Notch1 represses osteogenic pathways in aortic valve cells

Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and Departments of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology (Impact Factor: 4.66). 09/2009; 47(6):828-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.08.008
Source: PubMed


Calcific aortic stenosis is the third leading cause of adult heart disease and the most common form of acquired valvular disease in developed countries. However, the molecular pathways leading to calcification are poorly understood. We reported two families in which heterozygous mutations in NOTCH1 caused bicuspid aortic valve and severe aortic valve calcification. NOTCH1 is part of a highly conserved signaling pathway involved in cell fate decisions, cell differentiation, and cardiac valve formation. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which NOTCH1 represses aortic valve calcification. Heterozygous Notch1-null (Notch1(+/)(-)) mice had greater than fivefold more aortic valve calcification than age- and sex-matched wildtype littermates. Inhibition of Notch signaling in cultured sheep aortic valve interstitial cells (AVICs) also increased calcification more than fivefold and resulted in gene expression typical of osteoblasts. We found that Notch1 normally represses the gene encoding bone morphogenic protein 2 (Bmp2) in murine aortic valves in vivo and in aortic valve cells in vitro. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Bmp2 blocked the calcification induced by Notch inhibition in AVICs. These findings suggest that Notch1 signaling in aortic valve cells represses osteoblast-like calcification pathways mediated by Bmp2.

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    • "While it is clear that osteogenic [9], [10], [11] and inflammatory [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18] pathways are involved in aortic valve calcification, the mechanism by which these pathways are activated in BAVs has not been elucidated. We have previously found that microRNAs, a class of short non-coding RNAs, altered in calcified BAVs can modulate calcification related genes [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aortic valve calcification is a significant and serious clinical problem for which there are no effective medical treatments. Individuals born with bicuspid aortic valves, 1-2% of the population, are at the highest risk of developing aortic valve calcification. Aortic valve calcification involves increased expression of calcification and inflammatory genes. Bicuspid aortic valve leaflets experience increased biomechanical strain as compared to normal tricuspid aortic valves. The molecular pathogenesis involved in the calcification of BAVs are not well understood, especially the molecular response to mechanical stretch. HOTAIR is a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) that has been implicated with cancer but has not been studied in cardiac disease. We have found that HOTAIR levels are decreased in BAVs and in human aortic interstitial cells (AVICs) exposed to cyclic stretch. Reducing HOTAIR levels via siRNA in AVICs results in increased expression of calcification genes. Our data suggest that β-CATENIN is a stretch responsive signaling pathway that represses HOTAIR. This is the first report demonstrating that HOTAIR is mechanoresponsive and repressed by WNT β-CATENIN signaling. These findings provide novel evidence that HOTAIR is involved in aortic valve calcification.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Valve calcification and atherosclerosis have pathological similarities, including the destruction and apoptosis of endothelial cells, infiltration of inflammatory cells, new blood vessel formation, lipid plaque deposition and eventual calcification and ossification. Therefore, macrophages have an important role in the process of inflammatory factor infiltration (4–6). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to observe macrophage infiltration in congenital bicuspid aortic valve (CBAV) stenosis. M1/M2 macrophage distribution, inflammatory cytokine expression and the role of M1 macrophages during CBAV stenosis were also explored. The experimental and control groups comprised 30 severely stenotic CBAVs and 30 severely stenotic tricuspid aortic valves (TAVs), respectively. Histological and morphological changes were assessed using hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and mRNA levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were examined using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Nonspecific, M1 and M2 macrophages were monitored using cluster of differentiation (CD)68, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and CD163 staining, respectively. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), interleukin (IL)-10, arginase (Arg)-1 and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) were also examined using immunohistochemical staining. Of note, HE staining revealed a higher cell density and neovascularization was more common in CBAVs than TAVs. At the mRNA level, VEGF expression was two-fold higher in CBAVs relative to that in TAVs (P=0.02). Furthermore, CD68 and iNOS were significantly higher in CBAVs compared with TAVs (P=0.029 and 0.021, respectively), while CD163 expression was lower in CBAVs (P=0.033). In addition, eNOS expression was higher and Arg-1, IL-10 and M-CSF expression were lower in CBAVs compared with TAVs (all P<0.0001). The present study suggested that CBAVs are associated with a higher total and M1 macrophage density and a lower M2 macrophage density than TAVs, and that M1 macrophage infiltration may contribute to calcification of CBAVs.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Experimental and therapeutic medicine
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    • "Attenuated Notch signaling profoundly enhances osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption in vitro and in vivo by a combination of molecular mechanisms. Recent studies showed that the Notch1 signaling pathway induces osteogenic differentiation and mineralization of VSMCs [14] and inhibiting the Notch1 signaling pathway suppresses calcification of aortic valve [44,46]. These findings combined with our results shown above indicate a potential regulatory function exerted by OPG and the Notch1 signaling pathway in the regulation of osteogenic conversion of VSMCs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular calcification is a common pathobiological process which occurs among the elder population and in patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Osteoprotegerin, a secreted glycoprotein that regulates bone mass, has recently emerged as an important regulator of the development of vascular calcification. However, the mechanism is not fully understood. The purpose of this study is to explore novel signaling mechanisms of osteoprotegerin in the osteoblastic differentiation in rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). VSMCs were isolated from thoracic aorta of Sprague Dawley rats. Osteoblastic differentiation of VSMCs was induced by an osteogenic medium. We confirmed by Von Kossa staining and direct cellular calcium measurement that mineralization was significantly increased in VSMCs cultured in osteogenic medium; consistent with an enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity. This osteoblastic differentiation in VSMCs was significantly reduced by the addition of osteoprotegerin in a dose responsive manner. Moreover, we identified, by real-time qPCR and western blotting, that expression of Notch1 and RBP-Jκ were significantly up-regulated in VSMCs cultured in osteogenic medium at both the mRNA and protein levels, these effects were dose-dependently abolished by the treatment of osteoprotegerin. Furthermore, we identified that Msx2, a downstream target of the Notch1/RBP-Jκ signaling, was markedly down-regulated by the treatment of osteoprotegerin. Osteoprotegerin inhibits vascular calcification through the down regulation of the Notch1-RBP-Jκ signaling pathway.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2013 · PLoS ONE
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