Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Part and Parcel of the Cardiac Autonomic Nerve System: Unravelling Its Cellular Building Blocks during Development
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 28; doi:10.3390/jcdd3030028 -
Abstract
The autonomic nervous system (cANS) is essential for proper heart function, and complications such as heart failure, arrhythmias and even sudden cardiac death are associated with an altered cANS function. A changed innervation state may underlie (part of) the atrial and ventricular [...] Read more.
The autonomic nervous system (cANS) is essential for proper heart function, and complications such as heart failure, arrhythmias and even sudden cardiac death are associated with an altered cANS function. A changed innervation state may underlie (part of) the atrial and ventricular arrhythmias observed after myocardial infarction. In other cardiac diseases, such as congenital heart disease, autonomic dysfunction may be related to disease outcome. This is also the case after heart transplantation, when the heart is denervated. Interest in the origin of the autonomic nerve system has renewed since the role of autonomic function in disease progression was recognized, and some plasticity in autonomic regeneration is evident. As with many pathological processes, autonomic dysfunction based on pathological innervation may be a partial recapitulation of the early development of innervation. As such, insight into the development of cardiac innervation and an understanding of the cellular background contributing to cardiac innervation during different phases of development is required. This review describes the development of the cANS and focuses on the cellular contributions, either directly by delivering cells or indirectly by secretion of necessary factors or cell-derivatives. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Heart Failure in Patients with Preserved Ejection Fraction: Questions Concerning Clinical Progression
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 27; doi:10.3390/jcdd3030027 -
Abstract
Over the last two decades, important advances have been made in explaining some pathophysiological aspects of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) with repercussions for the successful clinical management of the syndrome. Despite these gains, our knowledge for the natural history [...] Read more.
Over the last two decades, important advances have been made in explaining some pathophysiological aspects of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) with repercussions for the successful clinical management of the syndrome. Despite these gains, our knowledge for the natural history of clinical progression from the pre-clinical diastolic dysfunction (PDD) until the final clinical stages is significantly limited. The subclinical progression of PDD to the clinical phenotype of HFpEF and the further clinical progression to some more complex clinical models with multi-organ involvement, similar to heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), continue to be poorly understood. Prospective studies are needed to elucidate the natural history of clinical progression in patients with HFpEF and to identify the exact left ventricular remodeling mechanism that underlies this progression. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Function of the MEF2 Family of Transcription Factors in Cardiac Development, Cardiogenomics, and Direct Reprogramming
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 26; doi:10.3390/jcdd3030026 -
Abstract
Proper formation of the mammalian heart requires precise spatiotemporal transcriptional regulation of gene programs in cardiomyocytes. Sophisticated regulatory networks have evolved to not only integrate the activities of distinct transcription factors to control tissue-specific gene programs but also, in many instances, to [...] Read more.
Proper formation of the mammalian heart requires precise spatiotemporal transcriptional regulation of gene programs in cardiomyocytes. Sophisticated regulatory networks have evolved to not only integrate the activities of distinct transcription factors to control tissue-specific gene programs but also, in many instances, to incorporate multiple members within these transcription factor families to ensure accuracy and specificity in the system. Unsurprisingly, perturbations in this elaborate transcriptional circuitry can lead to severe cardiac abnormalities. Myocyte enhancer factor–2 (MEF2) transcription factor belongs to the evolutionarily conserved cardiac gene regulatory network. Given its central role in muscle gene regulation and its evolutionary conservation, MEF2 is considered one of only a few core cardiac transcription factors. In addition to its firmly established role as a differentiation factor, MEF2 regulates wide variety of, sometimes antagonistic, cellular processes such as cell survival and death. Vertebrate genomes encode multiple MEF2 family members thereby expanding the transcriptional potential of this core transcription factor in the heart. This review highlights the requirement of the MEF2 family and their orthologs in cardiac development in diverse animal model systems. Furthermore, we describe the recently characterized role of MEF2 in direct reprogramming and genome-wide cardiomyocyte gene regulation. A thorough understanding of the regulatory functions of the MEF2 family in cardiac development and cardiogenomics is required in order to develop effective therapeutic strategies to repair the diseased heart. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Ciona as a Simple Chordate Model for Heart Development and Regeneration
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 25; doi:10.3390/jcdd3030025 -
Abstract
Cardiac cell specification and the genetic determinants that govern this process are highly conserved among Chordates. Recent studies have established the importance of evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the study of congenital heart defects and disease, as well as cardiac regeneration. As a basal [...] Read more.
