Open AccessReview
Roles of PDE1 in Pathological Cardiac Remodeling and Dysfunction
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(2), 22; doi:10.3390/jcdd5020022 -
Abstract
Pathological cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction is a response to various stress stimuli and can result in reduced cardiac output and heart failure. Cyclic nucleotide signaling regulates several cardiac functions including contractility, remodeling, and fibrosis. Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), by catalyzing the hydrolysis of
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Pathological cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction is a response to various stress stimuli and can result in reduced cardiac output and heart failure. Cyclic nucleotide signaling regulates several cardiac functions including contractility, remodeling, and fibrosis. Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs), by catalyzing the hydrolysis of cyclic nucleotides, are critical in the homeostasis of intracellular cyclic nucleotide signaling and hold great therapeutic potential as drug targets. Recent studies have revealed that the inhibition of the PDE family member PDE1 plays a protective role in pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction by the modulation of distinct cyclic nucleotide signaling pathways. This review summarizes recent key findings regarding the roles of PDE1 in the cardiac system that can lead to a better understanding of its therapeutic potential. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Enlightening the Association between Bicuspid Aortic Valve and Aortopathy
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(2), 21; doi:10.3390/jcdd5020021 -
Abstract
Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) patients have an increased incidence of developing aortic dilation. Despite its importance, the pathogenesis of aortopathy in BAV is still largely undetermined. Nowadays, intense focus falls both on BAV morphology and progression of valvular dysfunction and on the development
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Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) patients have an increased incidence of developing aortic dilation. Despite its importance, the pathogenesis of aortopathy in BAV is still largely undetermined. Nowadays, intense focus falls both on BAV morphology and progression of valvular dysfunction and on the development of aortic dilation. However, less is known about the relationship between aortic valve morphology and aortic dilation. A better understanding of the molecular pathways involved in the homeostasis of the aortic wall, including the extracellular matrix, the plasticity of the vascular smooth cells, TGFβ signaling, and epigenetic dysregulation, is key to enlighten the mechanisms underpinning BAV-aortopathy development and progression. To date, there are two main theories on this subject, i.e., the genetic and the hemodynamic theory, with an ongoing debate over the pathogenesis of BAV-aortopathy. Furthermore, the lack of early detection biomarkers leads to challenges in the management of patients affected by BAV-aortopathy. Here, we critically review the current knowledge on the driving mechanisms of BAV-aortopathy together with the current clinical management and lack of available biomarkers allowing for early detection and better treatment optimization. Full article
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Open AccessReview
cGMP Signaling and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Plasticity
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(2), 20; doi:10.3390/jcdd5020020 -
Abstract
Cyclic GMP regulates multiple cell types and functions of the cardiovascular system. This review summarizes the effects of cGMP on the growth and survival of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), which display remarkable phenotypic plasticity during the development of vascular diseases, such as
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Cyclic GMP regulates multiple cell types and functions of the cardiovascular system. This review summarizes the effects of cGMP on the growth and survival of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), which display remarkable phenotypic plasticity during the development of vascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. Recent studies have shown that VSMCs contribute to the development of atherosclerotic plaques by clonal expansion and transdifferentiation to macrophage-like cells. VSMCs express a variety of cGMP generators and effectors, including NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase (NO-GC) and cGMP-dependent protein kinase type I (cGKI), respectively. According to the traditional view, cGMP inhibits VSMC proliferation, but this concept has been challenged by recent findings supporting a stimulatory effect of the NO-cGMP-cGKI axis on VSMC growth. Here, we summarize the relevant studies with a focus on VSMC growth regulation by the NO-cGMP-cGKI pathway in cultured VSMCs and mouse models of atherosclerosis, restenosis, and angiogenesis. We discuss potential reasons for inconsistent results, such as the use of genetic versus pharmacological approaches and primary versus subcultured cells. We also explore how modern methods for cGMP imaging and cell tracking could help to improve our understanding of cGMP’s role in vascular plasticity. We present a revised model proposing that cGMP promotes phenotypic switching of contractile VSMCs to VSMC-derived plaque cells in atherosclerotic lesions. Regulation of vascular remodeling by cGMP is not only an interesting new therapeutic strategy, but could also result in side effects of clinically used cGMP-elevating drugs. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Hypoxia Supports Epicardial Cell Differentiation in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells through the Activation of the TGFβ Pathway
