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J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis., Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2017) – 4 articles

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Development and Function of the Cardiac Conduction System in Health and Disease
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(2), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4020007 - 07 Jun 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
The generation and propagation of the cardiac impulse is the central function of the cardiac conduction system (CCS). Impulse initiation occurs in nodal tissues that have high levels of automaticity, but slow conduction properties. Rapid impulse propagation is a feature of the ventricular [...] Read more.
The generation and propagation of the cardiac impulse is the central function of the cardiac conduction system (CCS). Impulse initiation occurs in nodal tissues that have high levels of automaticity, but slow conduction properties. Rapid impulse propagation is a feature of the ventricular conduction system, which is essential for synchronized contraction of the ventricular chambers. When functioning properly, the CCS produces ~2.4 billion heartbeats during a human lifetime and orchestrates the flow of cardiac impulses, designed to maximize cardiac output. Abnormal impulse initiation or propagation can result in brady- and tachy-arrhythmias, producing an array of symptoms, including syncope, heart failure or sudden cardiac death. Underlying the functional diversity of the CCS are gene regulatory networks that direct cell fate towards a nodal or a fast conduction gene program. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of the transcriptional networks that dictate the components of the CCS, the growth factor-dependent signaling pathways that orchestrate some of these transcriptional hierarchies and the effect of aberrant transcription factor expression on mammalian conduction disease. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Breast Cancer Clinical Trial of Chemotherapy and Trastuzumab: Potential Tool to Identify Cardiac Modifying Variants of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(2), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4020006 - 04 May 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2174
Abstract
Doxorubicin and the ERBB2 targeted therapy, trastuzumab, are routinely used in the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer. In mouse models, doxorubicin is known to cause cardiomyopathy and conditional cardiac knock out of Erbb2 results in dilated cardiomyopathy and increased sensitivity to doxorubicin-induced cell [...] Read more.
Doxorubicin and the ERBB2 targeted therapy, trastuzumab, are routinely used in the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer. In mouse models, doxorubicin is known to cause cardiomyopathy and conditional cardiac knock out of Erbb2 results in dilated cardiomyopathy and increased sensitivity to doxorubicin-induced cell death. In humans, these drugs also result in cardiac phenotypes, but severity and reversibility is highly variable. We examined the association of decline in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at 15,204 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning 72 cardiomyopathy genes, in 800 breast cancer patients who received doxorubicin and trastuzumab. For 7033 common SNPs (minor allele frequency (MAF) > 0.01) we performed single marker linear regression. For all SNPs, we performed gene-based testing with SNP-set (Sequence) Kernel Association Tests: SKAT, SKAT-O and SKAT-common/rare under rare variant non-burden; rare variant optimized burden and non-burden tests; and a combination of rare and common variants respectively. Single marker analyses identified seven missense variants in OBSCN (p = 0.0045–0.0009, MAF = 0.18–0.50) and two in TTN (both p = 0.04, MAF = 0.22). Gene-based rare variant analyses, SKAT and SKAT-O, performed very similarly (ILK, TCAP, DSC2, VCL, FXN, DSP and KCNQ1, p = 0.042–0.006). Gene-based tests of rare/common variants were significant at the nominal 5% level for OBSCN as well as TCAP, DSC2, VCL, NEXN, KCNJ2 and DMD (p = 0.044–0.008). Our results suggest that rare and common variants in OBSCN, as well as in other genes, could have modifying effects in cardiomyopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Treatment of Dilated Cardiomyopathy)
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Open AccessReview
Lineages of the Cardiac Conduction System
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(2), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4020005 - 02 May 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4015
Abstract
The cardiac conduction system (CCS) initiates and coordinately propagates the electrical impulse to orchestrate the heartbeat. It consists of a set of interconnected components with shared properties. A better understanding of the origin and specification of CCS lineages has allowed us to better [...] Read more.
The cardiac conduction system (CCS) initiates and coordinately propagates the electrical impulse to orchestrate the heartbeat. It consists of a set of interconnected components with shared properties. A better understanding of the origin and specification of CCS lineages has allowed us to better comprehend the etiology of CCS disease and has provided leads for development of therapies. A variety of technologies and approaches have been used to investigate CCS lineages, which will be summarized in this review. The findings imply that there is not a single CCS lineage. In contrast, early cell fate decisions segregate the lineages of the CCS components while they remain connected to each other. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
On the Evolution of the Cardiac Pacemaker
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2017, 4(2), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd4020004 - 27 Apr 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3851
Abstract
The rhythmic contraction of the heart is initiated and controlled by an intrinsic pacemaker system. Cardiac contractions commence at very early embryonic stages and coordination remains crucial for survival. The underlying molecular mechanisms of pacemaker cell development and function are still not fully [...] Read more.
The rhythmic contraction of the heart is initiated and controlled by an intrinsic pacemaker system. Cardiac contractions commence at very early embryonic stages and coordination remains crucial for survival. The underlying molecular mechanisms of pacemaker cell development and function are still not fully understood. Heart form and function show high evolutionary conservation. Even in simple contractile cardiac tubes in primitive invertebrates, cardiac function is controlled by intrinsic, autonomous pacemaker cells. Understanding the evolutionary origin and development of cardiac pacemaker cells will help us outline the important pathways and factors involved. Key patterning factors, such as the homeodomain transcription factors Nkx2.5 and Shox2, and the LIM-homeodomain transcription factor Islet-1, components of the T-box (Tbx), and bone morphogenic protein (Bmp) families are well conserved. Here we compare the dominant pacemaking systems in various organisms with respect to the underlying molecular regulation. Comparative analysis of the pathways involved in patterning the pacemaker domain in an evolutionary context might help us outline a common fundamental pacemaker cell gene programme. Special focus is given to pacemaker development in zebrafish, an extensively used model for vertebrate development. Finally, we conclude with a summary of highly conserved key factors in pacemaker cell development and function. Full article
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