[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The majority of patients with obesity, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome have hypertension, but the mechanisms of hypertension are poorly understood. In these patients, impaired sodium excretion is critical for the genesis of sodium-sensitive hypertension, and prior studies have proposed a role for the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in this syndrome. We characterized high fat-fed mice as a model in which to study the contribution of ENaC-mediated sodium reabsorption in obesity and insulin resistance. High fat-fed mice demonstrated impaired sodium excretion and elevated blood pressure that was significantly higher on a high sodium diet compared to low fat-fed controls. However, high fat-fed mice had no increase in ENaC activity as measured by sodium transport across microperfused cortical collecting ducts, electrolyte excretion, or blood pressure. In addition, we found no difference in endogenous urinary aldosterone excretion between groups on a normal or high sodium diet. High fat-fed mice provide a model of metabolic syndrome, recapitulating obesity, insulin resistance, impaired natriuresis, and a sodium-sensitive elevation in blood pressure. Surprisingly, in contrast to previous studies, our data demonstrate that high fat feeding of mice impairs natriuresis and produces elevated blood pressure that is independent of ENaC activity and likely caused by increased sodium reabsorption upstream of the aldosterone-sensitive distal nephron.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · AJP Renal Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) are a powerful platform for uncovering disease mechanisms and assessing drugs for efficacy/toxicity. However, the accuracy with which hiPSC-CMs recapitulate the contractile and remodeling signaling of adult cardiomyocytes is not fully known. We used β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) signaling as a prototype to determine the evolution of signaling component expression and function during hiPSC-CM maturation. In "early" hiPSC-CMs (less than or equal to d 30), β2-ARs are a primary source of cAMP/PKA signaling. With longer culture, β1-AR signaling increases: from 0% of cAMP generation at d 30 to 56.8 ± 6.6% by d 60. PKA signaling shows a similar increase: 15.7 ± 5.2% (d 30), 49.8 ± 0.5% (d 60), and 71.0 ± 6.1% (d 90). cAMP generation increases 9-fold from d 30 to 60, with enhanced coupling to remodeling pathways (e.g., Akt and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II) and development of caveolin-mediated signaling compartmentalization. By contrast, cardiotoxicity induced by chronic β-AR stimulation, a major component of heart failure, develops much later: 5% cell death at d 30 vs. 55% at d 90. Moreover, β-AR maturation can be accelerated by biomechanical stimulation. The differential maturation of β-AR functional vs. remodeling signaling in hiPSC-CMs has important implications for their use in disease modeling and drug testing. We propose that assessment of signaling be added to the indices of phenotypic maturation of hiPSC-CMs.-Jung, G., Fajardo, G., Ribeiro, A. J. S., Kooiker, K. B., Coronado, M., Zhao, M., Hu, D.-Q., Reddy, S., Kodo, K., Sriram, K., Insel, P. A., Wu, J. C., Pruitt, B. L., Bernstein, D. Time-dependent evolution of functional vs. remodeling signaling in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and induced maturation with biomechanical stimulation.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · The FASEB Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An abundance of data has provided insight into the mechanisms underlying the development of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and its progression to LV failure. In contrast, there is minimal data on the adaptation of the right ventricle (RV) to pressure and volume overload and the transition to RV failure. This is a critical clinical question, because the RV is uniquely at risk in many patients with repaired or palliated congenital heart disease and in those with pulmonary hypertension. Standard heart failure therapies have failed to improve function or survival in these patients, suggesting a divergence in the molecular mechanisms of RV versus LV failure. Although, on the cellular level, the remodeling responses of the RV and LV to pressure overload are largely similar, there are several key differences: the stressed RV is more susceptible to oxidative stress, has a reduced angiogenic response, and is more likely to activate cell death pathways than the stressed LV. Together, these differences could explain the more rapid progression of the RV to failure versus the LV. This review will highlight known molecular differences between the RV and LV responses to hemodynamic stress, the unique stressors on the RV associated with congenital heart disease, and the need to better understand these molecular mechanisms if we are to develop RV-specific heart failure therapeutics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The elucidation of factors that activate the regeneration of the adult mammalian heart is of major scientific and therapeutic importance. Here we found that epicardial cells contain a potent cardiogenic activity identified as follistatin-like 1 (Fstl1). Epicardial Fstl1 declines following myocardial infarction and is replaced by myocardial expression. Myocardial Fstl1 does not promote regeneration, either basally or upon transgenic overexpression. Application of the human Fstl1 protein (FSTL1) via an epicardial patch stimulates cell cycle entry and division of pre-existing cardiomyocytes, improving cardiac function and survival in mouse and swine models of myocardial infarction. The data suggest that the loss of epicardial FSTL1 is a maladaptive response to injury, and that its restoration would be an effective way to reverse myocardial death and remodelling following myocardial infarction in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The right ventricle (RV) is uniquely at risk in many patients with repaired or palliated congenital heart disease (CHD) such as tetralogy of Fallot, corrected transposition, single right ventricle, and in those with pulmonary hypertension. These patients live with abnormal cardiac loading conditions throughout their life, predisposing them to right heart failure.
