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Iron is an essential element for multiple fundamental biological processes required for life; yet iron overload can be cytotoxic. Consequently, iron concentrations at the cellular and tissue level must be exquisitely governed by mechanisms that complement and fine-tune systemic control. It is well appreciated that macrophages are vital for systemic iron homeostasis, supplying or sequestering iron as needed for erythropoiesis or bacteriostasis, respectively. Indeed, recycling of iron through erythrophagocytosis by splenic macrophages is a major contributor to systemic iron homeostasis. However, accumulating evidence suggests that tissue-resident macrophages regulate local iron availability and modulate the tissue microenvironment, contributing to cellular and tissue function. Here, we summarize the significance of tissue-specific regulation of iron availability and highlight how resident macrophages are critical for this process. This tissue-dependent regulation has broad implications for understanding both resident macrophage function and tissue iron homeostasis in health and disease.
Fibrosis accompanying wound healing can drive the failure of many different organs. Activated fibroblasts are the principal determinants of post-injury pathological fibrosis along with physiological repair, making them a difficult therapeutic target. Although activated fibroblasts are phenotypically heterogeneous, they are not recognized as distinct functional entities. Using mice that express GFP under the FSP1 or αSMA promoter, we characterized two non-overlapping fibroblast subtypes from mouse hearts after myocardial infarction. Here, we report the identification of FSP1-GFP cells as a non-pericyte, non-hematopoietic fibroblast subpopulation with a predominant pro-angiogenic role, characterized by in vitro phenotypic/cellular/ultrastructural studies and in vivo granulation tissue formation assays combined with transcriptomics and proteomics. This work identifies a fibroblast subtype that is functionally distinct from the pro-fibrotic αSMA-expressing myofibroblast subtype. Our study has the potential to shift our focus towards viewing fibroblasts as molecularly and functionally heterogeneous and provides a paradigm to approach treatment for organ fibrosis.
BACKGROUND - Non-coding gene regulatory enhancers are essential to transcription in mammalian cells. As a result, a large variety of experimental and computational strategies have been developed to identify cis-regulatory enhancer sequences. Given the differences in the biological signals assayed, some variation in the enhancers identified by different methods is expected; however, the concordance of enhancers identified by different methods has not been comprehensively evaluated. This is critically needed, since in practice, most studies consider enhancers identified by only a single method. Here, we compare enhancer sets from eleven representative strategies in four biological contexts.
RESULTS - All sets we evaluated overlap significantly more than expected by chance; however, there is significant dissimilarity in their genomic, evolutionary, and functional characteristics, both at the element and base-pair level, within each context. The disagreement is sufficient to influence interpretation of candidate SNPs from GWAS studies, and to lead to disparate conclusions about enhancer and disease mechanisms. Most regions identified as enhancers are supported by only one method, and we find limited evidence that regions identified by multiple methods are better candidates than those identified by a single method. As a result, we cannot recommend the use of any single enhancer identification strategy in all settings.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results highlight the inherent complexity of enhancer biology and identify an important challenge to mapping the genetic architecture of complex disease. Greater appreciation of how the diverse enhancer identification strategies in use today relate to the dynamic activity of gene regulatory regions is needed to enable robust and reproducible results.
The endocardium interacts with the myocardium to promote proliferation and morphogenesis during the later stages of heart development. However, the role of the endocardium in early cardiac ontogeny remains under-explored. Given the shared origin, subsequent juxtaposition, and essential cell-cell interactions of endocardial and myocardial cells throughout heart development, we hypothesized that paracrine signaling from the endocardium to the myocardium is crucial for initiating early differentiation of myocardial cells. To test this, we generated an , endocardial-specific ablation model using the diphtheria toxin receptor under the regulatory elements of the genomic locus (). Early treatment of mouse embryoid bodies with diphtheria toxin efficiently ablated endocardial cells, which significantly attenuated the percentage of beating EBs in culture and expression of early and late myocardial differentiation markers. The addition of Bmp2 during endocardial ablation partially rescued myocyte differentiation, maturation and function. Therefore, we conclude that early stages of myocardial differentiation rely on endocardial paracrine signaling mediated in part by Bmp2. Our findings provide novel insight into early endocardial-myocardial interactions that can be explored to promote early myocardial development and growth.
© 2019. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Background Left ventricular ( LV ) diastolic dysfunction often precedes heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, the dominant form of heart failure in postmenopausal women. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of oral estradiol treatment initiated early after ovariectomy on LV function and myocardial gene expression in female cynomolgus macaques. Methods and Results Monkeys were ovariectomized and randomized to receive placebo (control) or oral estradiol at a human-equivalent dose of 1 mg/day for 8 months. Monkeys then underwent conventional and tissue Doppler imaging to assess cardiac function, followed by transcriptomic and histomorphometric analyses of LV myocardium. Age, body weight, blood pressure, and heart rate were similar between groups. Echocardiographic mitral early and late inflow velocities, mitral annular velocities, and mitral E deceleration slope were higher in estradiol monkeys (all P<0.05), despite similar estimated LV filling pressure. MCP1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein 1) and LV collagen staining were lower in estradiol animals ( P<0.05). Microarray analysis revealed differential myocardial expression of 40 genes (>1.2-fold change; false discovery rate, P<0.05) in estradiol animals relative to controls, which implicated pathways associated with better calcium ion homeostasis and muscle contraction and lower extracellular matrix deposition ( P<0.05). Conclusions Estradiol treatment initiated soon after ovariectomy resulted in enhanced LV diastolic function, and altered myocardial gene expression towards decreased extracellular matrix deposition, improved myocardial contraction, and calcium homeostasis, suggesting that estradiol directly or indirectly modulates the myocardial transcriptome to preserve cardiovascular function.
