[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
Female gender is a known risk factor for early and late mortality after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). Higher age of women at operation may influence outcome, since age per se is also an important risk factor. The purpose of our study was to analyze possible gender differences in outcome after isolated CABG in different age groups to delineate the impact of female gender and age.
All patients over 60 years of age undergoing isolated CABG at our department during 2001 and 2011 were included and categorized by age into sexagenarians (2266, 16.6% women), septuagenarians (2332, 25.4% women) and octogenarians (374, 32% women) and assessed by gender for 30-day and 180-day mortality.
Thirty-day mortality was significantly higher in women only amongst septuagenarians (7.1 vs. 4.7%, p = 0.033). Same differences apply for 180-day mortality (12.3 vs. 8.2%, p = 0.033) and estimated one-year survival (81.6 ± 4.2 vs. 86.9 ± 2.2%, p = 0.001). Predictive factors for 30-day mortality of septuagenarian were logistic EuroSCORE (ES) (p = 0.003), perioperative myocardial infarction (MI) (p<0.001), pneumonia (p<0.001), abnormal LV-function (p<0.04) and use of LIMA graft (p<0.001), but not female gender. However, female gender was found to be an independent predictor for 180-day mortality (HR 1.632, p = 0.001) in addition to ES, use of LIMA graft, perioperative MI, pneumonia and abnormal LV function (HR 1.013, p = 0.004; HR 0.523, p<0.001; HR 2.710, p<0.001; HR 3.238, p<0.001; HR 2.013, p<0.001).
Women have a higher observed probability of early death after CABG in septuagenarians. However, female gender was not found to be an independent risk factor for 30-day, but for 180-day survival. Therefore, reduction of high impact risk factors such as perioperative MI and enhancement of LIMA use should be future goals. In view of our findings, decision for surgical revascularization should not be based on gender.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiomyopathy is one of the most common causes of chronic heart failure worldwide. Mutations in the gene encoding nexilin (NEXN) occur in patients with both hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM); however, little is known about the pathophysiological mechanisms and relevance of NEXN to these disorders. Here, we evaluated the functional role of NEXN using a constitutive Nexn knock-out (KO) mouse model. Heterozygous (Het) mice were inter-crossed to produce wild-type (WT), Het, and homozygous KO mice. At birth, 32, 46, and 22 % of the mice were WT, Het, and KO, respectively, which is close to the expected Mendelian ratio. After postnatal day 6, the survival of the Nexn KO mice decreased dramatically and all of the animals died by day 8. Phenotypic characterizations of the WT and KO mice were performed at postnatal days 1, 2, 4, and 6. At birth, the relative heart weights of the WT and KO mice were similar; however, at day 4, the relative heart weight of the KO group was 2.3-fold higher than of the WT group. In addition, the KO mice developed rapidly progressive cardiomyopathy with left ventricular dilation and wall thinning and decreased cardiac function. At day 6, the KO mice developed a fulminant DCM phenotype characterized by dilated ventricular chambers and systolic dysfunction. At this stage, collagen deposits and some elastin deposits were observed within the left ventricle cavity, which resembles the features of endomyocardial fibroelastosis (EFE). Overall, these results further emphasize the role of NEXN in DCM and suggest a novel role in EFE.
No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Archiv für Kreislaufforschung
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
Heart failure (HF) is a prevalent disease that remains costly and associated with a high mortality rate. HF is also associated with poor neurocognitive functioning. For the treatment for HF patients with severe mitral regurgitation, the MitraClip device has emerged as a promising interventional tool that reduces the mitral valve leakage and thus increases cardiac output. Currently, there is only limited knowledge on changes in cognitive and psychosocial functioning before and after the MitraClip intervention.
Cognitive function (memory and executive function) and psychosocial measures (depression, anxiety, and quality of life) were assessed before and after the MitraClip intervention in 24 HF patients and 23 healthy participants (comparison group).
