substantially increased in the KO mice, and cardiomyocyte apoptosis was markedly suppressed in the KO mice. By Retnla treatment, the expression of p21 and the ratio of Bax to Bcl2 were increased in cardiomyocytes, while decreased in cardiac fibroblasts. Interestingly, the numbers of cardiac macrophages and unsorted bone marrow cells (UBCs) were higher in the KO mice than in the WT mice. Besides, phosphorylated histone H3(+) cells were more frequent in bone marrow of KO mice. Moreover, adiponectin in UBCs was notably higher in the KO mice compared with WT mice. In an adoptive transfer study, UBCs were isolated from KO mice to transplant to the WT infarcted heart. Cardiac function was better in the KO-UBCs transplanted group in the WT-UBCs transplanted group. Taken together, proliferative and adiponectin-rich bone marrow niche was associated with substantial cardiac recovery by suppression of cardiac apoptosis and proliferation of cardiac fibroblast.
  26. Clin Epigenetics. 2021 Mar 23. 13(1): 61
      BACKGROUND: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common genetic disease of the cardiac muscle, frequently caused by mutations in MYBPC3. However, little is known about the upstream pathways and key regulators causing the disease. Therefore, we employed a multi-omics approach to study the pathomechanisms underlying HCM comparing patient hearts harboring MYBPC3 mutations to control hearts.RESULTS: Using H3K27ac ChIP-seq and RNA-seq we obtained 9310 differentially acetylated regions and 2033 differentially expressed genes, respectively, between 13 HCM and 10 control hearts. We obtained 441 differentially expressed proteins between 11 HCM and 8 control hearts using proteomics. By integrating multi-omics datasets, we identified a set of DNA regions and genes that differentiate HCM from control hearts and 53 protein-coding genes as the major contributors. This comprehensive analysis consistently points toward altered extracellular matrix formation, muscle contraction, and metabolism. Therefore, we studied enriched transcription factor (TF) binding motifs and identified 9 motif-encoded TFs, including KLF15, ETV4, AR, CLOCK, ETS2, GATA5, MEIS1, RXRA, and ZFX. Selected candidates were examined in stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes with and without mutated MYBPC3. Furthermore, we observed an abundance of acetylation signals and transcripts derived from cardiomyocytes compared to non-myocyte populations.
    CONCLUSIONS: By integrating histone acetylome, transcriptome, and proteome profiles, we identified major effector genes and protein networks that drive the pathological changes in HCM with mutated MYBPC3. Our work identifies 38 highly affected protein-coding genes as potential plasma HCM biomarkers and 9 TFs as potential upstream regulators of these pathomechanisms that may serve as possible therapeutic targets.
    Keywords:  HCM; Histone acetylome; MYBPC3; Proteome; Transcription factors; Transcriptome
  27. Heliyon. 2021 Mar;7(3): e06474
      Cardiomyopathy and pancreatic injury are health issues associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and are characterized by elevated oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis. Melatonin (MLT) is a hormone with multifunctional antioxidant activity. The protective effects of MLT on the heart and pancreas during the early development of diabetic cardiomyopathy and pancreatic injury were investigated in male Wistar rats with T2DM. MLT (10 mg/kg) was administered daily by gavage for 15 days after diabetic induction. Treatment of diabetic rats with MLT significantly normalized the levels of serum glucose, HbA1-c, and the lipid profile and improved the insulin levels and insulin resistance compared with diabetic rats, affirming its antidiabetic effect. MLT significantly prevented the development of oxidative stress and sustained the levels of glutathione and glutathione peroxidase activity in the heart and pancreas of diabetic animals, indicating its antioxidant capacity. Additionally, MLT prevented the increase in proinflammatory cytokines and expression of Bax, caspase-3 and P53. Furthermore, MLT enhanced the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2. MLT controlled the levels of troponin T and creatine kinase-MB and lactate dehydrogenase activity, indicating its anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects. Histological examinations confirmed the protective effects of MLT on T2DM-induced injury in the myocardium, pancreas and islets of Langerhans. In conclusion, the protective effects of melatonin on the heart and pancreas during the early development of T2DM are attributed to its antihyperglycemic, antilipidemic and antioxidant influences as well as its remarkable anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic properties.
