J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2015, 2(2), 66-75; doi:10.3390/jcdd2020066 - published 24 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Background/Aim: It is still controversial whether tighter glycemic control is associated with better clinical outcomes in patients with kidney failure. We examined the association between glucose serum concentrations and cardiovascular disease in patients on the end stage of renal disease without diabetes mellitus. Methods: We studied 76 patients on on-line hemodiafiltration. Cardiovascular disease was defined by the existence of coronary disease (CD). Arterial stiffness was measured as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (c-fPWV) and carotid augmentation index (AIx). The concentrations of beta2-microglobulin (β2M) and insulin were measured by radioimmunoassays and insulin resistance by HOMA-IR. We built a logistic-regression analysis to examine the role of glucose on cardiovascular disease after adjustment for the traditional and specific risk factors for dialysis patients. Results: Serum glucose was positively correlated with beta2M, insulin and HOMA-IR (r = 0.361, p = 0.002, r = 0.581, p = 0.001 and r = 0.753, p = 0.001 respectively). Logistic-regression analysis did not show significant impact of glucose concentrations on cardiovascular disease after adjustment for traditional and specific risk factors. Conclusions: The association between elevated glucose serum concentrations and represented by coronary syndrome cardiovascular disease in patients on the end stage of renal disease without diabetes mellitus was not found significant.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2015, 2(2), 48-65; doi:10.3390/jcdd2020048 - published 21 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: MYBPC3 mutations cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is frequently associated with mitral valve (MV) pathology. We reasoned that increased MV size is caused by localized growth factors with paracrine effects. We used high-resolution echocardiography to compare Mybpc3-null, heterozygous, and wild-type mice (n = 84, aged 3–6 months) and micro-CT for MV volume (n = 6, age 6 months). Mybpc3-null mice showed left ventricular hypertrophy, dilation, and systolic dysfunction compared to heterozygous and wild-type mice, but no systolic anterior motion of the MV or left ventricular outflow obstruction. Compared to wild-type mice, echocardiographic anterior leaflet length (adjusted for left ventricular size) was greatest in Mybpc3-null mice (1.92 ± 0.08 vs. 1.72 ± 0.08 mm, p < 0.001), as was combined leaflet thickness (0.23 ± 0.04 vs. 0.15 ± 0.02 mm, p < 0.001). Micro-CT analyses of Mybpc3-null mice demonstrated increased MV volume (0.47 ± 0.06 vs. 0.15 ± 0.06 mm3, p = 0.018) and thickness (0.35 ± 0.04 vs. 0.12 ± 0.04 mm, p = 0.002), coincident with increased markers of TGFβ activity compared to heterozygous and wild-type littermates. Similarly, excised MV from a patient with MYBPC3 mutation showed increased TGFβ activity. We conclude that MYBPC3 deficiency causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with increased MV leaflet length and thickness despite the absence of left ventricular outflow-tract obstruction, in parallel with increased TGFβ activity. MV changes in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may be due to paracrine effects, which represent targets for therapeutic studies.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2015, 2(2), 31-47; doi:10.3390/jcdd2020031 - published 15 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In addition to increased differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells into osteoblast-like phenotypes, the limited accumulation of osteoclasts in atherosclerotic plaques or their dysfunction may participate in potential mechanisms for vascular calcification. N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate transferase containing alpha and beta subunits (GNPTAB) is a transmembrane enzyme complex that mediates the vesicular transport of lysosomal hydrolases. GNPTAB may also regulate the biogenesis of lysosomal hydrolases from bone-marrow derived osteoclasts. In this study, the areas surrounding calcification in human atherosclerotic plaques contained high levels of GNPTAB and low levels of lysosomal hydrolases such as cathepsin K (CTSK) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and laser-capture microdissection-assisted mRNA expression analysis. We therefore hypothesized that GNPTAB secretion may suppress the release of CTSK and TRAP by vascular osteoclast-like cells, thus causing their dysfunction and reducing the resorption of calcification. We used human primary macrophages derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells, an established osteoclast differentiation model. GNPTAB siRNA silencing accelerated the formation of functional osteoclasts as detected by increased secretion of CTSK and TRAP and increased their bone resorption activity as gauged by resorption pits assay. We concluded that high levels of GNPTAB inhibit secretion of lysosomal hydrolases in dysfunctional osteoclasts, thereby affecting their resorption potential in cardiovascular calcification.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2015, 2(1), 17-30; doi:10.3390/jcdd2010017 - published 9 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in humans. While the exact etiology is unknown, genetic factors play an important role. Mutations in NOTCH1 have been linked to bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) and aortopathy in humans. The aim of this study was to determine if haploinsufficiency of Notch1 contributes to aortopathy using Notch1+/−; Nos3−/−mice. Echocardiographic analysis of Notch1+/−; Nos3−/−mice reveals effacement of the sinotubular junction and a trend toward dilation of the aortic sinus. Furthermore, examination of the proximal aorta of Notch1+/−; Nos3−/− mice reveals elastic fiber degradation, a trend toward increased matrix metalloproteinase 2 expression, and increased smooth muscle cell apoptosis, features characteristic of aneurysmal disease. Although at a lower penetrance, we also found features consistent with aortopathic changes in Notch1 heterozygote mice and in Nos3-null mice. Our findings implicate a novel role for Notch1 in aortopathy of the proximal aorta.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2015, 2(1), 2-16; doi:10.3390/jcdd2010002 - published 16 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Many of the major discoveries in the fields of genetics and developmental biology have been made using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. With regard to heart development, the conserved network of core cardiac transcription factors that underlies cardiogenesis has been studied in great detail in the fly, and the importance of several signaling pathways that regulate heart morphogenesis, such as Slit/Robo, was first shown in the fly model. Recent technological advances have led to a large increase in the genomic data available from patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). This has highlighted a number of candidate genes and gene networks that are potentially involved in CHD. To validate genes and genetic interactions among candidate CHD-causing alleles and to better understand heart formation in general are major tasks. The specific limitations of the various cardiac model systems currently employed (mammalian and fish models) provide a niche for the fly model, despite its evolutionary distance to vertebrates and humans. Here, we review recent advances made using the Drosophila embryo that identify factors relevant for heart formation. These underline how this model organism still is invaluable for a better understanding of CHD.