Special Issue "Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species"

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2016).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sonja Fonfara
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
Interests: myocardial inflammation; extracellular matrix remodeling; cardiomyopathy; cardiac comorbidities
Dr. Lynne O’Sullivan
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
Interests: the pathophysiology; diagnosis; and therapy of canine dilated cardiomyopathy; echocardiographic assessment of systolic and diastolic function

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Already in 1964 a conference on comparative cardiology was held in an attempt to raise the awareness of the mutual gain that an exchange and collaboration of interdisciplinary research groups might have. The organizers of this conference were motivated by the “thought that much information might be available but not well distributed”, and to enable an exchange of “scientists of widely divergent disciplines who are not frequently in communication with each other" (Hecht, 1965, Annals of NY Acad Sci, 127, 5–6).

Despite the fact that over 50 years have gone by since, the situation is still similar. Cardiovascular diseases are one of the most important diseases in human and veterinary medicine and, despite several decades of research, are still far from being completely understood. However, in recent years the awareness, research and knowledge in veterinary medicine have markedly increased.

Several similarities exist between human and veterinary cardiovascular diseases, the diseases and presentations are similar, our pet population lives in the same environment as us and develops, with an increasing age, similar comorbidities, such as obesity, systemic hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. However, despite the common use of large animal models in human cardiac research, the awareness of naturally occurring cardiac diseases and therefore the potential these might offer is only sparsely explored. Furthermore, options are not limited to cardiovascular diseases. Horses, for example, a highly athletic species with dominant parasympathetic system, might provide an interesting approach to interspecies athletic cardiac remodeling and the pathophysiology of atrial fibrillation.

Both the awareness of similarities and differences of cardiovascular physiology and pathology between species might provide aspects that will contribute to our understanding of complex cardiovascular disease processes.

This special issue is an exciting chance to experience and exchange scientific knowledge of diverse research groups and will hopefully stimulate future research and additional cooperative interdisciplinary endeavors.

Dr. Sonja Fonfara
Dr. Lynne O’Sullivan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Veterinary Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Acquired cardiac disease
  • Arrhythmia
  • Autonomous nervous system
  • Athletic hearts
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Bradyarrhythmia
  • Cardiac biomarkers
  • Cardiac conduction
  • Cardiac remodelling
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coronary artery
  • Congenital cardiac disease
  • ECG
  • Echocardiography
  • Endocrine system
  • Endothelial function
  • Genetics
  • Imaging
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System
  • Tachyarrhythmia
  • Therapeutics
  • Valvular disease
  • Vascular abnormalities
  • Vasopressin