Standard heart failure therapies, developed to treat left ventricular failure, have failed to improve function or survival in patients with RV failure, suggesting a divergence in the molecular mechanisms of right versus left ventricular failure. As surgical techniques for repair of the most complex forms of RV-affecting CHDs continue to improve, more children with CHD will survive into adulthood. Long-term survival and quality of life will ultimately depend on our ability to preserve RV function.
The purpose of this review is to highlight the differences between the right and left ventricular responses to stress, our current knowledge of how the RV adapts to the unique hemodynamic stressors experienced by patients with CHD, and the need to better understand the molecular mechanisms of RV failure, providing new targets for the development of RV-specific heart failure therapeutics.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Current opinion in pediatrics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biomaterials are extensively used to restore damaged tissues, in the forms of implants (e.g., tissue engineered scaffolds) or biomedical devices (e.g., pacemakers). Once in contact with the physiological environment, nanostructured biomaterials undergo modifications as a result of endogenous proteins binding to their surface. The formation of this macromolecular coating complex, known as “protein corona,” onto the surface of nanoparticles and its effect on cell–particle interactions are currently under intense investigation. In striking contrast, protein corona constructs within nanostructured porous tissue engineering scaffolds remain poorly characterized. As organismal systems are highly dynamic, it is conceivable that the formation of distinct protein corona on implanted scaffolds might itself modulate cell–extracellular matrix interactions. Here, it is reported that corona complexes formed onto the fibrils of engineered collagen scaffolds display specific, distinct, and reproducible compositions that are a signature of the tissue microenvironment as well as being indicative of the subject's health condition. Protein corona formed on collagen matrices modulated cellular secretome in a context-specific manner ex vivo, demonstrating their role in regulating scaffold–cellular interactions. Together, these findings underscore the importance of custom-designing personalized nanostructured biomaterials, according to the biological milieu and disease state. The use of protein corona as in situ biosensor of temporal and local biomarkers is proposed.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Advanced Functional Materials
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterized by endothelial dysregulation, but global changes in gene expression have not been related to perturbations in function.
RNA sequencing was utilized to discriminate changes in transcriptomes of endothelial cells cultured from lungs of patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension vs. controls and to assess the functional significance of major differentially expressed transcripts.
The endothelial transcriptomes from seven control and six idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension patients' lungs were analyzed. Differentially expressed genes were related to BMPR2 signaling. Those downregulated were assessed for function in cultured cells, and in a transgenic mouse.
Fold-differences in ten genes were significant (p<0.05), four increased and six decreased in patients vs.