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jcdd5020019 -
Abstract
Epicardium-derived cells (EPDCs) are an important pool of multipotent cardiovascular progenitor cells. Through epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), EPDCs invade the subepicardium and myocardium and further differentiate into several cell types required for coronary vessel formation. We previously showed that epicardial hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) signaling
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Epicardium-derived cells (EPDCs) are an important pool of multipotent cardiovascular progenitor cells. Through epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), EPDCs invade the subepicardium and myocardium and further differentiate into several cell types required for coronary vessel formation. We previously showed that epicardial hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) signaling mediates the invasion of vascular precursor cells critical for patterning the coronary vasculature. Here, we examine the regulatory role of hypoxia (1% oxygen) on EPDC differentiation into vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Results: Hypoxia stimulates EMT and enhances expression of several VSMC markers in mouse epicardial cell cultures. This stimulation is specifically blocked by inhibiting transforming growth factor-beta (TGFβ) receptor I. Further analyses indicated that hypoxia increases the expression level of TGFβ-1 ligand and phosphorylation of TGFβ receptor II, suggesting an indispensable role of the TGFβ pathway in hypoxia-stimulated VSMC differentiation. We further demonstrate that the non-canonical RhoA/Rho kinase (ROCK) pathway acts as the main downstream effector of TGFβ to modulate hypoxia’s effect on VSMC differentiation. Conclusion: Our results reveal a novel role of epicardial HIF in mediating coronary vasculogenesis by promoting their differentiation into VSMCs through noncanonical TGFβ signaling. These data elucidate that patterning of the coronary vasculature is influenced by epicardial hypoxic signals. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Popeye Domain Containing Genes and Their Function as cAMP Effector Proteins in Striated Muscle
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 18; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010018 -
Abstract
The Popeye domain containing (POPDC) genes encode transmembrane proteins, which are abundantly expressed in striated muscle cells. Hallmarks of the POPDC proteins are the presence of three transmembrane domains and the Popeye domain, which makes up a large part of the cytoplasmic portion
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The Popeye domain containing (POPDC) genes encode transmembrane proteins, which are abundantly expressed in striated muscle cells. Hallmarks of the POPDC proteins are the presence of three transmembrane domains and the Popeye domain, which makes up a large part of the cytoplasmic portion of the protein and functions as a cAMP-binding domain. Interestingly, despite the prediction of structural similarity between the Popeye domain and other cAMP binding domains, at the protein sequence level they strongly differ from each other suggesting an independent evolutionary origin of POPDC proteins. Loss-of-function experiments in zebrafish and mouse established an important role of POPDC proteins for cardiac conduction and heart rate adaptation after stress. Loss-of function mutations in patients have been associated with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy and AV-block. These data suggest an important role of these proteins in the maintenance of structure and function of striated muscle cells. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Using cAMP Sensors to Study Cardiac Nanodomains
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 17; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010017 -
Abstract
3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signalling plays a major role in the cardiac myocyte response to extracellular stimulation by hormones and neurotransmitters. In recent years, evidence has accumulated demonstrating that the cAMP response to different extracellular agonists is not uniform: depending on the stimulus,
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3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signalling plays a major role in the cardiac myocyte response to extracellular stimulation by hormones and neurotransmitters. In recent years, evidence has accumulated demonstrating that the cAMP response to different extracellular agonists is not uniform: depending on the stimulus, cAMP signals of different amplitudes and kinetics are generated in different subcellular compartments, eliciting defined physiological effects. In this review, we focus on how real-time imaging using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based reporters has provided mechanistic insight into the compartmentalisation of the cAMP signalling pathway and allowed for the precise definition of the regulation and function of subcellular cAMP nanodomains. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Multi-Scale Assessments of Cardiac Electrophysiology Reveal Regional Heterogeneity in Health and Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 16; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010016 -
Abstract
The left and right ventricles of the four-chambered heart have distinct developmental origins and functions. Chamber-specific developmental programming underlies the differential gene expression of ion channel subunits regulating cardiac electrophysiology that persists into adulthood. Here, we discuss regional specific electrical responses to genetic
