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J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis., Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2017)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Hemodynamics Modify Collagen Deposition in the Early Embryonic Chicken Heart Outflow Tract
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040024
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Blood flow is critical for normal cardiac development. Hemodynamic stimuli outside of normal ranges can lead to overt cardiac defects, but how early heart tissue remodels in response to altered hemodynamics is poorly understood. This study investigated changes in tissue collagen in response
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Blood flow is critical for normal cardiac development. Hemodynamic stimuli outside of normal ranges can lead to overt cardiac defects, but how early heart tissue remodels in response to altered hemodynamics is poorly understood. This study investigated changes in tissue collagen in response to hemodynamic overload in the chicken embryonic heart outflow tract (OFT) during tubular heart stages (HH18 to HH24, ~24 h). A suture tied around the OFT at HH18 was tightened to constrict the lumen for ~24 h (constriction range at HH24: 15–60%). Expression of fibril collagens I and III and fibril organizing collagens VI and XIV were quantified at the gene and protein levels via qPCR and quantitative immunofluorescence. Collagen I was slightly elevated upstream of the band and in the cushions in banded versus control OFTs. Changes in collagen III were not observed. Collagen VI deposition was elevated downstream of the band, but not overall. Collagen XIV deposition increased throughout the OFT, and strongly correlated to lumen constriction. Interestingly, organization of collagen I fibrils was observed for the tighter banded embryos in regions that also showed increase in collagen XIV deposition, suggesting a potentially key role for collagens I and XIV in the structural adaptation of embryonic heart tissue to hemodynamic overload. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Role of Cerl2 in the Establishment of Left-Right Asymmetries during Axis Formation and Heart Development
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040023
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 10 December 2017
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Abstract
The formation of the asymmetric left-right (LR) body axis is one of the fundamental aspects of vertebrate embryonic development, and one still raising passionate discussions among scientists. Although the conserved role of nodal is unquestionable in this process, several of the details around
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The formation of the asymmetric left-right (LR) body axis is one of the fundamental aspects of vertebrate embryonic development, and one still raising passionate discussions among scientists. Although the conserved role of nodal is unquestionable in this process, several of the details around this signaling cascade are still unanswered. To further understand this mechanism, we have been studying Cerberus-like 2 (Cerl2), an inhibitor of Nodal, and its role in the generation of asymmetries in the early vertebrate embryo. The absence of Cerl2 results in a wide spectrum of malformations commonly known as heterotaxia, which comprises defects in either global organ position (e.g., situs inversus totalis), reversed orientation of at least one organ (e.g., situs ambiguus), and mirror images of usually asymmetric paired organs (e.g., left or right isomerisms of the lungs). Moreover, these laterality defects are frequently associated with congenital heart diseases (e.g., transposition of the great arteries, or atrioventricular septal defects). Here, reviewing the knowledge on the establishment of LR asymmetry in mouse embryos, the emerging conclusion is that as necessary as is the activation of the Nodal signaling cascade, the tight control that Cerl2-mediates on Nodal signaling is equally important, and that generates a further regionalized LR genetic program in the proper time and space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Left–Right Asymmetry and Cardiac Morphogenesis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Potential of a Novel Class of EPAC-Selective Agonists to Combat Cardiovascular Inflammation
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040022
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
The cyclic 3′,5′-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) sensor enzyme, EPAC1, is a candidate drug target in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) due to its ability to attenuate proinflammatory cytokine signalling normally associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including atherosclerosis. This is through the EPAC1-dependent induction of the
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The cyclic 3′,5′-adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) sensor enzyme, EPAC1, is a candidate drug target in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) due to its ability to attenuate proinflammatory cytokine signalling normally associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including atherosclerosis. This is through the EPAC1-dependent induction of the suppressor of cytokine signalling gene, SOCS3, which targets inflammatory signalling proteins for ubiquitinylation and destruction by the proteosome. Given this important role for the EPAC1/SOCS3 signalling axis, we have used high throughput screening (HTS) to identify small molecule EPAC1 regulators and have recently isolated the first known non-cyclic nucleotide (NCN) EPAC1 agonist, I942. I942 therefore represents the first in class, isoform selective EPAC1 activator, with the potential to suppress pro-inflammatory cytokine signalling with a reduced risk of side effects associated with general cAMP-elevating agents that activate multiple response pathways. The development of augmented I942 analogues may therefore provide improved research tools to validate EPAC1 as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of chronic inflammation associated with deadly CVDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyclic Nucleotide Signaling and the Cardiovascular System)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Physiopathology of Cardiorenal Syndrome: A Review of the Potential Contributions of Inflammation
