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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.
OBJECTIVE - Excess deposition of fat within and around vital organs and nonadipose tissues is hypothesized to contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We evaluated the association of abdominal intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) volume with coronary artery calcification in the CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) participants.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - We measured IMAT in the abdominal muscles, visceral adipose tissue and pericardial adipose tissue, and coronary artery calcification using computed tomography in 3051 CARDIA participants (56% women) at the CARDIA year 25 examination (2010-2011). Mean IMAT volume and mean IMAT/total muscle volume (IMAT normalized for muscle size) were calculated in a 10-mm block of slices centered at L3-L4. Multivariable analyses included potential confounders and traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. Compared with the lowest quartile, the upper quartile of abdominal IMAT volume was associated with higher coronary artery calcification prevalence (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.6 [1.2-2.1]) after adjusting for cardiovascular disease risk factors. Results were similar for highest versus lowest quartile of IMAT normalized to total muscle volume (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.5 [1.1-2.0]). Significant associations of higher IMAT and normalized IMAT with coronary artery calcification prevalence persisted when body mass index, visceral adipose tissue, or pericardial adipose tissue were added to the models.
CONCLUSIONS - In a large, community-based, cross-sectional study, we found that higher abdominal skeletal muscle adipose tissue volume was associated with subclinical atherosclerosis independent of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and other adipose depots.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.
Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transformation (EMT) and the subsequent invasion of epicardial and endocardial cells during cardiac development is critical to the development of the coronary vessels and heart valves. The transformed cells give rise to cardiac fibroblasts and vascular smooth muscle cells or valvular interstitial cells, respectively. The Type III Transforming Growth Factor β (TGFβR3) receptor regulates EMT and cell invasion in both cell types, but the signaling mechanisms downstream of TGFβR3 are not well understood. Here we use epicardial and endocardial cells in in vitro cell invasion assays to identify common mechanisms downstream of TGFβR3 that regulate cell invasion. Inhibition of NF-κB activity blocked cell invasion in epicardial and endocardial cells. NF-κB signaling was found to be dysregulated in Tgfbr3(-/-) epicardial cells which also show impaired cell invasion in response to ligand. TGFβR3-dependent cell invasion is also dependent upon Activin Receptor-Like Kinase (ALK) 2, ALK3, and ALK5 activity. A TGFβR3 mutant that contains a threonine to alanine substitution at residue 841 (TGFβR3-T841A) induces ligand-independent cell invasion in both epicardial and endocardial cells in vitro. These findings reveal a role for NF-κB signaling in the regulation of epicardial and endocardial cell invasion and identify a mutation in TGFβR3 which stimulates ligand-independent signaling.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS - Pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) is located on both sides of the pericardium. We tested whether PAT was associated with prevalent diabetes at the year 25 exam of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.
METHODS AND RESULTS - The CARDIA Year 25 exam (2010-2011) included complete data for all covariates on 3107 participants. Prevalent diabetes (n = 436) was defined as high fasting (≥126 mg/dl) or 2-h postload glucose (≥200 mg/dl) or HbA1c (≥6.5%) or use of diabetes medications. Volume of PAT was measured from computed tomographic scans. Logistic regression was performed to examine the relationship between quartiles of PAT and diabetes. In regression models adjusted for field center, sex, race, age, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, log triglycerides, and treatment with blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medication, PAT volume in the 4th quartile was significantly associated with diabetes status after adjustment for BMI (OR 2.57, 95% CI 1.66, 3.98) or visceral adipose tissue (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.32, 3.29). PAT volume in the 2nd and 3rd quartiles was not significantly associated with diabetes status relative to the first quartile.
CONCLUSIONS - Metabolically active pericardial adipose tissue is associated with prevalent diabetes only at higher volumes independent of overall obesity.