No patient was mutant for BMPR2. However, knockdown of BMPR2 by siRNA in control pulmonary arterial endothelial cells recapitulated six/ten patient-related gene changes, including decreased collagen IV (COL4A1, COL4A2) and ephrinA1 (EFNA1). Reduction of BMPR2 regulated transcripts was related to decreased β-catenin. Reducing COL4A1, COL4A2 and EFNA1 by siRNA inhibited pulmonary endothelial adhesion, migration and tube formation. In mice null for the EFNA1 receptor, EphA2, vs. controls, VEGF receptor blockade and hypoxia caused more severe pulmonary hypertension, judged by elevated right ventricular systolic pressure, right ventricular hypertrophy and loss of small arteries.
The novel relationship between BMPR2 dysfunction and reduced expression of endothelial COL4 and EFNA1 may underlie vulnerability to injury in pulmonary arterial hypertension.
No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research training represents a critical component of the pediatric cardiology fellowship training. To successfully carry out the mission of training, academic pediatric cardiologist programs must provide a structured research experience lead by dedicated mentors. There are a number of varied, yet fulfilling, pathways to pursue in research, and trainees should tailor the research training experience to meet their career goals.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nanoparticle-mediated sustained delivery of therapeutics is one of the highly effective and increasingly utilized applications of nanomedicine. Here, we report the development and application of a drug delivery system consisting of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-conjugated liposomal nanoparticles as an efficient in vivo delivery approach for [Pyr1]-apelin-13 polypeptide. Apelin is an adipokine that regulates a variety of biological functions including cardiac hypertrophy and hypertrophy-induced heart failure. The clinical use of apelin has been greatly impaired by its remarkably short half-life in circulation. Here, we investigate whether [Pyr1]-apelin-13 encapsulation in liposome nanocarriers, conjugated with PEG polymer on their surface, can prolong apelin stability in the blood stream and potentiate apelin beneficial effects in cardiac function. Atomic force microscopy and dynamic light scattering were used to assess the structure and size distribution of drug-laden nanoparticles. [Pyr1]-apelin-13 encapsulation in PEGylated liposomal nanocarriers resulted in sustained and extended drug release both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, intraperitoneal injection of [Pyr1]-apelin-13 nanocarriers in a mouse model of pressure-overload induced heart failure demonstrated a sustainable long-term effect of [Pyr1]-apelin-13 in preventing cardiac dysfunction. We concluded that this engineered nanocarrier system can serve as a delivery platform for treating heart injuries through sustained bioavailability of cardioprotective therapeutics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many children who undergo heart transplantation will survive into adulthood. We sought to examine the QOL and capacity for achievement in long-term adult survivors of pediatric heart transplantation. Adults >18 yr of age who received transplants as children (≤18 yr old) and had survived for at least 10 yr post-transplant completed two self-report questionnaires: (i) Ferrans & Powers QLI, in which life satisfaction is reported as an overall score and in four subscale domains and is then indexed from 0 (very dissatisfied) to 1 (very satisfied); and (ii) a "Metrics of Life Achievement" questionnaire regarding income, education, relationships, housing status, and access to health care. A total of 20 subjects completed the survey. The overall mean QLI score was 0.77 ± 0.16. Subjects were most satisfied in the family domain (0.84 ± 0.21) and least satisfied in the psychological/spiritual domain (0.7 ± 0.28). Satisfaction in the domains of health/functioning and socioeconomic were intermediate at 0.78 and 0.76, respectively. Most respondents had graduated from high school, reported a median annual income >$50 000/yr, and lived independently. Adult survivors of pediatric heart transplant report a good QOL and demonstrate the ability to obtain an education, work, and live independently.