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040021
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 25 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 29 November 2017
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Abstract
Inter-organ crosstalk plays an essential role in the physiological homeostasis of the heart and other organs, and requires a complex interaction between a host of cellular, molecular, and neural factors. Derangements in these interactions can initiate multi-organ dysfunction. This is the case, for
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Inter-organ crosstalk plays an essential role in the physiological homeostasis of the heart and other organs, and requires a complex interaction between a host of cellular, molecular, and neural factors. Derangements in these interactions can initiate multi-organ dysfunction. This is the case, for instance, in the heart or kidneys where a pathological alteration in one organ can unfavorably affect function in another distant organ; attention is currently being paid to understanding the physiopathological consequences of kidney dysfunction on cardiac performance that lead to cardiorenal syndrome. Different cardiorenal connectors (renin–angiotensin or sympathetic nervous system activation, inflammation, uremia, etc.) and non-traditional risk factors potentially contribute to multi-organ failure. Of these, inflammation may be crucial as inflammatory cells contribute to over-production of eicosanoids and lipid second messengers that activate intracellular signaling pathways involved in pathogenesis. Indeed, inflammation biomarkers are often elevated in patients with cardiac or renal dysfunction. Epigenetics, a dynamic process that regulates gene expression and function, is also recognized as an important player in single-organ disease. Principal epigenetic modifications occur at the level of DNA (i.e., methylation) and histone proteins; aberrant DNA methylation is associated with pathogenesis of organ dysfunction through a number of mechanisms (inflammation, nitric oxide bioavailability, endothelin, etc.). Herein, we focus on the potential contribution of inflammation in pathogenesis of cardiorenal syndrome. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Growth and Morphogenesis during Early Heart Development in Amniotes
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040020
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
In this review, we will focus on the growth and morphogenesis of the developing heart, an aspect of cardiovascular development to which Antoon Moorman and colleagues have extensively contributed. Over the last decades, genetic studies and characterization of regionally regulated gene programs have
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In this review, we will focus on the growth and morphogenesis of the developing heart, an aspect of cardiovascular development to which Antoon Moorman and colleagues have extensively contributed. Over the last decades, genetic studies and characterization of regionally regulated gene programs have provided abundant novel insights into heart development essential to understand the basis of congenital heart disease. Heart morphogenesis, however, is inherently a complex and dynamic three-dimensional process and we are far from understanding its cellular basis. Here, we discuss recent advances in studying heart morphogenesis and regionalization under the light of the pioneering work of Moorman and colleagues, which allowed the reinterpretation of regional gene expression patterns under a new morphogenetic framework. Two aspects of early heart formation will be discussed in particular: (1) the initial formation of the heart tube and (2) the formation of the cardiac chambers by the ballooning process. Finally, we emphasize that in addition to analyses based on fixed samples, new approaches including clonal analysis, single-cell sequencing, live-imaging and quantitative analysis of the data generated will likely lead to novel insights in understanding early heart tube regionalization and morphogenesis in the near future. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Kinking and Torsion Can Significantly Improve the Efficiency of Valveless Pumping in Periodically Compressed Tubular Conduits. Implications for Understanding of the Form-Function Relationship of Embryonic Heart Tubes
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040019
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 19 November 2017
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Abstract
Valveless pumping phenomena (peristalsis, Liebau-effect) can generate unidirectional fluid flow in periodically compressed tubular conduits. Early embryonic hearts are tubular conduits acting as valveless pumps. It is unclear whether such hearts work as peristaltic or Liebau-effect pumps. During the initial phase of its
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Valveless pumping phenomena (peristalsis, Liebau-effect) can generate unidirectional fluid flow in periodically compressed tubular conduits. Early embryonic hearts are tubular conduits acting as valveless pumps. It is unclear whether such hearts work as peristaltic or Liebau-effect pumps. During the initial phase of its pumping activity, the originally straight embryonic heart is subjected to deforming forces that produce bending, twisting, kinking, and coiling. This deformation process is called cardiac looping. Its function is traditionally seen as generating a configuration needed for establishment of correct alignments of pulmonary and systemic flow pathways in the mature heart of lung-breathing vertebrates. This idea conflicts with the fact that cardiac looping occurs in all vertebrates, including gill-breathing fishes. We speculate that looping morphogenesis may improve the efficiency of valveless pumping. To test the physical plausibility of this hypothesis, we analyzed the pumping performance of a Liebau-effect pump in straight and looped (kinked) configurations. Compared to the straight configuration, the looped configuration significantly improved the pumping performance of our pump. This shows that looping can improve the efficiency of valveless pumping driven by the Liebau-effect. Further studies are needed to clarify whether this finding may have implications for understanding of the form-function relationship of embryonic hearts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Left–Right Asymmetry and Cardiac Morphogenesis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Dark Side of the Moon: The Right Ventricle