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The left and right ventricles of the four-chambered heart have distinct developmental origins and functions. Chamber-specific developmental programming underlies the differential gene expression of ion channel subunits regulating cardiac electrophysiology that persists into adulthood. Here, we discuss regional specific electrical responses to genetic mutations and cardiac stressors, their clinical correlations, and describe many of the multi-scale techniques commonly used to analyze electrophysiological regional heterogeneity. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Oxidative DNA Damage and Carotid Intima Media Thickness as Predictors of Cardiovascular Disease in Prediabetic Subjects
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 15; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010015 -
Abstract
Prediabetes is considered as a risk factor for the development of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. The present study was conducted with the aim of finding out the relationship between oxidative DNA damage and carotid intima media thickness for the prediction of cardiovascular
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Prediabetes is considered as a risk factor for the development of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. The present study was conducted with the aim of finding out the relationship between oxidative DNA damage and carotid intima media thickness for the prediction of cardiovascular disease in prediabetic subjects. The study included 100 prediabetic subjects and 100 normal individuals as controls. In both cases and controls, 8-OHdG was measured by ELISA, and CIMT was measured by B mode ultrasonography. Both 8-OHdG and CIMT were significantly higher in subjects with prediabetes as compared to controls (185.80 ± 10.72 pg/mL vs. 126.13 ± 16.01 pg/mL, p < 0.001 and 0.70 ± 0.04 mm vs. 0.57 ± 0.03 mm, p < 0.001, respectively). There was significant and positive correlation of IGT with 8-OHdG (r = 0.783; p < 0.001) and CIMT (r = 0.787; p < 0.001) in prediabetic subjects. Moreover, 8-OHdG showed significant positive correlation with CIMT (r = 0.704; p < 0.001) in prediabetic subjects. In conclusion, increased 8-OHdG and CIMT in prediabetic subjects indicate that biochemical changes of atherosclerosis start even before the onset of diabetes mellitus. Hence, 8-OHdG and CIMT could be used as indicators of cardiovascular disease risk in these subjects. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Roles of A-Kinase Anchoring Proteins and Phosphodiesterases in the Cardiovascular System
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 14; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010014 -
Abstract
A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are essential enzymes in the cyclic adenosine 3’-5’ monophosphate (cAMP) signaling cascade. They establish local cAMP pools by controlling the intensity, duration and compartmentalization of cyclic nucleotide-dependent signaling. Various members of the AKAP and
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A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are essential enzymes in the cyclic adenosine 3’-5’ monophosphate (cAMP) signaling cascade. They establish local cAMP pools by controlling the intensity, duration and compartmentalization of cyclic nucleotide-dependent signaling. Various members of the AKAP and PDE families are expressed in the cardiovascular system and direct important processes maintaining homeostatic functioning of the heart and vasculature, e.g., the endothelial barrier function and excitation-contraction coupling. Dysregulation of AKAP and PDE function is associated with pathophysiological conditions in the cardiovascular system including heart failure, hypertension and atherosclerosis. A number of diseases, including autosomal dominant hypertension with brachydactyly (HTNB) and type I long-QT syndrome (LQT1), result from mutations in genes encoding for distinct members of the two classes of enzymes. This review provides an overview over the AKAPs and PDEs relevant for cAMP compartmentalization in the heart and vasculature and discusses their pathophysiological role as well as highlights the potential benefits of targeting these proteins and their protein-protein interactions for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Hyperglycemia Alters the Structure and Hemodynamics of the Developing Embryonic Heart
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 13; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010013 -
Abstract
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) represent the most common form of human birth defects; approximately one-third of heart defects involve malformations of the outflow tract (OFT). Maternal diabetes increases the risk of CHD by 3–5 fold. During heart organogenesis, little is known about the
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Congenital heart defects (CHDs) represent the most common form of human birth defects; approximately one-third of heart defects involve malformations of the outflow tract (OFT). Maternal diabetes increases the risk of CHD by 3–5 fold. During heart organogenesis, little is known about the effects of hyperglycemia on hemodynamics, which are critical to normal heart development. Heart development prior to septation in the chick embryo was studied under hyperglycemic conditions. Sustained hyperglycemic conditions were induced, raising the average plasma glucose concentration from 70 mg/dL to 180 mg/dL, akin to the fasting plasma glucose of a patient with diabetes. The OFTs were assessed for structural and hemodynamic alterations using optical coherence tomography (OCT), confocal microscopy, and microcomputed tomography. In hyperglycemic embryos, the endocardial cushions of the proximal OFT were asymmetric, and the OFTs curvature and torsion were significantly altered. The blood flow velocity through the OFT of hyperglycemic embryos was significantly decreased, including flow reversal in 30% of the cardiac cycle. Thus, hyperglycemia at the onset of gestation results in asymmetric proximal endocardial cushions, abnormal OFT curvature, and altered hemodynamics in the developing heart. If present in humans, these results may identify early developmental alterations that contribute to the increased risk for cardiac malformations in babies from diabetic mothers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