Cardiac cell specification and the genetic determinants that govern this process are highly conserved among Chordates. Recent studies have established the importance of evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the study of congenital heart defects and disease, as well as cardiac regeneration. As a basal Chordate, the Ciona model system presents a simple scaffold that recapitulates the basic blueprint of cardiac development in Chordates. Here we will focus on the development and cellular structure of the heart of the ascidian Ciona as compared to other Chordates, principally vertebrates. Comparison of the Ciona model system to heart development in other Chordates presents great potential for dissecting the genetic mechanisms that underlie congenital heart defects and disease at the cellular level and might provide additional insight into potential pathways for therapeutic cardiac regeneration. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Stem Cell Therapy and Congenital Heart Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 24; doi:10.3390/jcdd3030024 -
Abstract
For more than a decade, stem cell therapy has been the focus of intensive efforts for the treatment of adult heart disease, and now has promise for treating the pediatric population. On the basis of encouraging results in the adult field, the [...] Read more.
For more than a decade, stem cell therapy has been the focus of intensive efforts for the treatment of adult heart disease, and now has promise for treating the pediatric population. On the basis of encouraging results in the adult field, the application of stem cell-based strategies in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) opens a new therapy paradigm. To date, the safety and efficacy of stem cell-based products to promote cardiac repair and recovery in dilated cardiomyopathy and structural heart disease in infants have been primarily demonstrated in scattered clinical case reports, and supported by a few relevant pre-clinical models. Recently the TICAP trial has shown the safety and feasibility of intracoronary infusion of autologous cardiosphere-derived cells in children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. A focus on preemptive cardiac regeneration in the pediatric setting may offer new insights as to the timing of surgery, location of cell-based delivery, and type of cell-based regeneration that could further inform acquired cardiac disease applications. Here, we review the current knowledge on the field of stem cell therapy and tissue engineering in children with CHD, and discuss the gaps and future perspectives on cell-based strategies to treat patients with CHD. Full article
Open AccessReview
Vascular Development and Regeneration in the Mammalian Heart
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 23; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020023 -
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases including coronary artery disease are the leading cause of death worldwide. Unraveling the developmental origin of coronary vessels could offer important therapeutic implications for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The recent identification of the endocardial source of coronary vessels reveals a [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases including coronary artery disease are the leading cause of death worldwide. Unraveling the developmental origin of coronary vessels could offer important therapeutic implications for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The recent identification of the endocardial source of coronary vessels reveals a heterogeneous origin of coronary arteries in the adult heart. In this review, we will highlight recent advances in finding the sources of coronary vessels in the mammalian heart from lineage-tracing models as well as differentiation studies using pluripotent stem cells. Moreover, we will also discuss how we induce neovascularization in the damaged heart through transient yet highly efficient expression of VEGF-modified mRNAs as a potentially therapeutic delivery platform. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Popeye Domain Containing Genes and Their Function in Striated Muscle
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 22; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020022 -
Abstract
The Popeye domain containing (POPDC) genes encode a novel class of cAMP effector proteins, which are abundantly expressed in heart and skeletal muscle. Here, we will review their role in striated muscle as deduced from work in cell and animal models and [...] Read more.
