R E Pratt

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (164)1131.46 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nuclear hormone receptor liver X receptor-alpha (LXRα) has a vital role in cholesterol homeostasis and is reported to have a role in adipose function and obesity although this is controversial. Conversely, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are suggested to be a major source of adipocyte generation. Accordingly, we examined the role of LXRα in adipogenesis of MSCs. Adult murine MSCs (mMSCs) were isolated from wild-type (WT) and LXR-null mice. Using WT mMSCs, we further generated cell lines stably overexpressing GFP-LXRα (mMSC/LXRα/GFP) or GFP alone (mMSC/GFP) by retroviral infection. Confluent mMSCs were differentiated into adipocytes by the established protocol. Compared with MSCs isolated from WT mice, MSCs from LXR-null mice showed significantly increased adipogenesis, as determined by lipid droplet accumulation and adipogenesis-related gene expression. Moreover, mMSCs stably overexpressing GFP-LXRα (mMSC/LXRα/GFP) exhibited significantly decreased adipogenesis compared with mMSCs overexpressing GFP alone (mMSC/GFP). Since Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is reported to inhibit adipogenesis, we further examined it. The LXR-null group showed significantly decreased Wnt expression accompanied by a decrease of cellular beta-catenin (vs WT). The mMSC/LXRα/GFP group exhibited significantly increased Wnt expression accompanied by an increase of cellular beta-catenin (vs mMSC/GFP). These data demonstrate that LXRα has an inhibitory effect on adipogenic differentiation in mMSCs with Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. These results provide important insights into the pathophysiology of obesity and obesity-related consequences such as metabolic syndrome and may identify potential therapeutic targets.
    Laboratory Investigation 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/labinvest.2015.141 · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • Kenichi Matsushita · Yaojiong Wu · Richard E. Pratt · Victor J. Dzau ·
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence indicates that the vasculature contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). We hypothesized that angiotensin II (Ang II) type 2 receptors (AT2Rs) play a role in the osteogenesis of MSCs and may have a role in vascular calcification. Human MSCs were differentiated into osteoblasts. Expression of AT2R was significantly increased during osteogenesis, whereas the expression of Ang II type 1 receptors was not significantly changed. Incubation with the AT2R blocker PD123319 with or without Ang II significantly inhibited calcium deposition, whereas type 1 receptor blocker valsartan had no significant effect. PD123319 inhibited extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in the osteogenic process, whereas valsartan had no effect. Furthermore, PD123319 combined with Ang II also inhibited acute ERK phosphorylation in MSCs induced by insulin. In conclusion, AT2R is upregulated during osteogenesis. Blockade of AT2R inhibits osteogenesis and ERK phosphorylation of human MSCs. These results provide a novel insight into the pathophysiology of calcific vascular disease. Copyright © 2015 American Society of Hypertension. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of the American Society of Hypertension (JASH) 06/2015; 9(7). DOI:10.1016/j.jash.2015.06.006 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling has recently emerged as an important regulator of cardiac progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation, but the exact mechanisms by which Wnt signaling modulates these effects are not known. Understanding these mechanisms is essential for advancing our knowledge of cardiac progenitor cell biology and applying this knowledge to enhance cardiac therapy. Here, we explored the effects of Sfrp2, a canonical Wnt inhibitor, in adult cardiac progenitor cell (CPC) differentiation and investigated the molecular mechanisms involved. Our data show that Sfrp2 treatment can promote differentiation of CPCs after ischemia-reperfusion injury. Treatment of CPCs with Sfrp2 inhibited CPC proliferation and primed them for cardiac differentiation. Sfrp2 binding to Wnt6 and inhibition of Wnt6 canonical pathway was essential for the inhibition of CPC proliferation. This inhibition of Wnt6 canonical signaling by Sfrp2 was important for activation of the non-canonical Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway through JNK, which in turn induced expression of cardiac transcription factors and CPC differentiation. Taken together, these results demonstrate a novel role of Sfrp2 and Wnt6 in regulating the dynamic process of CPC proliferation and differentiation, as well as providing new insights into the mechanisms of Wnt signaling in cardiac differentiation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 06/2015; 85. DOI:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2015.06.003 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the importance of juxtaglomerular cell recruitment in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases, the mechanisms that underlie renin production under conditions of chronic stimulation