Copyright © 2016 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The relationship between epicardial and body surface potentials defines the forward problem of electrocardiography. A robust formulation of the forward problem is instrumental to solving the inverse problem, in which epicardial potentials are computed from known body surface potentials. Here, the accuracy of different forward models has been evaluated experimentally.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Body surface and epicardial potentials were recorded simultaneously in anesthetized closed-chest pigs (n=5) during sinus rhythm, and epicardial and endocardial ventricular pacing (65 records in total). Body surface potentials were simulated from epicardial recordings using experiment-specific volume conductor models constructed from magnetic resonance imaging. Results for homogeneous (isotropic electric properties) and inhomogeneous (incorporating lungs, anisotropic skeletal muscle, and subcutaneous fat) forward models were compared with measured body surface potentials. Correlation coefficients were 0.85±0.08 across all animals and activation sequences with no significant difference between homogeneous and inhomogeneous solutions (P=0.85). Despite this, there was considerable variance between simulated and measured body surface potential distributions. Differences between the body surface potential extrema predicted with homogeneous forward models were 55% to 78% greater than observed (P<0.05) and attenuation of potentials adjacent to extrema were 10% to 171% greater (P<0.03). The length and orientation of the vector between potential extrema were also significantly different. Inclusion of inhomogeneous electric properties in the forward model reduced, but did not eliminate these differences.
CONCLUSIONS - These results demonstrate that homogeneous volume conductor models introduce substantial spatial inaccuracies in forward problem solutions. This probably affects the precision of inverse reconstructions of cardiac potentials, in which this assumption is made.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
During embryogenesis, the epicardium undergoes proliferation, migration, and differentiation into several cardiac cell types which contribute to the coronary vessels. This process requires epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and directed cellular invasion. The Type III Transforming Growth Factor-beta Receptor (TGFβR3) is required for epicardial cell invasion and coronary vessel development. Using primary epicardial cells derived from Tgfbr3(+/+) and Tgfbr3(-/-) mouse embryos, high-molecular weight hyaluronan (HMWHA) stimulated cellular invasion and filamentous (f-actin) polymerization are detected in Tgfbr3(+/+) cells, but not in Tgfbr3(-/-) cells. Furthermore, HMWHA-stimulated cellular invasion and f-actin polymerization in Tgfbr3(+/+) epicardial cells are dependent on Src kinase. Src activation in HMWHA-stimulated Tgfbr3(-/-) epicardial cells is not detected in response to HMWHA. RhoA and Rac1 also fail to activate in response to HMWHA in Tgfbr3(-/-) cells. These events coincide with defective f-actin formation and deficient cellular invasion. Finally, a T841A activating substitution in TGFβR3 drives ligand-independent Src activation. Collectively, these data define a TGFβR3-Src-RhoA/Rac1 pathway that is essential for hyaluronan-directed cell invasion in epicardial cells.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Arsenic exposure during embryonic development can cause ischemic heart pathologies later in adulthood which may originate from impairment in proper blood vessel formation. The arsenic-associated detrimental effects are mediated by arsenite (iAs(III)) and its most toxic metabolite, monomethylarsonous acid [MMA (III)]. The impact of MMA (III) on coronary artery development has not yet been studied. The key cellular process that regulates coronary vessel development is the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). During cardiac EMT, activated epicardial progenitor cells transform to mesenchymal cells to form the cellular components of coronary vessels. Smad2/3 mediated TGFβ2 signaling, the key regulator of cardiac EMT, is disrupted by arsenite exposure. In this study, we compared the cardiac toxicity of MMA (III) with arsenite. Epicardial progenitor cells are 15 times more sensitive to MMA (III) cytotoxicity when compared with arsenite. MMA (III) caused a significant blockage in epicardial cellular transformation and invasion at doses 10 times lower than arsenite. Key EMT genes including TGFβ ligands, TβRIII, Has2, CD44, Snail1, TBX18, and MMP2 were down regulated by MMA (III) exposure. MMA (III) disrupted Smad2/3 activation at a dose 20 times lower than arsenite. Both arsenite and MMA (III) significantly inhibited Erk1/2 and Erk5 phosphorylation. Nuclear translocation of Smad2/3 and Erk5 was also blocked by arsenical exposure. However, p38 activation, as well as smooth muscle differentiation, was refractory to the inhibition by the arsenicals. Collectively, these findings revealed that MMA (III) is a selective disruptor of cardiac EMT and as such may predispose to arsenic-associated cardiovascular disorders.