MitraClip intervention in HF patients was followed by improvements in figural long-term memory (p = .003) and executive function (planning ability, p < .001) relative to the comparison group. In addition, the intervention resulted in a significant improvement in depression (p = .002), anxiety (p = .003) and quality of life scores (physical p = .017, mental p = .013) as well as improved 6-minute walk test results over time (p = .002).
The presented data provide evidence of a significant improvement in memory and executive function as well as in depression, anxiety, and quality of life scores in patients with chronic HF after MitraClip intervention. Further research is needed to shed light on the long-term development of cognitive function, psychosocial well-being, and clinical parameters after MitraClip intervention and how these factors depend on one another.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Psychosomatic Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims:
The transcatheter mitral valve interventions (TRAMI) registry was established in order to assess safety and efficacy of catheter-based mitral valve interventional techniques in Germany, and prospectively enrolled 828 MitraClip patients (median age 76 years, median log. EuroSCORE I 20.0%) between August 2010 and July 2013. We present the 1-year outcome in this MitraClip cohort-which is the largest published to date.
Methods and results:
Seven forty-nine patients (90.5%) were available for 1-year follow-up and included in the following analyses. Mortality, major adverse cardiovascular event rates, and New York Heart Association (NYHA) classes were recorded. Predictors of 1-year mortality were identified by multivariate analysis using a Cox regression model with stepwise forward selection. The 1-year mortality was 20.3%. At 1 year, 63.3% of TRAMI patients pertained to NYHA functional classes I or II (compared with 11.0% at baseline), and self-rated health status (on EuroQuol visual analogue scale) also improved significantly by 10 points. Importantly, a significant proportion of patients regained the complete independence in self-care after MitraClip implantation (independence in 74.0 vs. 58.6% at baseline, P = 0.005). Predictors of 1-year mortality were NYHA class IV (hazard ratio, HR 1.62, P = 0.02), anaemia (HR 2.44, P = 0.02), previous aortic valve intervention (HR 2.12, P = 0.002), serum creatinine ≥1.5 mg/dL (HR 1.77, P = 0.002), peripheral artery disease (HR 2.12, P = 0.0003), left ventricular ejection fraction <30% (HR 1.58, P = 0.01), severe tricuspid regurgitation (HR 1.84, P = 0.003), and procedural failure (defined as operator-reported failure, conversion to surgery, failure of clip placement, or residual post-procedural severe mitral regurgitation) (HR 4.36, P < 0.0001).
Treatment of significant MR with MitraClip resulted in significant clinical improvements in a high proportion of TRAMI patients after 12 months. In the TRAMI cohort, the failure of procedural success exhibited the highest hazard ratio concerning the prediction of 1-year mortality.
Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · European Heart Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Arterial injury stimulates remodeling responses that, when excessive, lead to stenosis. These responses are influenced by integrin signaling in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Microfibrillar-associated protein 4 (MFAP4) is an integrin ligand localized to extracellular matrix fibers in the vascular wall. The role of MFAP4 in vascular biology is unknown. We aimed to test the hypothesis that MFAP4 would enhance integrin-dependent VSMC activation.
Approach and results:
We produced Mfap4-deficient (Mfap4(-/-)) mice and performed carotid artery ligation to explore the role of MFAP4 in vascular biology in vivo. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of MFAP4 in neointimal formation ex vivo and in primary VSMC and monocyte cultures in vitro. When challenged with carotid artery ligation, Mfap4(-/-) mice exhibited delayed neointimal formation, accompanied by early reduction in the number of proliferating medial and neointimal cells, as well as infiltrating leukocytes. Delayed neointimal formation was associated with decreased cross-sectional area of ligated Mfap4(-/-) carotid arteries resulting in lumen narrowing 28 days after ligation. MFAP4 blockade prohibited the formation of neointimal hyperplasia ex vivo. Moreover, we demonstrated that MFAP4 is a ligand for integrin αVβ3 and mediates VSMC phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase, migration, and proliferation in vitro. MFAP4-dependent VSMC activation was reversible by treatment with MFAP4-blocking antibodies and inhibitors of focal adhesion kinase and downstream kinases. In addition, we showed that MFAP4 promotes monocyte chemotaxis in integrin αVβ3-dependent manner.