A-Kinase Anchoring Protein-Lbc: A Molecular Scaffold Involved in Cardiac Protection
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 12; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010012 -
Abstract
Heart failure is a lethal disease that can develop after myocardial infarction, hypertension, or anticancer therapy. In the damaged heart, loss of function is mainly due to cardiomyocyte death and associated cardiac remodeling and fibrosis. In this context, A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) constitute
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Heart failure is a lethal disease that can develop after myocardial infarction, hypertension, or anticancer therapy. In the damaged heart, loss of function is mainly due to cardiomyocyte death and associated cardiac remodeling and fibrosis. In this context, A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) constitute a family of scaffolding proteins that facilitate the spatiotemporal activation of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and other transduction enzymes involved in cardiac remodeling. AKAP-Lbc, a cardiac enriched anchoring protein, has been shown to act as a key coordinator of the activity of signaling pathways involved in cardiac protection and remodeling. This review will summarize and discuss recent advances highlighting the role of the AKAP-Lbc signalosome in orchestrating adaptive responses in the stressed heart. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Is an Appreciation of Isomerism the Key to Unlocking the Mysteries of the Cardiac Findings in Heterotaxy?
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 11; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010011 -
Abstract
Pediatric cardiologists treating patients with severe congenital cardiac defects define “visceral heterotaxy” on the basis of isomerism of the atrial appendages. The isomeric features represent an obvious manifestation of disruption of left-right asymmetry during embryonic development. Thus, there are two subsets of individuals
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Pediatric cardiologists treating patients with severe congenital cardiac defects define “visceral heterotaxy” on the basis of isomerism of the atrial appendages. The isomeric features represent an obvious manifestation of disruption of left-right asymmetry during embryonic development. Thus, there are two subsets of individuals within the overall syndrome, with features of either right or left isomerism. Within the heart, it is only the atrial appendages that are truly isomeric. The remainder of the cardiac components shows variable morphology, as does the arrangement of the remaining body organs. Order is provided in this potentially chaotic arrangement simply by describing the specific features of each of the systems. These features as defined by clinicians, however, seem less well recognized by those investigating the developmental origins of the disruption of symmetry. Developmental biologists place much greater emphasis on ventricular looping. Although the direction of the loop can certainly be interpreted as representing an example of asymmetry, it is not comparable to the isomeric features that underscore the clinical syndromes. This is because, thus far, there is no evidence of ventricular isomerism, with the ventricles distinguished one from the other on the basis of their disparate anatomical features. In similar fashion, some consider transposition to represent abnormal lateralization, but again, clinical diagnosis depends on recognition of the lateralized features. In this review, therefore, we discuss the key questions that currently underscore the mismatch in the approaches to “lateralization” as taken by clinicians and developmental biologists. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Functions of PDE3 Isoforms in Cardiac Muscle
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 10; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010010 -
Abstract
Isoforms in the PDE3 family of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases have important roles in cyclic nucleotide-mediated signalling in cardiac myocytes. These enzymes are targeted by inhibitors used to increase contractility in patients with heart failure, with a combination of beneficial and adverse effects on
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Isoforms in the PDE3 family of cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases have important roles in cyclic nucleotide-mediated signalling in cardiac myocytes. These enzymes are targeted by inhibitors used to increase contractility in patients with heart failure, with a combination of beneficial and adverse effects on clinical outcomes. This review covers relevant aspects of the molecular biology of the isoforms that have been identified in cardiac myocytes; the roles of these enzymes in modulating cAMP-mediated signalling and the processes mediated thereby; and the potential for targeting these enzymes to improve the profile of clinical responses. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Epac Function and cAMP Scaffolds in the Heart and Lung
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 9; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010009 -