remain elusive. We have previously shown that CD44+ mesenchymal-like cells (CD44+ cells) exist in the adult kidney. Under chronic sodium deprivation, these cells are recruited to the juxtaglomerular area and differentiate to new renin-expressing cells. Given the proximity of macula densa to the juxtaglomerular area and the importance of macula densa released prostanoids in renin synthesis and release, we hypothesized that chronic sodium deprivation induces macula densa release of prostanoids, stimulating renal CD44+ cell activation and differentiation. CD44+ cells were isolated from adult kidneys and cocultured with the macula densa cell line, MMDD1, in normal or low-sodium medium. Low sodium stimulated prostaglandin E2 production by MMDD1 and induced migration of CD44+ cells. These effects were inhibited by addition of a cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor (NS398) or an E-prostanoid receptor 4 antagonist (AH23848) to MMDD1 or CD44+ cells, respectively. Addition of prostaglandin E2 to CD44+ cells increased cell migration and induced renin expression. In vivo activation of renal CD44+ cells during juxtaglomerular recruitment was attenuated in wild-type mice subjected to salt restriction in the presence of cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor rofecoxib. Similar results were observed in E-prostanoid receptor 4 knockout mice subjected to salt restriction. These results show that the prostaglandin E2/E-prostanoid receptor 4 pathway plays a key role in the activation of renal CD44+ mesenchymal stromal cell-like cells during conditions of juxtaglomerular recruitment; highlighting the importance of this pathway as a key regulatory mechanism of juxtaglomerular recruitment. © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
    Hypertension 03/2015; 65(5). DOI:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.04611 · 6.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: A major goal for the treatment of heart tissue damaged by cardiac injury is to develop strategies for restoring healthy heart muscle through the regeneration and repair of damaged myocardium. We recently demonstrated that administration of a specific combination of microRNAs (miR combo) into the infarcted myocardium leads to direct in vivo reprogramming of noncardiac myocytes to cardiac myocytes. However, the biological and functional consequences of such reprogramming are not yet known. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether noncardiac myocytes directly reprogrammed using miRNAs in vivo develop into mature functional cardiac myocytes in situ, and whether reprogramming leads to improvement of cardiac function. Methods and results: We subjected fibroblast-specific protein 1-Cre mice/tandem dimer Tomato (tdTomato) mice to cardiac injury by permanent ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery and injected lentiviruses encoding miR combo or a control nontargeting miRNA. miR combo significantly increased the number of reprogramming events in vivo. Five to 6 weeks after injury, morphological and physiological properties of tdTomato(-) and tdTomato(+) cardiac myocyte-like cells were analyzed ex vivo. tdTomato(+) cells expressed cardiac myocyte markers, sarcomeric organization, excitation-contraction coupling, and action potentials characteristic of mature ventricular cardiac myocytes (tdTomato(-) cells). Reprogramming was associated with improvement of cardiac function, as analyzed by serial echocardiography. There was a time delayed and progressive improvement in fractional shortening and other measures of ventricular function, indicating that miR combo promotes functional recovery of damaged myocardium. Conclusions: The findings from this study further validate the potential use of miRNA-mediated reprogramming as a therapeutic approach to promote cardiac regeneration after myocardial injury.
    Circulation Research 10/2014; 116(3). DOI:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.304510 · 11.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) are thought to differentiate into the major cell types of the heart: cardiomyocytes, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. We have recently identified ABI family, member 3 (NESH) binding protein (Abi3bp) as a protein important for mesenchymal stem cell biology. Because CPCs share several characteristics with mesenchymal stem cells, we hypothesized that Abi3bp would similarly affect CPC differentiation and proliferation. Objective: To determine whether Abi3bp regulates CPC proliferation and differentiation. Methods and results: In vivo, genetic ablation of the Abi3bp gene inhibited CPC differentiation, whereas CPC number and proliferative capacity were increased. This correlated with adverse recovery after myocardial infarction. In vitro, CPCs, either isolated from Abi3bp knockout mice or expressing an Abi3bp shRNA construct, displayed a higher proliferative capacity and, under differentiating conditions, reduced expression of both early and late cardiomyocyte markers. Abi3bp controlled CPC differentiation via integrin-β1, protein kinase C-ζ, and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog. Conclusions: We have identified Abi3bp as a protein important for CPC differentiation and proliferation.