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Myocardial Adiponectin Isoform Shift in Dogs with Congestive Heart Failure—A Comparison to Hibernating Brown Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis)
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4030035 - 20 Jul 2017
Abstract
Adiponectin is the most abundant plasma adipokine, and is well known for its role in energy homeostasis and cardiac protection. In humans with dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial adiponectin protein expression is reduced compared to normal hearts and has been implicated in the pathology of [...] Read more.
Adiponectin is the most abundant plasma adipokine, and is well known for its role in energy homeostasis and cardiac protection. In humans with dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial adiponectin protein expression is reduced compared to normal hearts and has been implicated in the pathology of cardiomyopathy. Serum adiponectin levels are often conflicting, with higher levels associated with poor survival in humans with congestive heart failure (CHF). We evaluated adiponectin serum concentrations and myocardial protein expression in dogs with naturally occurring myxomatous mitral valve disease and CHF. We compared the findings to active and hibernating brown bears as bears are adapted to endure an extreme period of low cardiac output during their annual hibernation. Bears exhibited largely the active high-molecular weight (HMW) versus the low-molecular weight isoforms of myocardial adiponectin (HMW:LMW = 6.3) during both the active period and hibernation, while healthy dogs exhibited a more balanced mix of isoforms. Dogs with CHF expressed predominately HMW isoforms of adiponectin (HMW:LMW = 12.5), appearing more similar to bears. In contrast to humans, serum adiponectin was significantly lower in dogs with CHF and lowest levels in the severest CHF class. In both dogs and bears, myocardial adiponectin was expressed independent of circulating adiponectin concentrations, suggesting a local regulatory mechanism within the heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping Heart Development in Flies: Src42A Acts Non-Autonomously to Promote Heart Tube Formation in Drosophila
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020023 - 24 Apr 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Congenital heart defects, clinically identified in both small and large animals, are multifactorial and complex. Although heritable factors are known to have a role in cardiovascular disease, the full genetic aetiology remains unclear. Model organism research has proven valuable in providing a deeper [...] Read more.
Congenital heart defects, clinically identified in both small and large animals, are multifactorial and complex. Although heritable factors are known to have a role in cardiovascular disease, the full genetic aetiology remains unclear. Model organism research has proven valuable in providing a deeper understanding of the essential factors in heart development. For example, mouse knock-out studies reveal a role for the Integrin adhesion receptor in cardiac tissue. Recent research in Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly), a powerful experimental model, has demonstrated that the link between the extracellular matrix and the cell, mediated by Integrins, is required for multiple aspects of cardiogenesis. Here we test the hypothesis that Integrins signal to the heart cells through Src42A kinase. Using the powerful genetics and cell biology analysis possible in Drosophila, we demonstrate that Src42A acts in early events of heart tube development. Careful examination of mutant heart tissue and genetic interaction data suggests that Src42A’s role is independent of Integrin and the Integrin-related Focal Adhesion Kinase. Rather, Src42A acts non-autonomously by promoting programmed cell death of the amnioserosa, a transient tissue that neighbors the developing heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Review of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approach to Canine Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4040047 - 26 Sep 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
The most common heart disease that affects dogs is myxomatous mitral valve disease. In this article, we review the current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to this disease, and we also present some of the latest technological advancements in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessReview
Comparative Transcriptomic Profiling and Gene Expression for Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease in the Dog and Human
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4030034 - 17 Jul 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Myxomatous mitral valve disease is the single most important mitral valve disease in both dogs and humans. In the case of the dog it is ubiquitous, such that all aged dogs will have some evidence of the disease, and for humans it is [...] Read more.
Myxomatous mitral valve disease is the single most important mitral valve disease in both dogs and humans. In the case of the dog it is ubiquitous, such that all aged dogs will have some evidence of the disease, and for humans it is known as Barlow’s disease and affects up to 3% of the population, with an expected increase in prevalence as the population ages. Disease in the two species show many similarities and while both have the classic myxomatous degeneration only in humans is there extensive fibrosis. This dual pathology of the human disease markedly affects the valve transcriptome and the difference between the dog and human is dominated by changes in genes associated with fibrosis. This review will briefly examine the comparative valve pathology and then, in more detail, the transcriptomic profiling and gene expression reported so far for both species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessReview
Dissecting the Role of the Extracellular Matrix in Heart Disease: Lessons from the Drosophila Genetic Model