MFAP4 regulates integrin αVβ3-induced VSMC proliferation and migration, as well as monocyte chemotaxis, and accelerates neointimal hyperplasia after vascular injury.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Post-cardiac arrest management has seen significant advances with profound improvements in survival and neurologic outcome. However, early prognostication after return of spontaneous circulation remains most challenging. Biomarkers have evolved as helpful tools in identifying patients who are at increased risk of adverse outcome. While fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) has recently emerged as a promising predictor of mortality in patients with cardiogenic shock, its role in risk stratification in post-resuscitation management remains unresolved.
This study included 90 patients who had been resuscitated and transferred to the ICU of the University Hospital Heidelberg. Survivors and non-survivors were retrospectively analyzed for known prognostic biomarkers as well as FGF-23 serum levels 24hours and 72hours post cardiac arrest (CA).
FGF-23 levels were significantly elevated in non-survivors compared to survivors. ROC analysis for FGF-23 levels at 24h and 72h post CA yielded an AUC of 0.759 and 0.726 for prediction of overall survival after 6 months, respectively. FGF-23 levels remained as a significant prognosticator after adjusting for age, renal function and initial cardiac rhythm. FGF-23 levels did not show significant differences in patient outcome after stratification for cardiac origin of CA or left ventricular dysfunction. Furthermore, FGF-23 levels were moderately predictive of poor neurologic outcome in ROC analysis on day 1 and day 3 post CA with an AUC of 0.738 and 0.687, respectively.
This study demonstrates elevated FGF-23 serum levels to be potentially helpful in prediction of mortality and poor neurological outcome as early as 24hours post cardiac arrest.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have studied the in vivo role of SLIRP in regulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene expression and show here that it stabilizes its interacting partner protein LRPPRC by protecting it from degradation. Although SLIRP is completely dependent on LRPPRC for its stability, reduced levels of LRPPRC persist in the absence of SLIRP in vivo. Surprisingly, Slirp knockout mice are apparently healthy and only display a minor weight loss, despite a 50–70% reduction in the steady-state levels of mtDNA-encoded mRNAs. In contrast to LRPPRC, SLIRP is dispensable for polyadenylation of mtDNA-encoded mRNAs. Instead, deep RNA sequencing (RNAseq) of mitochondrial ribosomal fractions and additional molecular analyses show that SLIRP is required for proper association of mRNAs to the mitochon-drial ribosome and efficient translation. Our findings thus establish distinct functions for SLIRP and LRPPRC within the LRPPRC-SLIRP complex, with a novel role for SLIRP in mitochondrial translation. Very surprisingly, our results also demonstrate that mammalian mitochondria have a great excess of transcripts under basal physiological conditions in vivo. Mitochondria provide most of the energy required for key metabolic and cellular processes that are essential for life. The biogenesis of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system, the site of energy conversion, is dependent on the coordinated expression of the
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The function of the majority of genes in the mouse and human genomes remains unknown. The mouse embryonic stem cell knockout resource provides a basis for the characterization of relationships between genes and phenotypes. The EUMODIC consortium developed and validated robust methodologies for the broad-based phenotyping of knockouts through a pipeline comprising 20 disease-oriented platforms. We developed new statistical methods for pipeline design and data analysis aimed at detecting reproducible phenotypes with high power. We acquired phenotype data from 449 mutant alleles, representing 320 unique genes, of which half had no previous functional annotation. We captured data from over 27,000 mice, finding that 83% of the mutant lines are phenodeviant, with 65% demonstrating pleiotropy. Surprisingly, we found significant differences in phenotype annotation according to zygosity. New phenotypes were uncovered for many genes with previously unknown function, providing a powerful basis for hypothesis generation and further investigation in diverse systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Ubiquitous deletion of thioredoxin reductase 2 (Txnrd2) in mice is embryonically lethal and associated with abnormal heart development, while constitutive, heart-specific Txnrd2 inactivation leads to dilated cardiomyopathy and perinatal death. The significance of Txnrd2 in aging cardiomyocytes, however, has not yet been examined.
Methods and results:
The tamoxifen-inducible heart-specific αMHC-MerCreMer transgene was used to inactivate loxP-flanked Txnrd2 alleles in adult mice. Hearts and isolated mitochondria from aged knockout mice were morphologically and functionally analyzed. Echocardiography revealed a significant increase in left ventricular end-systolic diameters in knockouts. Fractional shortening and ejection fraction were decreased compared with controls. Ultrastructural analysis of cardiomyocytes of aged mice showed mitochondrial degeneration and accumulation of autophagic bodies. A dysregulated autophagic activity was supported by higher levels of lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1), microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3-I (LC3-I), and p62 in knockout hearts. Isolated Txnrd2-deficient mitochondria used less oxygen and tended to produce more reactive oxygen species. Chronic hypoxia inducible factor 1, α subunit stabilization and altered transcriptional and metabolic signatures indicated that energy metabolism is deregulated.
These results imply a novel role of Txnrd2 in sustaining heart function during aging and suggest that Txnrd2 may be a modifier of heart failure.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of the American Heart Association
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate if the extent of aortic valve calcification is associated with postprocedural prosthesis eccentricity and paravalvular regurgitation (PAR) in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
Cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) was performed before and 3 months after TAVI in 46 patients who received the self-expanding CoreValve and in 22 patients who underwent balloon-expandable Edwards Sapien XT implantation. Aortic annulus calcification was measured with CCTA prior to TAVI and prosthesis eccentricity was assessed with post-TAVI CCTA. Standard echocardiography was also performed in all patients at 3-month follow-up exam.
Annulus eccentricity was reduced during TAVI using both implantation systems (from 0.23 ± 0.06 to 0.18 ± 0.07 using CoreValve and from 0.20 ± 0.07 to 0.05 ± 0.03 using Edwards Sapien XT; P<.001 for both). With Edwards Sapien XT, eccentricity reduction at the level of the aortic annulus was significantly higher compared with CoreValve (P<.001). Annulus eccentricity after CoreValve use was significantly related to absolute valve calcification and to valve calcification indexed to body surface area (BSA) (r = 0.48 and 0.50, respectively; P<.001 for both). Furthermore, a significant association was observed between aortic valve calcification and PAR (P<.01 by ANOVA) in patients who received CoreValve. Using ROC analysis, a cut-off value over 913 mm² aortic valve calcification predicted the occurrence of moderate or severe PAR with a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 63% (area under the curve = 0.75). Furthermore, multivariable analysis showed that aortic valve calcification was a robust predictor of postprocedural eccentricity and PAR, independent of the aortic annulus size and native valve eccentricity and of CoreValve prosthesis size (adjusted r = 0.46 and 0.50, respectively; P<.01 for both). Such associations were not present with the Edwards Sapien XT system.
The extent of native aortic annulus calcification is predictive for postprocedural prosthesis eccentricity and PAR, which is an important marker for long-term mortality in patients undergoing TAVI. This observation applies for the CoreValve, but not for the Edwards Sapien XT valve.
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · The Journal of invasive cardiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Consistent protocols for the assessment of diastolic and systolic cardiac function to assure the comparability of existing data on preclinical models are missing. Calcineurin transgene (CN) mice are a preclinical model for hypertrophic and failing hearts. We aimed at evaluating left and right ventricular structural and functional remodeling in CN hearts with an optimized phenotyping protocol. We developed a protocol using techniques and indices comparable to those from human diagnostics for comprehensive in vivo cardiac screening using high-frequency echocardiography, Doppler, electrocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques. We measured left and right ventricular dimensions and function, pulmonary and mitral flow pattern and the hearts electrophysiology non-invasively in <1 h per mouse. We found severe biventricular dilation and a drastic decline in performance in accordance with a condition of heart failure (HF), diastolic dysfunction and defects in electrical conduction in 8-week-old calcineurin transgenic mice. Echocardiography of the left ventricle was performed with and without anesthesia. In all cases absolute values on echocardiography compared with CMR were smaller for LV dimension and wall thickness, resulting in higher fractional shorting and ejection fraction. The study protocol described here opens opportunities to assess the added value of combined echocardiography, Doppler, CMR and ECG recording techniques for the diagnosis of biventricular cardiac pathologies i.e. of HF and to study symptom occurrence and disease progression non-invasively in high-throughput. Phenotyping CN hearts revealed new symptom occurrence and allowed insights into the diverse phenotype of hypertrophic failing hearts.
Preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The international journal of cardiovascular imaging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, mutations in the mitochondrial translation optimization factor 1 gene (MTO1) were identified as causative in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, lactic acidosis and respiratory chain defect. Here, we describe an MTO1-deficient mouse model generated by gene trap mutagenesis that mirrors the human phenotype remarkably well. As in patients, the most prominent signs and symptoms were cardiovascular and included bradycardia and cardiomyopathy. In addition, the mutant mice showed a marked worsening of arrhythmias during induction and reversal of anaesthesia. The detailed morphological and biochemical workup of murine hearts indicated that the myocardial damage was due to complex I deficiency and mitochondrial dysfunction. In contrast, neurological examination was largely normal in Mto1-deficient mice. A translational consequence of this mouse model may be to caution against anaesthesia-related cardiac arrhythmias which may be fatal in patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription factor Zscan10 had been attributed a role as a pluripotency factor in embryonic stem cells based on its interaction with Oct4 and Sox2 in in vitro assays. Here we suggest a potential role of Zscan10 in controlling progenitor cell populations in vivo. Mice homozygous for a Zscan10 mutation exhibit reduced weight, mild hypoplasia in the spleen, heart and long bones and phenocopy an eye malformation previously described for Sox2 hypomorphs. Phenotypic abnormalities are supported by the nature of Zscan10 expression in midgestation embryos and adults suggesting a role for Zscan10 in either maintaining progenitor cell subpopulation or impacting on fate choice decisions thereof.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims:
Inducible gene targeting in mice using the Cre/LoxP system has become a valuable tool to analyse the roles of specific genes in the adult heart. However, the commonly used Myh6-MerCreMer system requires time-consuming breeding schedules and is potentially associated with cardiac side effects, which may result in transient cardiac dysfunction. The aim of our study was to establish a rapid and simple system for cardiac gene inactivation in conditional knockout mice by gene transfer of a Cre recombinase gene using adeno-associated viral vectors of serotype 9 (AAV9).
Methods and results:
AAV9 vectors expressing Cre under the control of a human cardiac troponin T promoter (AAV-TnT-Cre) enabled a highly efficient Cre/LoxP switching in cardiomyocytes 2 weeks after injection into 5- to 6-week-old ROSA26-LacZ reporter mice. Recombination efficiency was at least as high as observed with the Myh6-MerCreMer system. No adverse side effects were detected upon application of AAV-TnT-Cre. As proof of principle, we studied AAV-TnT-Cre in a conditional knockout model (Srf-flex1 mice) to deplete the myocardium of the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF). Four weeks after AAV-TnT-Cre injection, a strong decrease in the cardiac expression of SRF mRNA and protein was observed. Furthermore, mice developed a severe cardiac dysfunction with increased interstitial fibrosis in accordance with the central role of SRF for the expression of contractile and calcium trafficking proteins in the heart.
AAV9-mediated expression of Cre is a promising approach for rapid and efficient conditional cardiac gene knockout in adult mice.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Cardiovascular Research