    Circulation Research 10/2014; 115(12). DOI:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.304216 · 11.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite advances in the treatment of acute tissue ischemia significant challenges remain in effective cytoprotection from ischemic cell death. It has been documented that injected stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), can confer protection to ischemic tissue through the release of paracrine factors. The study of these factors is essential for understanding tissue repair and the development of new therapeutic approaches for regenerative medicine. We have recently shown that a novel factor secreted by MSCs, which we called HASF (Hypoxia and Akt induced Stem cell Factor), promotes cardiomyocyte proliferation. In this study we show that HASF has a cytoprotective effect on ischemia induced cardiomyocyte death. We assessed whether HASF could potentially be used as a therapeutic agent to prevent the damage associated with myocardial infarction. In vitro treatment of cardiomyocytes with HASF protein resulted in decreased apoptosis; TUNEL positive nuclei were fewer in number, and caspase activation and mitochondrial pore opening were inhibited. Purified HASF protein was injected into the heart immediately following myocardial infarction. Heart function was found to be comparable to sham operated animals one month following injury and fibrosis was significantly reduced. In vivo and in vitro HASF activated protein kinase C ε (PKCε). Inhibition of PKCε blocked the HASF effect on apoptosis. Furthermore, the beneficial effects of HASF were lost in mice lacking PKCε. Collectively these results identify HASF as a protein of significant therapeutic potential, acting in part through PKCε.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 11/2013; 66. DOI:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2013.11.010 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplanted into injured myocardium promote repair through paracrine mechanisms. We have previously shown that MSCs overexpressing AKT1 (Akt-MSCs) exhibit enhanced properties for cardiac repair. In this study, we investigated the relevance of Abi3bp towards MSC biology. Abi3bp formed extracellular deposits with expression controlled by Akt1 and ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Abi3bp knockdown/knockout stabilized focal adhesions and promoted stress-fiber formation. Furthermore, MSCs from Abi3bp knockout mice displayed severe deficiencies in osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. Knockout or stable knockdown of Abi3bp increased MSC and Akt-MSC proliferation, promoting S-phase entry via cyclin-d1, ERK1/2 and Src. Upon Abi3bp binding to integrin-β1 Src associated with paxillin which inhibited proliferation. In vivo, Abi3bp knockout increased MSC number and proliferation in bone marrow, lung, and liver. In summary, we have identified a novel extracellular matrix protein necessary for the switch from proliferation to differentiation in MSCs.
    Stem Cells 08/2013; 31(8). DOI:10.1002/stem.1416 · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) regulates BP and salt-volume homeostasis. Juxtaglomerular (JG) cells synthesize and release renin, which is the first and rate-limiting step in the RAAS. Intense pathologic stresses cause a dramatic increase in the number of renin-producing cells in the kidney, termed JG cell recruitment, but how this occurs is not fully understood. Here, we isolated renal CD44(+) mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-like cells and found that they differentiated into JG-like renin-expressing cells both in vitro and in vivo. Sodium depletion and captopril led to activation and differentiation of these cells into renin-expressing cells in the adult kidney. In summary, CD44(+) MSC-like cells exist in the adult kidney and can differentiate into JG-like renin-producing cells under conditions that promote JG cell recruitment.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 06/2013; 24(8). DOI:10.1681/ASN.2012060596 · 9.34 Impact Factor

  • Scientific Sessions of High Blood Pressure Research; 11/2011
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    Wei He · Lunan Zhang · Aiguo Ni · Zhiping Zhang · Maria Mirotsou · Lan Mao · Richard E Pratt · Victor J Dzau ·
