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    ABSTRACT: Cardiac valve disease is a significant cause of ill health and death worldwide, and valve replacement remains one of the most common cardiac interventions in high-income economies. Despite major advances in surgical treatment, long-term therapy remains inadequate because none of the current valve substitutes have the potential for remodeling, regeneration, and growth of native structures. Valve development is coordinated by a complex interplay of signaling pathways and environmental cues that cause disease when perturbed. Cardiac valves develop from endocardial cushions that become populated by valve precursor mesenchyme formed by an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The mesenchymal precursors, subsequently, undergo directed growth, characterized by cellular compartmentalization and layering of a structured extracellular matrix (ECM). Knowledge gained from research into the development of cardiac valves is driving exploration into valve biomechanics and tissue engineering directed at creating novel valve substitutes endowed with native form and function.
    Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 11/2014; 4(11). · 7.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Smad6 is known to predominantly inhibit BMP signaling by negatively regulating the BMP signaling process. Therefore, Smad6 mutation potentially provides an important genetic model for investigating the role of BMP signaling in vivo. Periostin is a 90-kDA secreted extracellular matrix (ECM) protein and implicated in cardiac valve progenitor cell differentiation, maturation and adult aortic valve calcification in mice. We have previously reported periostin expression patterns during AV valve development in mice. Because periostin can play critical roles in aortic valve interstitial cell differentiation and can be correlated with adult valve disease pathogenesis, in the present study we specifically focused on periostin expression during outflow tract (OT) development and its expression within the adult mouse valves. We previously reported that periostin expression in valve progenitor cells was altered by exogenously adding BMP-2 in culture. In this study, we investigated whether expression of periostin and other valvulogenic ECM proteins was altered in Smad6-mutant newborn mice in vivo. Periostin protein was localized within OT during embryonic development in mice. At embryonic day (ED) 13.5, robust periostin expression was detected within the developing pulmonary trunk and developing pulmonary and aortic valves. Periostin expression remained intense in pulmonary and aortic valves up to the adult stage. Our immunohistochemical and immunointensity analyses revealed that periostin expression was significantly reduced in the aortic valves in Smad6-/- neonatal hearts. Versican expression was also significantly reduced in Smad6-/- aortic valves, whereas, hyaluronan deposition was not significantly altered in the Smad6-/- neonatal valves. Expression of periostin and versican was less prominently affected in AV valves compared to the aortic valves, suggesting that a cell lineage/origin-dependent response to regulatory molecules may play a critical role in valve interstitial cell development and ECM protein expression.
    Journal of neonatal biology. 01/2012; 1.
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    ABSTRACT: The behavior and fate of cells in tissues largely rely upon their cross-talk with the tissue microenvironment including neighboring cells, the extracellular matrix (ECM), and soluble cues from the local and systemic environments. Dysregulation of tissue microenvironment can drive various inflammatory diseases and tumors. The ECM is a crucial component of tissue microenvironment. ECM proteins can not only modulate tissue microenvironment but also regulate the behavior of surrounding cells and the homeostasis of tissues. As a nonstructural ECM protein, periostin is generally present at low levels in most adult tissues; however, periostin is often highly expressed at sites of injury or inflammation and in tumors within adult organisms. Current evidence demonstrates that periostin actively contributes to tissue injury, inflammation, fibrosis and tumor progression. Here, we summarize the roles of periostin in inflammatory and tumor microenvironments.
    Matrix Biology. 01/2014;

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May 22, 2014