The Popeye domain containing (POPDC) genes encode a novel class of cAMP effector proteins, which are abundantly expressed in heart and skeletal muscle. Here, we will review their role in striated muscle as deduced from work in cell and animal models and the recent analysis of patients carrying a missense mutation in POPDC1. Evidence suggests that POPDC proteins control membrane trafficking of interacting proteins. Furthermore, we will discuss the current catalogue of established protein-protein interactions. In recent years, the number of POPDC-interacting proteins has been rising and currently includes ion channels (TREK-1), sarcolemma-associated proteins serving functions in mechanical stability (dystrophin), compartmentalization (caveolin 3), scaffolding (ZO-1), trafficking (NDRG4, VAMP2/3) and repair (dysferlin) or acting as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rho-family GTPases (GEFT). Recent evidence suggests that POPDC proteins might also control the cellular level of the nuclear proto-oncoprotein c-Myc. These data suggest that this family of cAMP-binding proteins probably serves multiple roles in striated muscle. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Matter of the Heart: The African Clawed Frog Xenopus as a Model for Studying Vertebrate Cardiogenesis and Congenital Heart Defects
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 21; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020021 -
Abstract
The African clawed frog, Xenopus, is a valuable non-mammalian model organism to investigate vertebrate heart development and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of human congenital heart defects (CHDs). In this review, we outline the similarities between Xenopus and mammalian cardiogenesis, and [...] Read more.
The African clawed frog, Xenopus, is a valuable non-mammalian model organism to investigate vertebrate heart development and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of human congenital heart defects (CHDs). In this review, we outline the similarities between Xenopus and mammalian cardiogenesis, and provide an overview of well-studied cardiac genes in Xenopus, which have been associated with congenital heart conditions. Additionally, we highlight advantages of modeling candidate genes derived from genome wide association studies (GWAS) in Xenopus and discuss commonly used techniques. Full article
Open AccessReview
Genome-Wide Approaches to Drosophila Heart Development
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 20; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020020 -
Abstract
The development of the dorsal vessel in Drosophila is one of the first systems in which key mechanisms regulating cardiogenesis have been defined in great detail at the genetic and molecular level. Due to evolutionary conservation, these findings have also provided major [...] Read more.
The development of the dorsal vessel in Drosophila is one of the first systems in which key mechanisms regulating cardiogenesis have been defined in great detail at the genetic and molecular level. Due to evolutionary conservation, these findings have also provided major inputs into studies of cardiogenesis in vertebrates. Many of the major components that control Drosophila cardiogenesis were discovered based on candidate gene approaches and their functions were defined by employing the outstanding genetic tools and molecular techniques available in this system. More recently, approaches have been taken that aim to interrogate the entire genome in order to identify novel components and describe genomic features that are pertinent to the regulation of heart development. Apart from classical forward genetic screens, the availability of the thoroughly annotated Drosophila genome sequence made new genome-wide approaches possible, which include the generation of massive numbers of RNA interference (RNAi) reagents that were used in forward genetic screens, as well as studies of the transcriptomes and proteomes of the developing heart under normal and experimentally manipulated conditions. Moreover, genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments have been performed with the aim to define the full set of genomic binding sites of the major cardiogenic transcription factors, their relevant target genes, and a more complete picture of the regulatory network that drives cardiogenesis. This review will give an overview on these genome-wide approaches to Drosophila heart development and on computational analyses of the obtained information that ultimately aim to provide a description of this process at the systems level. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cardiac-Restricted Expression of VCP/TER94 RNAi or Disease Alleles Perturbs Drosophila Heart Structure and Impairs Function
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020019 -
Abstract
Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is a highly conserved mechanoenzyme that helps maintain protein homeostasis in all cells and serves specialized functions in distinct cell types. In skeletal muscle, it is critical for myofibrillogenesis and atrophy. However, little is known about VCP’s role(s) in [...] Read more.