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    ABSTRACT: Secreted frizzled related protein 2 (Sfrp2) is known as an inhibitor for the Wnt signaling. In recent studies, Sfrp2 has been reported to inhibit the activity of Xenopus homolog of mammalian Tolloid-like 1 metalloproteinase. Bone morphogenic protein 1 (Bmp1)/Tolloid-like metalloproteinase plays a key role in the regulation of collagen biosynthesis and maturation after tissue injury. Here, we showed both endogenous Sfrp2 and Bmp1 protein expressions were up-regulated in rat heart after myocardial infarction (MI). We hypothesize that Sfrp2 could inhibit mammalian Bmp1 activity and, hence, the exogenous administration of Sfrp2 after MI would inhibit the deposition of mature collagen and improve heart function. Using recombinant proteins, we demonstrated that Sfrp2, but not Sfrp1 or Sfrp3, inhibited Bmp1 activity in vitro as measured by a fluorogenic peptide based procollagen C-proteinase activity assay. We also demonstrated that Sfrp2 at high concentration inhibited human and rat type I procollagen processing by Bmp1 in vitro. We further showed that exogenously added Sfrp2 inhibited type I procollagen maturation in primary cardiac fibroblasts. Two days after direct injection into the rat infarcted myocardium, Sfrp2 inhibited MI-induced type I collagen deposition. As early as 2 wk after injection, Sfrp2 significantly reduced left ventricular (LV) fibrosis as shown by trichrome staining. Four weeks after injection, Sfrp2 prevented the anterior wall thinning and significantly improved cardiac function as revealed by histological analysis and echocardiographic measurement. Our study demonstrates Sfrp2 at therapeutic doses can inhibit fibrosis and improve LV function at a later stage after MI.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2010; 107(49):21110-5. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1004708107 · 9.67 Impact Factor

  • Conference on High Blood Pressure Research; 11/2010
  • K. Matsushita · F. Morello · Y. Wu · L. Zhang · S. Iwanaga · R. E. Pratt · V. J. Dzau ·
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    ABSTRACT: Renin is a key enzyme for cardiovascular and renal homeostasis and is produced by highly specialized endocrine cells in the kidney, known as juxtaglomerular (JG) cells. The nature and origin of these cells remain as mysteries. Previously, we have shown that the nuclear hormone receptor liver X receptor-alpha (LXRalpha) is a major transcriptional regulator of the expression of renin, c-myc, and other genes involved with growth/differentiation. In this study we test the hypothesis that LXRalpha plays an important role not only in renin expression but also in renin-containing cell differentiation, specifically from the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), which may be the origin of the JG cell. Indeed, our data demonstrated that LXRalpha activation by its ligands or cAMP stimulated renin gene expression in both murine and human MSCs. Furthermore, sustained cAMP stimulation of murine MSCs overexpressing LXRalpha led to their differentiation into JG-like cells expressing renin and alpha-smooth muscle actin. These MSC-derived JG-like cells contained renin in secretory granules and released active renin in response to cAMP. In conclusion, the activation of LXRalpha stimulates renin expression and induces MSCs differentiation into renin-secreting, JG-like cells. Our results suggest that the MSC may be the origin of the juxtaglomerular cell and provide insight into novel understanding of pathophysiology of the renin-angiotensin system.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2010; 285(16):11974-11982. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M109.099671 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been shown to promote cardiac repair in acute myocardial injury in vivo, its overall restorative capacity appears to be restricted mainly because of poor cell viability and low engraftment in the ischemic myocardium. Specific chemokines are upregulated in the infarcted myocardium. However the expression levels of the corresponding chemokine receptors (eg, CCR1, CXCR2) in MSCs are very low. We hypothesized that this discordance may account for the poor MSC engraftment and survival. To determine whether overexpression of CCR1 or CXCR2 chemokine receptors in MSCs augments their cell survival, migration and engraftment after injection in the infarcted myocardium. Overexpression of CCR1, but not CXCR2, dramatically increased chemokine-induced murine MSC migration and protected MSC from apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, when MSCs were injected intramyocardially one hour after coronary artery ligation, CCR1-MSCs accumulated in the infarcted myocardium at significantly higher levels than control-MSCs or CXCR2-MSCs 3 days postmyocardial infarction (MI). CCR1-MSC-injected hearts exhibited a significant reduction in infarct size, reduced cardiomyocytes apoptosis and increased capillary density in injured myocardium 3 days after MI. Furthermore, intramyocardial injection of CCR1-MSCs prevented cardiac remodeling and restored cardiac function 4 weeks after MI. Our results demonstrate the in vitro and in vivo salutary effects of genetic modification of stem cells. Specifically, overexpression of chemokine receptor enhances the migration, survival and engraftment of MSCs, and may provide a new therapeutic strategy for the injured myocardium.