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020024 - 24 Apr 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic scaffold within organs and tissues that enables cell morphogenesis and provides structural support. Changes in the composition and organisation of the cardiac ECM are required for normal development. Congenital and age-related cardiac diseases can arise from [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic scaffold within organs and tissues that enables cell morphogenesis and provides structural support. Changes in the composition and organisation of the cardiac ECM are required for normal development. Congenital and age-related cardiac diseases can arise from mis-regulation of structural ECM proteins (Collagen, Laminin) or their receptors (Integrin). Key regulators of ECM turnover include matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors, tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs). MMP expression is increased in mice, pigs, and dogs with cardiomyopathy. The complexity and longevity of vertebrate animals makes a short-lived, genetically tractable model organism, such as Drosophila melanogaster, an attractive candidate for study. We survey ECM macromolecules and their role in heart development and growth, which are conserved between Drosophila and vertebrates, with focus upon the consequences of altered expression or distribution. The Drosophila heart resembles that of vertebrates during early development, and is amenable to in vivo analysis. Experimental manipulation of gene function in a tissue- or temporally-regulated manner can reveal the function of adhesion or ECM genes in the heart. Perturbation of the function of ECM proteins, or of the MMPs that facilitate ECM remodelling, induces cardiomyopathies in Drosophila, including cardiodilation, arrhythmia, and cardia bifida, that provide mechanistic insight into cardiac disease in mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessReview
Coronary Artery Anomalies in Animals
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020020 - 12 Apr 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Coronary artery anomalies represent a disease spectrum from incidental to life-threatening. Anomalies of coronary artery origin and course are well-recognized in human medicine, but have received limited attention in veterinary medicine. Coronary artery anomalies are best described in the dog, hamster, and cow [...] Read more.
Coronary artery anomalies represent a disease spectrum from incidental to life-threatening. Anomalies of coronary artery origin and course are well-recognized in human medicine, but have received limited attention in veterinary medicine. Coronary artery anomalies are best described in the dog, hamster, and cow though reports also exist in the horse and pig. The most well-known anomaly in veterinary medicine is anomalous coronary artery origin with a prepulmonary course in dogs, which limits treatment of pulmonary valve stenosis. A categorization scheme for coronary artery anomalies in animals is suggested, dividing these anomalies into those of major or minor clinical significance. A review of coronary artery development, anatomy, and reported anomalies in domesticated species is provided and four novel canine examples of anomalous coronary artery origin are described: an English bulldog with single left coronary ostium and a retroaortic right coronary artery; an English bulldog with single right coronary ostium and transseptal left coronary artery; an English bulldog with single right coronary ostium and absent left coronary artery with a prepulmonary paraconal interventricular branch and an interarterial circumflex branch; and a mixed-breed dog with tetralogy of Fallot and anomalous origin of all coronary branches from the brachiocephalic trunk. Coronary arterial fistulae are also described including a coronary cameral fistula in a llama cria and an English bulldog with coronary artery aneurysm and anomalous shunting vessels from the right coronary artery to the pulmonary trunk. These examples are provided with the intent to raise awareness and improve understanding of such defects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessReview
Genomic Insights into Cardiomyopathies: A Comparative Cross-Species Review
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4010019 - 21 Mar 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
In the global human population, the leading cause of non-communicable death is cardiovascular disease. It is predicted that by 2030, deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease will have risen to over 20 million per year. This review compares the cardiomyopathies in both human and [...] Read more.
In the global human population, the leading cause of non-communicable death is cardiovascular disease. It is predicted that by 2030, deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease will have risen to over 20 million per year. This review compares the cardiomyopathies in both human and non-human animals and identifies the genetic associations for each disorder in each species/taxonomic group. Despite differences between species, advances in human medicine can be gained by utilising animal models of cardiac disease; likewise, gains can be made in animal medicine from human genomic insights. Advances could include undertaking regular clinical checks in individuals susceptible to cardiomyopathy, genetic testing prior to breeding, and careful administration of breeding programmes (in non-human animals), further development of treatment regimes, and drugs and diagnostic techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
Open AccessReview
Exercise-Induced Cardiac Remodeling: Lessons from Humans, Horses, and Dogs
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4010009 - 12 Feb 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Physical activity is dependent upon the cardiovascular system adequately delivering blood to meet the metabolic and thermoregulatory demands of exercise. Animals who regularly exercise therefore require a well-adapted heart to support this delivery. The purpose of this review is to examine cardiac structure, [...] Read more.
Physical activity is dependent upon the cardiovascular system adequately delivering blood to meet the metabolic and thermoregulatory demands of exercise. Animals who regularly exercise therefore require a well-adapted heart to support this delivery. The purpose of this review is to examine cardiac structure, and the potential for exercise-induced cardiac remodeling, in animals that regularly engage in strenuous activity. Specifically, we draw upon the literature that has studied the “athlete’s heart” in humans, horses, and dogs, to enable the reader to compare and contrast cardiac remodeling in these three athletic species. The available literature provides compelling evidence for exercise-induced cardiac remodeling in all three species. However, more work is required to understand the influence of species/breed specific genetics and exercise-related hemodynamics, in order to fully understand the impact of exercise on cardiac structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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