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J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis., Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2016) – 5 articles

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Review
Part and Parcel of the Cardiac Autonomic Nerve System: Unravelling Its Cellular Building Blocks during Development
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd3030028 - 12 Sep 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4592
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 arrhythmias [...] 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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Review
Heart Failure in Patients with Preserved Ejection Fraction: Questions Concerning Clinical Progression
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd3030027 - 08 Sep 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2273
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 of [...] 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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure Pathogenesis and Management)
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Review
The Function of the MEF2 Family of Transcription Factors in Cardiac Development, Cardiogenomics, and Direct Reprogramming
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd3030026 - 11 Aug 2016
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 3392
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 incorporate [...] 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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Myocardial Reprogramming in Development and Regeneration)
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Review
Ciona as a Simple Chordate Model for Heart Development and Regeneration
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd3030025 - 09 Aug 2016
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3360
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 Chordate, [...] 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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-mammalian Animal Models to Study Heart Development and Disease)
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Review
Stem Cell Therapy and Congenital Heart Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2016, 3(3), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd3030024 - 05 Jul 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2829
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 application [...] 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
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