    Circulation Research 04/2010; 106(11):1753-62. DOI:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.196030 · 11.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is an effective therapy to repair cardiac damage after myocardial infarction (MI) in experimental models. However, the mechanisms of action still need to be elucidated. Our group has recently suggested that MSCs mediate their therapeutic effects primarily via paracrine cytoprotective action. Furthermore, we have shown that MSCs overexpressing Akt1 (Akt-MSCs) exert even greater cytoprotection than unmodified MSCs. So far, little has been reported on the metabolic characteristics of infarcted hearts treated with stem cells. Here, we hypothesize that Akt-MSC administration may influence the metabolic processes involved in cardiac adaptation and repair after MI. MI was performed in rats randomized in four groups: sham group and animals treated with control MSCs, Akt-MSCs, or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). High energy metabolism and basal 2-deoxy-glucose (2-DG) uptake were evaluated on isolated hearts using phosphorus-31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 72 hours and 2 weeks after MI. Treatment with Akt-MSCs spared phosphocreatine stores and significantly limited the increase in 2-DG uptake in the residual intact myocardium compared with the PBS- or the MSC-treated animals. Furthermore, Akt-MSC-treated hearts had normal pH, whereas low pH was measured in the PBS and MSC groups. Correlative analysis indicated that functional recovery after MI was inversely related to the rate of 2-DG uptake. We conclude that administration of MSCs overexpressing Akt at the time of infarction results in preservation of normal metabolism and pH in the surviving myocardium.
    Stem Cells 04/2009; 27(4):971-9. DOI:10.1002/stem.12 · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing the survival gene Akt can confer paracrine protection to ischemic myocytes both in vivo and in vitro through the release of secreted frizzled related protein 2 (Sfrp2). However, the mechanisms mediating these effects of Sfrp2 have not been fully elucidated. In this study, we studied rat cardiomyoblasts subjected to hypoxia reoxygenation (HR) injury to test the hypothesis that Sfrp2 exerts anti-apoptotic effect by antagonizing pro-apoptotic properties of specific Wnt ligands. We examined the effect of Wnt3a and Sfrp2 on HR-induced apoptosis. Wnt3a significantly increased cellular caspase activities and TUNEL staining in response to HR. Sfrp2 attenuated significantly Wnt3a-induced caspase activities in a concentration dependent fashion. Using a solid phase binding assay, our data demonstrates that Sfrp2 physically binds to Wnt3a. In addition, we observed that Sfrp2 dramatically inhibits the beta-catenin/TCF transcriptional activities induced by Wnt3a. Impressively, Dickkopf-1, a protein that binds to the Wnt coreceptor LRP, significantly inhibited the Wnt3a-activated caspase and transcriptional activities. Similarly, siRNA against beta-catenin markedly inhibited the Wnt3a-activated caspase activities. Consistent with this, significantly fewer TUNEL positive cells were observed in siRNA transfected cells than in control cells. Together, our data provide strong evidence to support the notion that Wnt3a is a canonical Wnt with pro-apoptotic action whose cellular activity is prevented by Sfrp2 through, at least in part, the direct binding of these molecules. These results can explain the in vivo protective effect of Sfrp2 and highlight its therapeutic potential for the ischemic heart.
    Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 03/2009; 46(3):370-7. DOI:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2008.11.016 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    James E Ip · Yaojiong Wu · Jing Huang · Lunan Zhang · Richard E Pratt · Victor J Dzau ·
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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence has demonstrated the importance of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) in the repair of damaged myocardium. The molecular mechanisms of engraftment and migration of BM-MSCs in the ischemic myocardium are unknown. In this study, we developed a functional genomics approach toward the identification of mediators of engraftment and migration of BM-MSCs within the ischemic myocardium. Our strategy involves microarray profiling (>22,000 probes) of ischemic hearts, complemented by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence-activated cell sorting of corresponding adhesion molecule and cytokine receptors in BM-MSCs to focus on the coexpressed pairs only. Our data revealed nine complementary adhesion molecules and cytokine receptors, including integrin beta1, integrin alpha4, and CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). To examine their functional contributions, we first blocked selectively these receptors by preincubation of BM-MSCs with specific neutralizing antibodies, and then we administered these cells intramyocardially. A significant reduction in the total number of BM-MSC in the infarcted myocardium was observed after integrin beta1 blockade but not integrin alpha4 or CXCR4 blockade. The latter observation is distinctively different from that reported for hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Thus, our data show that BM-MSCs use a different pathway from HSCs for intramyocardial trafficking and engraftment.
