J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(1), 4; doi:10.3390/jcdd3010004 - published 26 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We appreciate the thorough response given by Ponagmi et al. , who rightly point out that the pathophysiology and modifiable risk factors of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (TC) have yet to be unequivocally established. [...]
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(1), 6; doi:10.3390/jcdd3010006 - published 26 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Animal models have played a critical role in validating human dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) genes, particularly those that implicate novel mechanisms for heart failure. However, the disease phenotype may be delayed due to age-dependent penetrance. For this reason, we generated an adult zebrafish model, which is a simpler vertebrate model with higher throughput than rodents. Specifically, we studied the zebrafish homologue of GATAD1, a recently identified gene for adult-onset autosomal recessive DCM. We showed cardiac expression of gatad1 transcripts, by whole mount in situ hybridization in zebrafish embryos, and demonstrated nuclear and sarcomeric I-band subcellular localization of Gatad1 protein in cardiomyocytes, by injecting a Tol2 plasmid encoding fluorescently-tagged Gatad1. We next generated gatad1 knock-out fish lines by TALEN technology and a transgenic fish line that expresses the human DCM GATAD1-S102P mutation in cardiomyocytes. Under stress conditions, longitudinal studies uncovered heart failure (HF)-like phenotypes in stable KO mutants and a tendency toward HF phenotypes in transgenic lines. Based on these efforts of studying a gene-based inherited cardiomyopathy model, we discuss the strengths and bottlenecks of adult zebrafish as a new vertebrate model for assessing candidate cardiomyopathy genes.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(1), 2; doi:10.3390/jcdd3010002 - published 21 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The cardiac conduction system (CCS) transmits electrical activity from the atria to the ventricles to coordinate heartbeats. Atrioventricular conduction diseases are often associated with defects in the central ventricular conduction system comprising the atrioventricular bundle (AVB) and right and left branches (BBs). Conducting and contractile working myocytes share common cardiomyogenic progenitors, however the time at which the CCS lineage becomes specified is unclear. In order to study the fate and the contribution to the CCS of cardiomyocytes during early heart tube formation, we performed a genetic lineage analysis using a Sma-CreERT2 mouse line. Lineage tracing experiments reveal a sequential contribution of early Sma expressing cardiomyocytes to different cardiac compartments, labeling at embryonic day (E) 7.5 giving rise to the interventricular septum and apical left ventricular myocardium. Early Sma expressing cardiomyocytes contribute to the AVB, BBs and left ventricular Purkinje fibers. Clonal analysis using the R26-confetti reporter mouse crossed with Sma-CreERT2 demonstrates that early Sma expressing cardiomyocytes include cells exclusively fated to give rise to the AVB. In contrast, lineage segregation is still ongoing for the BBs at E7.5. Overall this study highlights the early segregation of the central ventricular conduction system lineage within cardiomyocytes at the onset of heart tube formation.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(1), 1; doi:10.3390/jcdd3010001 - published 24 December 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We analyzed heart wall motion and blood flow dynamics in chicken embryos using in vivo optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) embryo-specific modeling. We focused on the heart outflow tract (OFT) region of day 3 embryos, and compared normal (control) conditions to conditions after performing an OFT banding intervention, which alters hemodynamics in the embryonic heart and vasculature. We found that hemodynamics and cardiac wall motion in the OFT are affected by banding in ways that might not be intuitive a priori. In addition to the expected increase in ventricular blood pressure, and increase blood flow velocity and, thus, wall shear stress (WSS) at the band site, the characteristic peristaltic-like motion of the OFT was altered, further affecting flow and WSS. Myocardial contractility, however, was affected only close to the band site due to the physical restriction on wall motion imposed by the band. WSS were heterogeneously distributed in both normal and banded OFTs. Our results show how banding affects cardiac mechanics and can lead, in the future, to a better understanding of mechanisms by which altered blood flow conditions affect cardiac development leading to congenital heart disease.