    Keywords:  Heart; Hyperglycemia; Inflammatory cytokines; Melatonin; Oxidative stress; Pancreas
  28. Elife. 2021 Mar 25. pii: e66079. [Epub ahead of print]10
      Strategies have not been available until recently to uncover interacting protein networks specific to key cell types, their subcellular compartments, and their major regulators during complex in vivo events. Here we apply BioID2 proximity labeling to capture protein networks acting within cardiomyocytes during a key model of innate heart regeneration in zebrafish. Transgenic zebrafish expressing a promiscuous BirA2 localized to the entire myocardial cell or membrane compartment were generated, each identifying distinct proteomes in adult cardiomyocytes that became altered during regeneration. BioID2 profiling for interactors with ErbB2, a co-receptor for the cardiomyocyte mitogen Nrg1, implicated Rho A as a target of ErbB2 signaling in cardiomyocytes. Blockade of Rho A during heart regeneration, or during cardiogenic stimulation by the mitogenic influences Nrg1, Vegfaa or Vitamin D, disrupted muscle creation. Our findings reveal proximity labeling as a useful resource to interrogate cell proteomes and signaling networks during tissue regeneration in zebrafish.
    Keywords:  developmental biology; zebrafish
  29. Nat Commun. 2021 Mar 26. 12(1): 1910
      Cardiac arrhythmias are a primary contributor to sudden cardiac death, a major unmet medical need. Because right ventricular (RV) dysfunction increases the risk for sudden cardiac death, we examined responses to RV stress in mice. Among immune cells accumulated in the RV after pressure overload-induced by pulmonary artery banding, interfering with macrophages caused sudden death from severe arrhythmias. We show that cardiac macrophages crucially maintain cardiac impulse conduction by facilitating myocardial intercellular communication through gap junctions. Amphiregulin (AREG) produced by cardiac macrophages is a key mediator that controls connexin 43 phosphorylation and translocation in cardiomyocytes. Deletion of Areg from macrophages led to disorganization of gap junctions and, in turn, lethal arrhythmias during acute stresses, including RV pressure overload and β-adrenergic receptor stimulation. These results suggest that AREG from cardiac resident macrophages is a critical regulator of cardiac impulse conduction and may be a useful therapeutic target for the prevention of sudden death.
  30. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Mar 23. pii: cvab107. [Epub ahead of print]
      AIMS: Aortic valve calcification is more prevalent in chronic kidney disease accompanied by hypercalcemia. SPARC (Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine)-related modular calcium binding 1 (SMOC1) is a regulator of BMP2 signalling, but the role of SMOC1 in aortic valve calcification under different conditions has not been studied. This study aimed to investigate the roles of SMOC1 in aortic valve calcification under normal and high calcium conditions, focusing on the effects on aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs).METHODS AND RESULTS: SMOC1 was expressed by aortic valve endothelial cells and secreted into the extracellular matrix in non-calcific valves and downregulated in calcific aortic valves. In vitro studies demonstrated that HUVEC secreted SMOC1 could enter the cytoplasm of AVICs. Overexpression of SMOC1 attenuated warfarin-induced AVIC calcification but promoted high calcium/phosphate or vitamin D-induced AVIC and aortic valve calcification by regulating BMP2 signalling both in vitro and in vivo. Co-immunoprecipitation revealed that SMOC1 binds to BMP receptor II (BMPR-II) and inhibits BMP2-induced phosphorylation of p38 (p-p38) via amino acids 372-383 of its EF-hand calcium-binding domain. Inhibition of p-p38 by the p38 inhibitor SB203580 blocked the effects of SMOC1 on BMP2 signalling and AVIC calcification induced by high calcium/phosphate medium. In high-calcium-treated AVICs, SMOC1 lost its ability to bind to BMPR-II, but not to caveolin-1, promoting p-p38 and cell apoptosis due to increased expression of BMPR-II and enhanced endocytosis.
    CONCLUSIONS: These observations support that SMOC1 works as a dual-directional modulator of AVIC calcification by regulating p38-dependent BMP2 signalling transduction according to different extracellular calcium concentrations.