Failure to properly repair damaged due to myocardial infarction is a major cause of heart failure. In contrast with adult mammals, zebrafish hearts show remarkable regenerative capabilities after substantial damage. To characterize protein dynamics during heart regeneration, we employed an HPLC-ESI-MS/MS (mass spectrometry) approach. Myocardium tissues were taken from sham-operated fish and ventricle-resected sample at three different time points (2, 7, and 14 days); dynamics of protein expression were analyzed by an ion-current-based quantitative platform. More than 2000 protein groups were quantified in all 16 experiments. Two hundred and nine heart-regeneration-related protein groups were quantified and clustered into six time-course patterns. Functional analysis indicated that multiple molecular function and metabolic pathways were involved in heart regeneration. Interestingly, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis revealed that P53 signaling was inhibited during the heart regeneration, which was further verified by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR). In summary, we applied systematic proteomics analysis on regenerating zebrafish heart, uncovered the dynamics of regenerative genes expression and regulatory pathways, and provided invaluable insight into design regenerative-based strategies in human hearts.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH), remains a challenging disease with a large impact on both humans and meat-type chickens. PH is characterized by the onset of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension leading to right ventricular failure. In this experiment relative gene expression of adenosine A receptor (ADORA1), serotonin transporter (SERT), phosphodiesterase 5A (PDE5) and troponin T2 were compared in hearts from broilers with acute right ventricular failure and from healthy birds. There were major increases in adenosine A receptor (177%) and serotonin transporter (475%), and more modest but significant increases in PDE5 (146%) and troponin T2 (140%) gene expressions in broilers with right ventricular failure compared to healthy birds (P<0.01). This novel report shows that pulmonary hypertension related gene expression in broilers is similar to that in humans. This molecular similarity between PH in broilers and human patients suggests, first, that they will make a suitable animal model for study PH in humans, but also that the literature on PH in humans may be profitably applied to the study of PH in broilers.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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.
AIM - Rare variants of genes encoding the cardiac sodium channel and associated compounds have been linked with atrial fibrillation (AF). Nevertheless, current expert consensus does not support genetic testing in AF, which is in part based on the fact that "there is no therapeutic impact derived from AF genetic test results". However, there are no studies available supporting this recommendation. Consequently, this study analyzed the impact of rare variants affecting the cardiac sodium channel on rhythm outcome of AF catheter ablation.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In 137 consecutive patients with lone AF enrolled in the Leipzig Heart Center AF ablation registry, screening for mutations in SCN5A, SCN1B - 4B, CAV3, GPD1L, SNTA1 and MOG1 was performed. We identified 3 rare non-synonymous variants in SCN5A, 5 in SCN1B, 1 in SCN4B, 1 in CAV3, 6 in GPD1L, 3 in SNTA1 and 3 in MOG1 (16%). Variant carriers were otherwise comparable with non-variant carriers. Analysis of AF recurrence rates after radiofrequency AF catheter ablation by serial 7-day Holter ECG monitoring between 3 and 12 months revealed no difference between groups, i.e. 45% in variant carriers vs. 49% in non-variant carriers.
CONCLUSIONS - Rare variants in genes encoding the cardiac sodium channel and associated compounds are frequently found in lone AF but were not found to impact the outcome of AF catheter ablation. This finding supports current recommendations not to screen for rare variants for the ablation outcome in AF. Nevertheless, it may at least be helpful for understanding AF mechanisms and larger studies are needed to further explore the possible association between genotype and response to AF therapies.
Haploinsufficiency of the melanocortin-4 receptor, the most common monogenetic obesity syndrome in humans, is associated with a reduction in autonomic tone, bradycardia, and incidence of obesity-associated hypertension. Thus, it has been assumed that melanocortin obesity syndrome may be protective with respect to obesity-associated cardiovascular disease. We show here that absence of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) in mice causes dilated cardiomyopathy, characterized by reduced contractility and increased left ventricular diameter. This cardiomyopathy is independent of obesity as weight matched diet induced obese mice do not display systolic dysfunction. cardiomyopathy is characterized by ultrastructural changes in mitochondrial morphology and cardiomyocyte disorganization. Remarkably, testing of myocardial tissue from mice exhibited increased ADP stimulated respiratory capacity. However, this increase in respiration correlates with increased reactive oxygen species production - a canonical mediator of tissue damage. Together this study identifies MC4R deletion as a novel and potentially clinically important cause of heart failure.