    Molecular Biology of the Cell 08/2007; 18(8):2873-82. DOI:10.1091/mbc.E07-02-0166 · 4.47 Impact Factor
  • Kenichi Matsushita · Zhiping Zhang · Richard E Pratt · Victor J Dzau ·
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    ABSTRACT: Renin is the first enzymatic step of the renin angiotensin cascade and plays an important role in cardiovascular homeostasis. Renin is mainly expressed in and released from specialized juxtaglomerular (JG) cells in kidney. JG cells develop hyperplasia in response to various chronic stimuli while maintaining the ability to express high levels of renin. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms of JG cell hyperplasia are unknown. Based on the authors' previous observation that a nuclear hormone receptor, liver X receptor alpha, regulates renin expression as well as growth and differentiation genes such as c-myc, the authors propose the hypothesis that liver X receptor alpha can contribute to JG cell hyperplasia under conditions of chronic and intense induction of these genes. This hypothesis may provide a potential explanation for the observation that the JG cells can maintain a highly specialized renin-producing phenotype while undergoing hyperplasia.
    Journal of the American Society of Hypertension 05/2007; 1(3):164-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jash.2007.02.004 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously reported that intramyocardial injection of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing Akt (MSC-Akt) efficiently repaired infarcted rat myocardium and improved cardiac function. Controversy still exists over the mechanisms by which MSC contribute to tissue repair. Herein, we tested if cellular fusion of MSC plays a determinant role in cardiac repair. We injected MSC expressing Cre recombinase, with or without Akt, into Cre reporter mice. In these mice, LacZ is expressed only after Cre-mediated excision of a loxP-flanked stop signal and is indicative of fusion. MSC engraftment within infarcted myocardium was transient but significantly enhanced by Akt. MSC fusion with cardiomyocytes was observed as early as 3 days, but was infrequent, and we found a low rate of differentiation of MSC into cardiomyocytes. MSC-Akt decreased infarct size at 3 days and restored early cardiac function. In conclusion, MSC-Akt improved early repair despite transient engraftment, low levels of cellular fusion, and differentiation. These new observations further confirm our recently reported data that early paracrine mechanisms mediated by MSC are responsible for enhancing the survival of existing myocytes and that Akt could alter the secretion of various cytokines and growth factors.
    Molecular Therapy 01/2007; 14(6):840-50. DOI:10.1016/j.ymthe.2006.05.016 · 6.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical and experimental evidence suggest that the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a role in metabolic syndrome. Adipogenesis is suggested to modulate obesity and obesity-related consequences, such as metabolic syndrome. Although mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a major source of adipocyte generation, the influence of RAS on MSC differentiation to adipocyte is unknown. We evaluated the expression of endogenous RAS in human MSCs during its differentiation to adipocytes and studied the effects of angiotensin II (Ang II), Ang II type 1 receptor blocker Valsartan, and type 2 (AT(2)) receptor blocker PD123319. Our data showed that differentiation was associated with an increase in cellular renin and AT(2) receptor expression and a concomitant decrease in angiotensinogen and angiotensin-converting enzyme expression. The net effect is an increase in endogenous cellular angiotensin II production. Incubation with Ang II (exogenous) inhibited adipogenesis. Combined treatment of exogenous Ang II and Valsartan further inhibited adipogenesis, whereas combined treatment of Ang II and PD123319 completely abolished the inhibition of adipogenesis, suggesting an important role for the AT(2) receptor. Blockade of endogenous angiotensin II effect by incubation with Valsartan alone inhibited adipogenesis, whereas PD123319 alone promoted adipogenesis, confirming the data using exogenous Ang II. The combination of Valsartan and PD123319 had no net effect. Our data demonstrate an important role of the expression of the local RAS in the regulation of human MSC differentiation to adipocytes. Elucidation of the molecular mechanism should provide important insight into the pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome and the development of future therapeutics.
    Hypertension 01/2007; 48(6):1095-102. DOI:10.1161/01.HYP.0000248211.82232.a7 · 6.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

13k Citations
1,131.46 Total Impact Points


  • 2005-2015
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • • Division of Cardiology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2005-2011
    • Duke University
      • Department of Medicine
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2002-2007
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1986-2007
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 2004
    • Queen's University
      • Department of Physiology
      Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • 1982-2004
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1992-2002
    • Stanford University
      • • Stanford Human Genome Center
      • • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
      • • Falk Cardiovascular Research Center
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 1998
    • Keio University
      • Department of Internal Medicine
      Tokyo, Tokyo-to, Japan
  • 1990-1997
    • Stanford Medicine
      • Falk Cardiovascular Research Center
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 1995
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • Department of Pathology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1987
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States