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directional cell movement is universally required for tissue morphogenesis. Although it is known that cell/matrix interactions are essential for directional movement in heart development, the mechanisms governing these interactions require elucidation. Here we demonstrate that a novel protein/protein interaction between blood vessel epicardial substance (Bves) and N-myc downstream regulated gene 4 (NDRG4) is critical for regulation of epicardial cell directional movement, as disruption of this interaction randomizes migratory patterns. Our studies show that Bves/NDRG4 interaction is required for trafficking of internalized fibronectin through the "autocrine extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition" fibronectin recycling pathway. Of importance, we demonstrate that Bves/NDRG4-mediated fibronectin recycling is indeed essential for epicardial cell directional movement, thus linking these two cell processes. Finally, total internal reflectance fluorescence microscopy shows that Bves/NDRG4 interaction is required for fusion of recycling endosomes with the basal cell surface, providing a molecular mechanism of motility substrate delivery that regulates cell directional movement. This is the first evidence of a molecular function for Bves and NDRG4 proteins within broader subcellular trafficking paradigms. These data identify novel regulators of a critical vesicle-docking step required for autocrine ECM deposition and explain how Bves facilitates cell-microenvironment interactions in the regulation of epicardial cell-directed movement.
Detailed knowledge of tissue response to both systolic and diastolic shock is critical for understanding defibrillation. Diastolic field stimulation has been much less studied than systolic stimulation, particularly regarding transient virtual anodes. Here we investigated high-voltage-induced polarization and activation patterns in response to strong diastolic shocks of various durations and of both polarities, and tested the hypothesis that the activation versus shock duration curve contains a local minimum for moderate shock durations, and it grows for short and long durations. We found that 0.1-0.2-ms shocks produced slow and heterogeneous activation. During 0.8-1 ms shocks, the activation was very fast and homogeneous. Further shock extension to 8 ms delayed activation from 1.55 ± 0.27 ms and 1.63 ± 0.21 ms at 0.8 ms shock to 2.32 ± 0.41 ms and 2.37 ± 0.3 ms (N = 7) for normal and opposite polarities, respectively. The traces from hyperpolarized regions during 3-8 ms shocks exhibited four different phases: beginning negative polarization, fast depolarization, slow depolarization, and after-shock increase in upstroke velocity. Thus, the shocks of >3 ms in duration created strong hyperpolarization associated with significant delay (P < 0.05) in activation compared with moderate shocks of 0.8 and 1 ms. This effect appears as a dip in the activation-versus-shock-duration curve.
Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To examine the relationship of pericardial adipose tissue (PAT) with coronary artery calcification in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
DESIGN AND METHODS - The baseline cohort comprised 6,814 Caucasian (38%), African-American (28%), Chinese American (12%), and Hispanic (22%) adults aged 45-84, without known clinical cardiovascular disease. Cardiac CT was used to measure PAT (cm(3) ) and calcification (Agatston score). We examined cross-sectional associations of PAT with the presence (score >0) and severity (continuous score if >0) of calcification using prevalence ratio (PR) (n = 6,672) and linear regression (n = 3,362), respectively. Main models were adjusted for age, age(2) , gender, race/ethnicity, field site, smoking, physical activity, alcohol, and education.
RESULTS - PAT volume (adjusted for age, height, weight, and site) was greatest in Chinese males, whereas Black males had less PAT than all but Black females. PAT was associated with presence [PR per standard deviation (SD): 1.06 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.08)] and severity [difference in log Agatston score per SD: 0.15 (0.09, 0.21)] of calcification, but neither association varied by race/ethnicity. Adjustment for generalized adiposity attenuated but did not eliminate the associations. With further adjustment for traditional risk factors and inflammatory markers, only the association with severity remained statistically significant [PR: 1.02 (1.00, 1.04); difference: 0.10 (0.03, 0.17)]. Heterogeneity by sex was observed for the presence of calcification (PR in men: 1.04; in women: 1.08; P for interaction <0.0001).
CONCLUSION - PAT was associated with the presence and severity of coronary artery calcification in this cohort, but neither association varied by race/ethnicity.
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society.