Abstract
Evidence collected over the last ten years indicates that Epac and cAMP scaffold proteins play a critical role in integrating and transducing multiple signaling pathways at the basis of cardiac and lung physiopathology. Some of the deleterious effects of Epac, such as cardiomyocyte
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Evidence collected over the last ten years indicates that Epac and cAMP scaffold proteins play a critical role in integrating and transducing multiple signaling pathways at the basis of cardiac and lung physiopathology. Some of the deleterious effects of Epac, such as cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and arrhythmia, initially described in vitro, have been confirmed in genetically modified mice for Epac1 and Epac2. Similar recent findings have been collected in the lung. The following sections will describe how Epac and cAMP signalosomes in different subcellular compartments may contribute to cardiac and lung diseases. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
PDE4-Mediated cAMP Signalling
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 8; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010008 -
Abstract
cAMP is the archetypal and ubiquitous second messenger utilised for the fine control of many cardiovascular cell signalling systems. The ability of cAMP to elicit cell surface receptor-specific responses relies on its compartmentalisation by cAMP hydrolysing enzymes known as phosphodiesterases. One family of
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cAMP is the archetypal and ubiquitous second messenger utilised for the fine control of many cardiovascular cell signalling systems. The ability of cAMP to elicit cell surface receptor-specific responses relies on its compartmentalisation by cAMP hydrolysing enzymes known as phosphodiesterases. One family of these enzymes, PDE4, is particularly important in the cardiovascular system, where it has been extensively studied and shown to orchestrate complex, localised signalling that underpins many crucial functions of the heart. In the cardiac myocyte, cAMP activates PKA, which phosphorylates a small subset of mostly sarcoplasmic substrate proteins that drive β-adrenergic enhancement of cardiac function. The phosphorylation of these substrates, many of which are involved in cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, has been shown to be tightly regulated by highly localised pools of individual PDE4 isoforms. The spatial and temporal regulation of cardiac signalling is made possible by the formation of macromolecular “signalosomes”, which often include a cAMP effector, such as PKA, its substrate, PDE4 and an anchoring protein such as an AKAP. Studies described in the present review highlight the importance of this relationship for individual cardiac PKA substrates and we provide an overview of how this signalling paradigm is coordinated to promote efficient adrenergic enhancement of cardiac function. The role of PDE4 also extends to the vascular endothelium, where it regulates vascular permeability and barrier function. In this distinct location, PDE4 interacts with adherens junctions to regulate their stability. These highly specific, non-redundant roles for PDE4 isoforms have far reaching therapeutic potential. PDE inhibitors in the clinic have been plagued with problems due to the active site-directed nature of the compounds which concomitantly attenuate PDE activity in all highly localised “signalosomes”. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Polymorphisms/Mutations in A-Kinase Anchoring Proteins (AKAPs): Role in the Cardiovascular System
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010007 -
Abstract
A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) belong to a family of scaffolding proteins that bind to protein kinase A (PKA) by definition and a variety of crucial proteins, including kinases, phosphatases, and phosphodiesterases. By scaffolding these proteins together, AKAPs build a “signalosome” at specific subcellular
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A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) belong to a family of scaffolding proteins that bind to protein kinase A (PKA) by definition and a variety of crucial proteins, including kinases, phosphatases, and phosphodiesterases. By scaffolding these proteins together, AKAPs build a “signalosome” at specific subcellular locations and compartmentalize PKA signaling. Thus, AKAPs are important for signal transduction after upstream activation of receptors ensuring accuracy and precision of intracellular PKA-dependent signaling pathways. Since their discovery in the 1980s, AKAPs have been studied extensively in the heart and have been proven essential in mediating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-PKA signaling. Although expression of AKAPs in the heart is very low, cardiac-specific knock-outs of several AKAPs have a noteworthy cardiac phenotype. Moreover, single nucleotide polymorphisms and genetic mutations in crucial cardiac proteins play a substantial role in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Despite the significant role of AKAPs in the cardiovascular system, a limited amount of research has focused on the role of genetic polymorphisms and/or mutations in AKAPs in increasing the risk of CVDs. This review attempts to overview the available literature on the polymorphisms/mutations in AKAPs and their effects on human health with a special focus on CVDs. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Cyclic Nucleotide-Directed Protein Kinases in Cardiovascular Inflammation and Growth
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010006 -