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Pediatric Transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has been used with variable success in the treatment of AMR following heart transplant. There is limited experience with this agent as a pretransplant desensitizing therapy. We report a case of successful HLA desensitization with a bortezomib-based protocol prior to successful heart transplantation. A nine-yr-old boy with dilated cardiomyopathy, not initially sensitized to HLA (cPRA of zero), required three days of ECMO, followed by implantation of a Heartmate II LVAD. Within six wk, the patient developed de novo class I IgG and C1q complement-fixing HLA antibodies with a cPRA of 100%. Two doses of IVIG (2 g/kg) failed to reduce antibody levels, although two courses of a novel desensitization protocol consisting of rituximab (375 mg/m(2) ), bortezomib (1.3 mg/m(2) × 5 doses), and plasmapheresis reduced his cPRA to 0% and 87% by the C1q and IgG assays, respectively. He underwent heart transplantation nearly two months later. The patient is now >one yr post-transplant, is free of both AMR and ACR, and has no detectable donor-specific antibodies by IgG or C1q. Proteasome inhibition with bortezomib and plasmapheresis may be an effective therapy for HLA desensitization pretransplant.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Pediatric Transplantation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in adult hearts is unknown; also unclear is how lncRNA modulates nucleosome remodelling. An estimated 70% of mouse genes undergo antisense transcription, including myosin heavy chain 7 (Myh7), which encodes molecular motor proteins for heart contraction. Here we identify a cluster of lncRNA transcripts from Myh7 loci and demonstrate a new lncRNA-chromatin mechanism for heart failure. In mice, these transcripts, which we named myosin heavy-chain-associated RNA transcripts (Myheart, or Mhrt), are cardiac-specific and abundant in adult hearts. Pathological stress activates the Brg1-Hdac-Parp chromatin repressor complex to inhibit Mhrt transcription in the heart. Such stress-induced Mhrt repression is essential for cardiomyopathy to develop: restoring Mhrt to the pre-stress level protects the heart from hypertrophy and failure. Mhrt antagonizes the function of Brg1, a chromatin-remodelling factor that is activated by stress to trigger aberrant gene expression and cardiac myopathy. Mhrt prevents Brg1 from recognizing its genomic DNA targets, thus inhibiting chromatin targeting and gene regulation by Brg1. It does so by binding to the helicase domain of Brg1, a domain that is crucial for tethering Brg1 to chromatinized DNA targets. Brg1 helicase has dual nucleic-acid-binding specificities: it is capable of binding lncRNA (Mhrt) and chromatinized-but not naked-DNA. This dual-binding feature of helicase enables a competitive inhibition mechanism by which Mhrt sequesters Brg1 from its genomic DNA targets to prevent chromatin remodelling. A Mhrt-Brg1 feedback circuit is thus crucial for heart function. Human MHRT also originates from MYH7 loci and is repressed in various types of myopathic hearts, suggesting a conserved lncRNA mechanism in human cardiomyopathy. Our studies identify a cardioprotective lncRNA, define a new targeting mechanism for ATP-dependent chromatin-remodelling factors, and establish a new paradigm for lncRNA-chromatin interaction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opinion statement:
Human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) represent a powerful new model system to study the basic mechanisms of inherited cardiomyopathies. hiPSC-CMs have been utilized to model several cardiovascular diseases, achieving the most success in the inherited arrhythmias, including long QT and Timothy syndromes (Moretti et al. N Engl J Med. 363:1397-409, 2010; Yazawa et al. Nature. 471:230-4, 2011) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) (Ma et al. Eur Heart J. 34:1122-33, 2013). Recently, studies have applied hiPSC-CMs to the study of both dilated (DCM) (Sun et al. Sci Transl Med. 4:130ra47, 2012) and hypertrophic (HCM) cardiomyopathies (Lan et al. Cell Stem Cell. 12:101-13, 2013; Carvajal-Vergara et al. Nature. 465:808-12, 2010), providing new insights into basic mechanisms of disease. However, hiPSC-CMs do not recapitulate many of the structural and functional aspects of mature human cardiomyocytes, instead mirroring an immature - embryonic or fetal - phenotype. Much work remains in order to better understand these differences, as well as to develop methods to induce hiPSC-CMs into a fully mature phenotype. Despite these limitations, hiPSC-CMs represent the best current in vitro correlate of the human heart and an invaluable tool in the search for mechanisms underlying cardiomyopathy and for screening new pharmacologic therapies.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine