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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and worldwide. Despite major advances in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction, enhanced prevention of ischemic heart disease remains critical to improving the health of individuals and communities. The computed tomographic coronary artery calcium score is an established imaging biomarker that identifies the presence and amount of coronary atherosclerosis in an individual and their future risk for clinical cardiovascular disease and premature cardiovascular death. This article describes the process of performing a computed tomography scan for coronary artery calcium, quantifying the score and interpreting the results.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Genetic mutations in the human small heat shock protein αB-crystallin have been implicated in autosomal cataracts and skeletal myopathies, including heart muscle diseases (cardiomyopathy). Although these mutations lead to modulation of their chaperone activity , the functions of αB-crystallin in the maintenance of both lens transparency and muscle integrity remain unclear. This lack of information has hindered a mechanistic understanding of these diseases. To better define the functional roles of αB-crystallin, we generated loss-of-function zebrafish mutant lines by utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system to specifically disrupt the two αB-crystallin genes, α and α We observed lens abnormalities in the mutant lines of both genes, and the penetrance of the lens phenotype was higher in α than α mutants. This finding is in contrast with the lack of a phenotype previously reported in αB-crystallin knock-out mice and suggests that the elevated chaperone activity of the two zebrafish orthologs is critical for lens development. Besides its key role in the lens, we uncovered another critical role for αB-crystallin in providing stress tolerance to the heart. The αB-crystallin mutants exhibited hypersusceptibility to develop pericardial edema when challenged by crowding stress or exposed to elevated cortisol stress, both of which activate glucocorticoid receptor signaling. Our work illuminates the involvement of αB-crystallin in stress tolerance of the heart presumably through the proteostasis network and reinforces the critical role of the chaperone activity of αB-crystallin in the maintenance of lens transparency.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Despite increased secondary cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy (ICM), the expression of innate cardiac protective molecules in the hearts of patients with ICM is incompletely characterized. Therefore, we used a nonbiased RNAseq approach to determine whether differences in cardiac protective molecules occur with ICM.
METHODS AND RESULTS - RNAseq analysis of human control and ICM left ventricular samples demonstrated a significant decrease in expression with ICM. encodes the Kir6.2 subunit of the cardioprotective K channel. Using wild-type mice and -deficient (-null) mice, we examined the effect of expression on cardiac function during ischemia-reperfusion injury. Reactive oxygen species generation increased in -null hearts above that found in wild-type mice hearts after ischemia-reperfusion injury. Continuous left ventricular pressure measurement during ischemia and reperfusion demonstrated a more compromised diastolic function in -null compared with wild-type mice during reperfusion. Analysis of key calcium-regulating proteins revealed significant differences in -null mice. Despite impaired relaxation, -null hearts increased phospholamban Ser16 phosphorylation, a modification that results in the dissociation of phospholamban from sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca, thereby increasing sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca-mediated calcium reuptake. However, -null mice also had increased 3-nitrotyrosine modification of the sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase, a modification that irreversibly impairs sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca function, thereby contributing to diastolic dysfunction.
CONCLUSIONS - expression is decreased in human ICM. Lack of expression increases peroxynitrite-mediated modification of the key calcium-handling protein sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, contributing to impaired diastolic function. These data suggest a mechanism for ischemia-induced diastolic dysfunction in patients with ICM.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Cardiac amyloidosis is an infiltrative cardiomyopathy that is challenging to diagnose. We hypothesized that the novel biomarkers hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), galectin-3 (GAL-3), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) would be elevated in cardiac amyloidosis and may be able to discriminate from non-cardiac systemic amyloidosis or other cardiomyopathies with similar clinical or morphologic characteristics.
METHODS - Patients were selected from the Vanderbilt Main Heart Registry according to the following groups: (1) amyloid light-chain (AL) cardiac amyloidosis (n = 26); (2) transthyretin (ATTR) cardiac amyloidosis (n = 7); (3) left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) (n = 45); (4) systolic heart failure (n = 42); and (5) non-cardiac systemic amyloidosis (n = 7). Biomarkers were measured in stored plasma samples. Biomarkers' discrimination performance in predicting AL cardiac amyloidosis (i.e., Concordance index) was reported. A survival analysis was used to explore the relationship between HGF levels and mortality among AL cardiac amyloidosis patients.
RESULTS - HGF levels were markedly elevated in patients with AL cardiac amyloidosis (median = 622, interquartile range (IQR): 299-1228 pg/mL) compared with the other groups, including those with non-cardiac systemic amyloidosis (median = 134, IQR: 94-163 pg/mL, p < 0.001). HGF was not a specific marker for ATTR amyloidosis. Gal-3 was elevated in all groups with amyloidosis but could not differentiate between those with and without cardiac involvement. There was no difference in IL-6 or VEGF between those with AL cardiac amyloidosis compared to other groups (p = 0.13 and 0.057, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS - HGF may be a specific marker that distinguishes AL cardiac amyloidosis from other cardiomyopathies with similar clinical or morphologic characteristics. Further studies are necessary to determine whether HGF levels predict the likelihood of survival.
The clinical variability in patients with sarcomeric cardiomyopathies is striking: a mutation causes cardiomyopathy in one individual, while the identical mutation is harmless in a family member. Moreover, the clinical phenotype varies ranging from asymmetric hypertrophy to severe dilatation of the heart. Identification of a single phenotype-associated disease mechanism would facilitate the design of targeted treatments for patient groups with different clinical phenotypes. However, evidence from both the clinic and basic knowledge of functional and structural properties of the sarcomere argues against a 'one size fits all' therapy for treatment of one clinical phenotype. Meticulous clinical and basic studies are needed to unravel the initial and progressive changes initiated by sarcomere mutations to better understand why mutations in the same gene can lead to such opposing phenotypes. Ultimately, we need to design an 'integrative physiology' approach to fully realize patient/gene-tailored therapy. Expertise within different research fields (cardiology, genetics, cellular biology, physiology, and pharmacology) must be joined to link longitudinal clinical studies with mechanistic insights obtained from molecular and functional studies in novel cardiac muscle systems. New animal models, which reflect both initial and more advanced stages of sarcomeric cardiomyopathy, will also aid in achieving these goals. Here, we discuss current priorities in clinical and preclinical investigation aimed at increasing our understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms leading from mutation to disease. Such information will provide the basis to improve risk stratification and to develop therapies to prevent/rescue cardiac dysfunction and remodelling caused by sarcomere mutations.
Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2015. For permissions please email: email@example.com.
One of the obstacles to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of human cardiomyopathies has been poor availability of heart-tissue samples at early stages of disease development. This has possibly changed by the advent of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) from which cardiomyocytes can be derived in vitro. The main promise of hiPSC technology is that by capturing the effects of thousands of individual gene variants, the phenotype of differentiated derivatives of these cells will provide more information on a particular disease than simple genotyping. This article summarizes what is known about the 'human cardiomyopathy or heart failure phenotype in vitro', which constitutes the reference for modelling sarcomeric cardiomyopathies in hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. The current techniques for hiPSC generation and cardiac myocyte differentiation are briefly reviewed and the few published reports of hiPSC models of sarcomeric cardiomyopathies described. A discussion of promises and challenges of hiPSC-modelling of sarcomeric cardiomyopathies and individualized approaches is followed by a number of questions that, in the view of the authors, need to be answered before the true potential of this technology can be evaluated.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.
The objective of the study was to perform a retrospective pilot study to evaluate the potential of myocardial T1 in assessment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) cardiomyopathy. Early identification of DMD cardiac disease, particularly myocardial fibrosis, would allow earlier therapy, potentially improving outcomes. Shortened myocardial T1 measured by cardiac MRI (CMR) is a measure of cardiac fibrosis that may be detected before late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). We hypothesized that the post-contrast T1 obtained from the Look-Locker sequences (T1LL), an easily obtainable surrogate of myocardial T1, would be abnormally shortened in DMD compared with controls. T1LL measurement was performed on 21 DMD subjects and 11 controls; to account for individual variations in gadolinium distribution, myocardial T1LL was divided by blood pool T1LL, deriving T1LL ratios. DMD subjects had shorter mean T1LL ratio than controls (1.42 vs 1.72, p < 0.001). Subset analyses in DMD subjects with normal LVEF and without LGE also demonstrated significantly shorter T1LL ratio (-0.28, p < 0.001 and -0.25, p = 0.028). Post-contrast T1LL ratio is abnormally shortened in DMD compared with controls, even in DMD patients with otherwise normal CMRs. The application of more aggressive therapy for those with shorter T1LL may favorably alter morbidity and improve mortality associated with DMD cardiomyopathy. These data suggest that further prospective evaluation of myocardial T1 will be of benefit to patients with DMD.
Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2 (IDH1/2) have been discovered in several cancer types and cause the neurometabolic syndrome D2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria (D2HGA). The mutant enzymes exhibit neomorphic activity resulting in production of D2-hydroxyglutaric acid (D-2HG). To study the pathophysiological consequences of the accumulation of D-2HG, we generated transgenic mice with conditionally activated IDH2(R140Q) and IDH2(R172K) alleles. Global induction of mutant IDH2 expression in adults resulted in dilated cardiomyopathy, white matter abnormalities throughout the central nervous system (CNS), and muscular dystrophy. Embryonic activation of mutant IDH2 resulted in more pronounced phenotypes, including runting, hydrocephalus, and shortened life span, recapitulating the abnormalities observed in D2HGA patients. The diseased hearts exhibited mitochondrial damage and glycogen accumulation with a concordant up-regulation of genes involved in glycogen biosynthesis. Notably, mild cardiac hypertrophy was also observed in nude mice implanted with IDH2(R140Q)-expressing xenografts, suggesting that 2HG may potentially act in a paracrine fashion. Finally, we show that silencing of IDH2(R140Q) in mice with an inducible transgene restores heart function by lowering 2HG levels. Together, these findings indicate that inhibitors of mutant IDH2 may be beneficial in the treatment of D2HGA and suggest that 2HG produced by IDH mutant tumors has the potential to provoke a paraneoplastic condition.