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040018
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this review article is to summarize current knowledge of the pathophysiology underlying right ventricular failure (RVF), focusing, in particular, on right ventricular assessment and prognosis. The right ventricle (RV) can tolerate volume overload well, but is not able to sustain
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The aim of this review article is to summarize current knowledge of the pathophysiology underlying right ventricular failure (RVF), focusing, in particular, on right ventricular assessment and prognosis. The right ventricle (RV) can tolerate volume overload well, but is not able to sustain pressure overload. Right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH), as a response to increased afterload, can be adaptive or maladaptive. The easiest and most common way to assess the RV is by two-dimensional (2D) trans-thoracic echocardiography measuring surrogate indexes, such as tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), fractional area change (FAC), and tissue Doppler velocity of the lateral aspect of the tricuspid valvular plane. However, both volumes and function are better estimated by 3D echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). The prognostic role of the RV in heart failure (HF), pulmonary hypertension (PH), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and cardiac surgery has been overlooked for many years. However, several recent studies have placed much greater importance on the RV in prognostic assessments. In conclusion, RV dimensions and function should be routinely assessed in cardiovascular disease, as RVF has a significant impact on disease prognosis. In the presence of RVF, different therapeutic approaches, either pharmacological or surgical, may be beneficial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure Pathogenesis and Management)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Multiple Roles of Pitx2 in Cardiac Development and Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040016
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
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Abstract
Cardiac development is a complex morphogenetic process initiated as bilateral cardiogenic mesoderm is specified at both sides of the gastrulating embryo. Soon thereafter, these cardiogenic cells fuse at the embryonic midline configuring a symmetrical linear cardiac tube. Left/right bilateral asymmetry is first detected
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Cardiac development is a complex morphogenetic process initiated as bilateral cardiogenic mesoderm is specified at both sides of the gastrulating embryo. Soon thereafter, these cardiogenic cells fuse at the embryonic midline configuring a symmetrical linear cardiac tube. Left/right bilateral asymmetry is first detected in the forming heart as the cardiac tube bends to the right, and subsequently, atrial and ventricular chambers develop. Molecular signals emanating from the node confer distinct left/right signalling pathways that ultimately lead to activation of the homeobox transcription factor Pitx2 in the left side of distinct embryonic organ anlagen, including the developing heart. Asymmetric expression of Pitx2 has therefore been reported during different cardiac developmental stages, and genetic deletion of Pitx2 provided evidence of key regulatory roles of this transcription factor during cardiogenesis and thus congenital heart diseases. More recently, impaired Pitx2 function has also been linked to arrhythmogenic processes, providing novel roles in the adult heart. In this manuscript, we provide a state-of-the-art review of the fundamental roles of Pitx2 during cardiogenesis, arrhythmogenesis and its contribution to congenital heart diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Left–Right Asymmetry and Cardiac Morphogenesis)
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Open AccessArticle Strategy for Identification of Phosphorylation Levels of Low Abundance Proteins in Vivo for Which Antibodies Are not Available
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(4), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4040017
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 30 September 2017 / Published: 8 October 2017
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Abstract
Protein function is mainly modulated by dynamic reversible or irreversible post-translational modifications. Among them, the identification of protein phosphorylation sites and changes in phosphorylation levels in vivo are of considerable interest for a better understanding of the protein function. Thus, effective strategies for
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Protein function is mainly modulated by dynamic reversible or irreversible post-translational modifications. Among them, the identification of protein phosphorylation sites and changes in phosphorylation levels in vivo are of considerable interest for a better understanding of the protein function. Thus, effective strategies for the quantitative determination of phosphorylation degrees for low abundant proteins, for which antibodies are not available, are required in order to evaluate the functional regulation of proteins attributed to phosphorylation. In this study, we used the heart β1-adrenergic receptor (Adrb1) as a model protein and developed FLAG-Adrb1 knock-in mice, in which the FLAG tag was inserted at the N-terminus of Adrb1. The phosphorylation sites and levels of Adrb1 in the heart were elucidated by immuno-affinity purification followed by quantitative mass spectrometry analysis using ion intensity ratio of the phosphorylated peptide versus corresponding unphosphorylated peptide. The phosphorylation levels at Ser274 and Ser462 of Adrb1 were approximately 0.25 and 0.0023. This effective strategy should be useful for not only analyzing site-specific phosphorylation levels of target proteins, but also quantifying the expression levels of proteins of interest when appropriate antibodies are not available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proteomics and Protein Post-Translational Modification)
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