Valosin-containing protein (VCP) is a highly conserved mechanoenzyme that helps maintain protein homeostasis in all cells and serves specialized functions in distinct cell types. In skeletal muscle, it is critical for myofibrillogenesis and atrophy. However, little is known about VCP’s role(s) in the heart. Its functional diversity is determined by differential binding of distinct cofactors/adapters, which is likely disrupted during disease. VCP mutations cause multisystem proteinopathy (MSP), a pleiotropic degenerative disorder that involves inclusion body myopathy. MSP patients display progressive muscle weakness. They also exhibit cardiomyopathy and die from cardiac and respiratory failure, which are consistent with critical myocardial roles for the enzyme. Nonetheless, efficient models to interrogate VCP in cardiac muscle remain underdeveloped and poorly studied. Here, we investigated the significance of VCP and mutant VCP in the Drosophila heart. Cardiac-restricted RNAi-mediated knockdown of TER94, the Drosophila VCP homolog, severely perturbed myofibrillar organization and heart function in adult flies. Furthermore, expression of MSP disease-causing alleles engendered cardiomyopathy in adults and structural defects in embryonic hearts. Drosophila may therefore serve as a valuable model for examining role(s) of VCP in cardiogenesis and for identifying novel heart-specific VCP interactions, which when disrupted via mutation, contribute to or elicit cardiac pathology. Full article
Open AccessReview
Regulatory Networks that Direct the Development of Specialized Cell Types in the Drosophila Heart
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 18; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020018 -
Abstract
The Drosophila cardiac tube was once thought to be a simple linear structure, however research over the past 15 years has revealed significant cellular and molecular complexity to this organ. Prior reviews have focused upon the gene regulatory networks responsible for the [...] Read more.
The Drosophila cardiac tube was once thought to be a simple linear structure, however research over the past 15 years has revealed significant cellular and molecular complexity to this organ. Prior reviews have focused upon the gene regulatory networks responsible for the specification of the cardiac field and the activation of cardiac muscle structural genes. Here we focus upon highlighting the existence, function, and development of unique cell types within the dorsal vessel, and discuss their correspondence to analogous structures in the vertebrate heart. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperComment
Of Tracts, Rings, Nodes, Cusps, Sinuses, and Arrhythmias—A Comment on Szili-Torok et al.’s Paper Entitled “The ‘Dead-End Tract’ and Its Role in Arrhythmogenesis”. J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3, 11
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 17; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020017 -
Abstract In the review, now published as part of the special issue devoted to the development of the conduction tissues, de Vries and his colleagues discuss the potential role of the so-called “dead-end tract” as a substrate for arrhythmogenesis [1].[...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Postnatal Cardiac Autonomic Nervous Control in Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 16; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020016 -
Abstract
Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital defect. During childhood, survival is generally good but, in adulthood, late complications are not uncommon. Abnormal autonomic control in children with congenital heart disease may contribute considerably to the pathophysiology of these long term [...] Read more.
Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital defect. During childhood, survival is generally good but, in adulthood, late complications are not uncommon. Abnormal autonomic control in children with congenital heart disease may contribute considerably to the pathophysiology of these long term sequelae. This narrative review of 34 studies aims to summarize current knowledge on function of the autonomic nervous system in children with a congenital heart defect. Large scale studies that measure both branches of the nervous system for prolonged periods of time in well-defined patient cohorts in various phases of childhood and adolescence are currently lacking. Pending such studies, there is not yet a good grasp on the extent and direction of sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic function in pediatric congenital heart disease. Longitudinal studies in homogenous patient groups linking autonomic nervous system function and clinical outcome are warranted. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
On the Morphology of the Drosophila Heart
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 15; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020015 -
Abstract
The circulatory system of Drosophilamelanogaster represents an easily amenable genetic model whose analysis at different levels, i.e., from single molecules up to functional anatomy, has provided new insights into general aspects of cardiogenesis, heart physiology and cardiac aging, to name [...] Read more.