    Keywords:  Aortic valve calcification; BMP receptor II; SMOC1; aortic valve interstitial cell; p38
  31. Theranostics. 2021 ;11(9): 4262-4280
      The epicardium plays an important role in cardiomyogenesis during development, while it becomes quiescent in adult heart during homeostasis. This study investigates the efficiency of thymosin β4 (Tβ4) release with RPRHQGVM conjugated to the C-terminus of RADA16-I (RADA-RPR), the functionalized self-assembling peptide (SAP), to activate the epicardium and repairing the infarcted myocardium. Methods: The functionalized SAP was constituted with self-assembling motif, Tβ4-binding site, and cell adhesive ligand. Myocardial infarction (MI) models of the transgenic mice were established by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. At one week after intramyocardial injection of Tβ4-conjugated SAP, the activation of the epicardium was assessed. At four weeks after implantation, the migration and differentiation of epicardium-derived cells (EPDCs) as well as angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and myocardial regeneration were examined. Results: We found that the designer RADA-RPR bound Tβ4 and adhered to EPDCs and that Tβ4 released from the functionalized SAP could effectively activate the epicardium and induce EPDCs to differentiate towards cardiovascular cells as well as lymphatic endothelial cells. Moreover, SAP-released Tβ4 (SAP-Tβ4) promoted proliferation of cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and myocardial regeneration were enhanced in the MI models at 4 weeks after delivery of SAP-Tβ4 along with attenuation of adverse myocardial remodeling and significantly improved cardiac function. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that sustained release of Tβ4 from the functionalized SAP can activate the epicardium and effectively enhance the repair of infarcted myocardium. We believe the delivery of SAP-Tβ4 may be a promising strategy for MI therapy.
    Keywords:  epicardium; epicardium-derived cells; myocardial infarction; self-assembling peptide; thymosin beta 4
  32. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2021 ;2021 8839479
      Black berry (Syzygium cumini) fruit is useful in curing diabetic complications; however, its role in diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy is not yet known. In this study, we investigated the regulation of gelatinase-B (MMP-9) by S. cumini methanol seed extract (MSE) in diabetic cardiomyopathy using real-time PCR, RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, gel diffusion assay, and substrate zymography. The regulatory effects of MSE on NF-κB, TNF-α, and IL-6 were also examined. Identification and estimation of polyphenol constituents present in S. cumini extract were carried out using reverse-phase HPLC. Further, in silico docking studies of identified polyphenols with gelatinase-B were performed to elucidate molecular level interaction in the active site of gelatinase-B. Docking studies showed strong interaction of S. cumini polyphenols with gelatinase-B. Our findings indicate that MSE significantly suppresses gelatinase-B expression and activity in high-glucose- (HG-) stimulated cardiomyopathy. Further, HG-induced activation of NF-κB, TNF-α, and IL-6 was also remarkably reduced by MSE. Our results suggest that S. cumini MSE may be useful as an effective functional food and dietary supplement to regulate HG-induced cardiac stress through gelatinase.
  33. Metabolism. 2021 Mar 22. pii: S0026-0495(21)00066-4. [Epub ahead of print] 154766
      The cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) and obesity are typically characterized by a state of metabolic insulin resistance. As global and US rates of obesity increase there is an acceleration of the incidence and prevalence of insulin resistance along with associated cardiovascular disease (CVD). Under physiological conditions insulin regulates glucose homeostasis by enhancing glucose disposal in insulin sensitive tissues while also regulating delivery of nutrients through its vasodilation actions on small feed arteries. Specifically, insulin-mediated production of nitric oxide from the vascular endothelium leads to increased blood flow enhancing disposal of glucose. Typically, insulin resistance is considered as a decrease in sensitivity or responsiveness to the metabolic actions of insulin including insulin-mediated glucose disposal. However, a decreased sensitivity to the normal vascular actions of insulin, especially diminished nitric oxide production, plays an additional important role in the development of CVD in states of insulin resistance. One mechanism by which insulin resistance and attendant hyperinsulinemia promote CVD is via increases in vascular stiffness. Although obesity and insulin resistance are known to be associated with substantial increases in the prevalence of vascular fibrosis and stiffness the mechanisms and mediators that underlie vascular stiffening in insulin resistant states are complex and have only recently begun to be addressed. Current evidence supports the role of increased plasma levels of aldosterone and insulin and attendant reductions in bioavailable nitric oxide in the pathogenesis of impaired vascular relaxation and vascular stiffness in the CMS and obesity. Aldosterone and insulin both increase the activity of serum and glucocorticoid kinase 1 (SGK-1) which in turn is a major regulator of vascular and renal sodium (Na+) channel activity.The importance of SGK-1 in the pathogenesis of the CMS is highlighted by observations that gain of function mutations in SGK-1 in humans promotes hypertension, insulin resistance and obesity. In endothelial cells, an increase in Na+ flux contributes to remodeling of the cytoskeleton, reduced NO bioavailability and vascular stiffening. Thus, endothelial SGK-1 may represent a point of convergence for insulin and aldosterone signaling in arterial stiffness associated with obesity and the CMS. This review examines our contemporary understanding of the link between insulin resistance and increased vascular stiffness with emphasis placed on a role for enhanced SGK-1 signaling as a key node in this pathological process.
    Keywords:  Cardiovascular disease; EnNaC; Insulin resistance; SGK-1; Vascular stiffness