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including myocardial infarction (MI) and peripheral or coronary artery disease (PAD, CAD), remains the number one killer of individuals in the United States and worldwide, accounting for nearly 18 million (>30%) global deaths annually. Despite considerable basic science and clinical
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including myocardial infarction (MI) and peripheral or coronary artery disease (PAD, CAD), remains the number one killer of individuals in the United States and worldwide, accounting for nearly 18 million (>30%) global deaths annually. Despite considerable basic science and clinical investigation aimed at identifying key etiologic components of and potential therapeutic targets for CVD, the number of individuals afflicted with these dreaded diseases continues to rise. Of the many biochemical, molecular, and cellular elements and processes characterized to date that have potential to control foundational facets of CVD, the multifaceted cyclic nucleotide pathways continue to be of primary basic science and clinical interest. Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cyclic GMP) and their plethora of downstream protein kinase effectors serve ubiquitous roles not only in cardiovascular homeostasis but also in the pathogenesis of CVD. Already a major target for clinical pharmacotherapy for CVD as well as other pathologies, novel and potentially clinically appealing actions of cyclic nucleotides and their downstream targets are still being discovered. With this in mind, this review article focuses on our current state of knowledge of the cyclic nucleotide-driven serine (Ser)/threonine (Thr) protein kinases in CVD with particular emphasis on cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Attention is given to the regulatory interactions of these kinases with inflammatory components including interleukin 6 signals, with G protein-coupled receptor and growth factor signals, and with growth and synthetic transcriptional platforms underlying CVD pathogenesis. This article concludes with a brief discussion of potential future directions and highlights the importance for continued basic science and clinical study of cyclic nucleotide-directed protein kinases as emerging and crucial controllers of cardiac and vascular disease pathologies. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease in 2017
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010005 -
Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease maintains high quality standards for its published papers[...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Imaging of PDE2- and PDE3-Mediated cGMP-to-cAMP Cross-Talk in Cardiomyocytes
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010004 -
Abstract
Cyclic nucleotides 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and 3′,5′-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) are important second messengers that regulate cardiovascular function and disease by acting in discrete subcellular microdomains. Signaling compartmentation at these locations is often regulated by phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Some PDEs are also involved
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Cyclic nucleotides 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and 3′,5′-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) are important second messengers that regulate cardiovascular function and disease by acting in discrete subcellular microdomains. Signaling compartmentation at these locations is often regulated by phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Some PDEs are also involved in the cross-talk between the two second messengers. The purpose of this review is to summarize and highlight recent findings about the role of PDE2 and PDE3 in cardiomyocyte cyclic nucleotide compartmentation and visualization of this process using live cell imaging techniques. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Pre-Eclampsia and Eclampsia: An Update on the Pharmacological Treatment Applied in Portugal
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/jcdd5010003 -
Abstract
Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are two hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, considered major causes of maternal and perinatal death worldwide. Pre-eclampsia is a multisystemic disease characterized by the development of hypertension after 20 weeks of gestation, with the presence of proteinuria or, in its absence,
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Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are two hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, considered major causes of maternal and perinatal death worldwide. Pre-eclampsia is a multisystemic disease characterized by the development of hypertension after 20 weeks of gestation, with the presence of proteinuria or, in its absence, of signs or symptoms indicative of target organ injury. Eclampsia represents the consequence of brain injuries caused by pre-eclampsia. The correct diagnosis and classification of the disease are essential, since the therapies for the mild and severe forms of pre-eclampsia are different. Thus, this review aims to describe the most advisable antepartum pharmacotherapy for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia applied in Portugal and based on several national and international available guidelines. Slow-release nifedipine is the most recommended drug for mild pre-eclampsia, and labetalol is the drug of choice for the severe form of the disease. Magnesium sulfate is used to prevent seizures caused by eclampsia. Corticosteroids are used for fetal lung maturation. Overall, the pharmacological prevention of these diseases is limited to low-dose aspirin, so it is important to establish the safest and most effective available treatment. Full article
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