The circulatory system of Drosophilamelanogaster represents an easily amenable genetic model whose analysis at different levels, i.e., from single molecules up to functional anatomy, has provided new insights into general aspects of cardiogenesis, heart physiology and cardiac aging, to name a few examples. In recent years, the Drosophila heart has also attracted the attention of researchers in the field of biomedicine. This development is mainly due to the fact that several genes causing human heart disease are also present in Drosophila, where they play the same or similar roles in heart development, maintenance or physiology as their respective counterparts in humans. This review will attempt to briefly introduce the anatomy of the Drosophila circulatory system and then focus on the different cell types and non-cellular tissue that constitute the heart. Full article
Open AccessReview
Transcriptional Regulation of Heart Development in Zebrafish
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 14; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020014 -
Abstract
Cardiac transcription factors orchestrate the complex cellular and molecular events required to produce a functioning heart. Misregulation of the cardiac transcription program leads to embryonic developmental defects and is associated with human congenital heart diseases. Recent studies have expanded our understanding of [...] Read more.
Cardiac transcription factors orchestrate the complex cellular and molecular events required to produce a functioning heart. Misregulation of the cardiac transcription program leads to embryonic developmental defects and is associated with human congenital heart diseases. Recent studies have expanded our understanding of the regulation of cardiac gene expression at an additional layer, involving the coordination of epigenetic and transcriptional regulators. In this review, we highlight and discuss discoveries made possible by the genetic and embryological tools available in the zebrafish model organism, with a focus on the novel functions of cardiac transcription factors and epigenetic and transcriptional regulatory proteins during cardiogenesis. Full article
Open AccessReview
Advances in the Study of Heart Development and Disease Using Zebrafish
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 13; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020013 -
Abstract
Animal models of cardiovascular disease are key players in the translational medicine pipeline used to define the conserved genetic and molecular basis of disease. Congenital heart diseases (CHDs) are the most common type of human birth defect and feature structural abnormalities that [...] Read more.
Animal models of cardiovascular disease are key players in the translational medicine pipeline used to define the conserved genetic and molecular basis of disease. Congenital heart diseases (CHDs) are the most common type of human birth defect and feature structural abnormalities that arise during cardiac development and maturation. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a valuable vertebrate model organism, offering advantages over traditional mammalian models. These advantages include the rapid, stereotyped and external development of transparent embryos produced in large numbers from inexpensively housed adults, vast capacity for genetic manipulation, and amenability to high-throughput screening. With the help of modern genetics and a sequenced genome, zebrafish have led to insights in cardiovascular diseases ranging from CHDs to arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. Here, we discuss the utility of zebrafish as a model system and summarize zebrafish cardiac morphogenesis with emphasis on parallels to human heart diseases. Additionally, we discuss the specific tools and experimental platforms utilized in the zebrafish model including forward screens, functional characterization of candidate genes, and high throughput applications. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The “Dead-End Tract” and Its Role in Arrhythmogenesis
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 11; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020011 -
Abstract
Idiopathic outflow tract ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) represent a significant proportion of all VAs. The mechanism is thought to be catecholamine-mediated delayed after depolarizations and triggered activity, although other etiologies should be considered. In the adult cardiac conduction system it has been demonstrated [...] Read more.
Idiopathic outflow tract ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) represent a significant proportion of all VAs. The mechanism is thought to be catecholamine-mediated delayed after depolarizations and triggered activity, although other etiologies should be considered. In the adult cardiac conduction system it has been demonstrated that sometimes an embryonic branch, the so-called “dead-end tract”, persists beyond the bifurcation of the right and left bundle branch (LBB). Several findings suggest an involvement of this tract in idiopathic VAs (IVAs). The aim of this review is to summarize our current knowledge and the possible clinical significance of this tract. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
The Early Stages of Heart Development: Insights from Chicken Embryos
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(2), 12; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020012 -
Abstract
The heart is the first functioning organ in the developing embryo and a detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in its formation provides insights into congenital malformations affecting its function and therefore the survival of the organism. Because many [...] Read more.
The heart is the first functioning organ in the developing embryo and a detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in its formation provides insights into congenital malformations affecting its function and therefore the survival of the organism. Because many developmental mechanisms are highly conserved, it is possible to extrapolate from observations made in invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms to humans. This review will highlight the contributions made through studying heart development in avian embryos, particularly the chicken. The major advantage of chick embryos is their accessibility for surgical manipulation and functional interference approaches, both gain- and loss-of-function. In addition to experiments performed in ovo, the dissection of tissues for ex vivo culture, genomic, or biochemical approaches is straightforward. Furthermore, embryos can be cultured for time-lapse imaging, which enables tracking of fluorescently labeled cells and detailed analysis of tissue morphogenesis. Owing to these features, investigations in chick embryos have led to important discoveries, often complementing genetic studies in mice and zebrafish. As well as including some historical aspects, we cover here some of the crucial advances made in understanding early heart development using the chicken model. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Probing the Electrophysiology of the Developing Heart
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(1), 10; doi:10.3390/jcdd3010010 -
Abstract
Many diseases that result in dysfunction and dysmorphology of the heart originate in the embryo. However, the embryonic heart presents a challenging subject for study: especially challenging is its electrophysiology. Electrophysiological maturation of the embryonic heart without disturbing its physiological function requires [...] Read more.
Many diseases that result in dysfunction and dysmorphology of the heart originate in the embryo. However, the embryonic heart presents a challenging subject for study: especially challenging is its electrophysiology. Electrophysiological maturation of the embryonic heart without disturbing its physiological function requires the creation and deployment of novel technologies along with the use of classical techniques on a range of animal models. Each tool has its strengths and limitations and has contributed to making key discoveries to expand our understanding of cardiac development. Further progress in understanding the mechanisms that regulate the normal and abnormal development of the electrophysiology of the heart requires integration of this functional information with the more extensively elucidated structural and molecular changes. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
TLR-4 and CD14 Genotypes and Soluble CD14: Could They Predispose to Coronary Atherosclerosis?
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(1), 9; doi:10.3390/jcdd3010009 -
Abstract
Background: Inflammatory mechanisms are key to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Functional polymorphisms of TLR-4, Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile, CD14 promoter area C260T polymorphism and plasma levels of soluble CD14 are studied in subjects with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Methods: DNA was obtained from [...] Read more.
Background: Inflammatory mechanisms are key to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Functional polymorphisms of TLR-4, Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile, CD14 promoter area C260T polymorphism and plasma levels of soluble CD14 are studied in subjects with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Methods: DNA was obtained from 100 human paraffin-embedded aortic specimens, from cadavers with known coronary atheromatosis (Group A) and 100 blood samples from patients with CAD, as detected by cardiac Multi-Detector-row-Computed-Tomography (MDCT) (Group B). Our control group consisted of 100 healthy individuals (Group C). Genotyping was performed by Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RFLP-PCR). Plasma levels of sCD14 were measured with ELISA. Results: For TLR-4 Asp299Gly and Thr399Ile polymorphisms, no statistically significant differences were observed. Regarding the C260T polymorphism, frequencies of T allele were significantly higher in the control group compared to the case group (p = 0.05). The Odds Ratio (OR) showed statistically significant association of TT genotype with healthy individuals (OR 0.25, 95% Confidence Interval CI 0.10–0.62, p = 0.0017). Plasma levels of sCD14 in patients with CAD (mean value = 1.35 μg/mL) were reduced when compared to reference value. Conclusions: The studied polymorphisms ofTLR-4 showed no association with CAD. Conversely, the functional polymorphism of CD14 has a statistically significant difference in expression between healthy and affected by CAD individuals. Full article