Activin A and follistatin-like 3 determine the susceptibility of heart to ischemic injury.
ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor-beta family cytokines have diverse actions in the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis. Activin A is a member of this family whose regulation and function in heart are not well understood at a molecular level. Follistatin-like 3 (Fstl3) is an extracellular regulator of activin A protein, and its function in the heart is also unknown.We analyzed the expression of various transforming growth factor-beta superfamily cytokines and their binding partners in mouse heart. Activin betaA and Fstl3 were upregulated in models of myocardial injury. Overexpression of activin A with an adenoviral vector (Ad-actbetaA) or treatment with recombinant activin A protein protected cultured myocytes from hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis. Systemic overexpression of activin A in mice by intravenous injection of Ad-actbetaA protected hearts from ischemia/reperfusion injury. Activin A induced the expression of Bcl-2, and ablation of Bcl-2 by small interfering RNA abrogated its protective action in myocytes. The protective effect of activin A on cultured myocytes was abolished by treatment with Fstl3 or by a pharmacological activin receptor-like kinase inhibitor. Cardiac-specific Fstl3 knockout mice showed significantly smaller infarcts after ischemia/reperfusion injury that was accompanied by reduced apoptosis.Activin A and Fstl3 are induced in heart by myocardial stress. Activin A protects myocytes from death, and this activity is antagonized by Fstl3. Thus, the relative expression levels of these factors after injury is a determinant of cell survival in the heart.
Project description:Activin A and myostatin, members of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-? superfamily of secreted factors, are potent negative regulators of muscle growth, but their contribution to myocardial ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury is not known. The aim of this study was to investigate if activin 2B (ACVR2B) receptor ligands contribute to myocardial IR injury. Mice were treated with soluble ACVR2B decoy receptor (ACVR2B-Fc) and subjected to myocardial ischemia followed by reperfusion for 6 or 24 h. Systemic blockade of ACVR2B ligands by ACVR2B-Fc was protective against cardiac IR injury, as evidenced by reduced infarcted area, apoptosis, and autophagy and better preserved LV systolic function following IR. ACVR2B-Fc modified cardiac metabolism, LV mitochondrial respiration, as well as cardiac phenotype toward physiological hypertrophy. Similar to its protective role in IR injury in vivo, ACVR2B-Fc antagonized SMAD2 signaling and cell death in cardiomyocytes that were subjected to hypoxic stress. ACVR2B ligand myostatin was found to exacerbate hypoxic stress. In addition to acute cardioprotection in ischemia, ACVR2B-Fc provided beneficial effects on cardiac function in prolonged cardiac stress in cardiotoxicity model. By blocking myostatin, ACVR2B-Fc potentially reduces cardiomyocyte death and modifies cardiomyocyte metabolism for hypoxic conditions to protect the heart from IR injury.
Project description:NAD+ acts not only as a cofactor for cellular respiration but also as a substrate for NAD(+)-dependent enzymes, such as Sirt1. The cellular NAD+ synthesis is regulated by both the de novo and the salvage pathways. Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the salvage pathway.Here we investigated the role of Nampt in mediating NAD+ synthesis in cardiac myocytes and the function of Nampt in the heart in vivo.Expression of Nampt in the heart was significantly decreased by ischemia, ischemia/reperfusion and pressure overload. Upregulation of Nampt significantly increased NAD+ and ATP concentrations, whereas downregulation of Nampt significantly decreased them. Downregulation of Nampt increased caspase 3 cleavage, cytochrome c release, and TUNEL-positive cells, which were inhibited in the presence of Bcl-xL, but did not increase hairpin 2-positive cells, suggesting that endogenous Nampt negatively regulates apoptosis but not necrosis. Downregulation of Nampt also impaired autophagic flux, suggesting that endogenous Nampt positively regulates autophagy. Cardiac-specific overexpression of Nampt in transgenic mice increased NAD+ content in the heart, prevented downregulation of Nampt, and reduced the size of myocardial infarction and apoptosis in response to prolonged ischemia and ischemia/reperfusion.Nampt critically regulates NAD+ and ATP contents, thereby playing an essential role in mediating cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis and stimulating autophagic flux in cardiac myocytes. Preventing downregulation of Nampt inhibits myocardial injury in response to myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. These results suggest that Nampt is an essential gatekeeper of energy status and survival in cardiac myocytes.
Project description:Heart disease remains the leading cause of death globally. Although reperfusion following myocardial ischemia can prevent death by restoring nutrient flow, ischemia/reperfusion injury can cause significant heart damage. The mechanisms that drive ischemia/reperfusion injury are not well understood; currently, few methods can predict the state of the cardiac muscle cell and its metabolic conditions during ischemia. Here, we explored the energetic sustainability of cardiomyocytes, using a model for cellular metabolism to predict the levels of ATP following hypoxia. We modeled glycolytic metabolism with a system of coupled ordinary differential equations describing the individual metabolic reactions within the cardiomyocyte over time. Reduced oxygen levels and ATP consumption rates were simulated to characterize metabolite responses to ischemia. By tracking biochemical species within the cell, our model enables prediction of the cell’s condition up to the moment of reperfusion. The simulations revealed a distinct transition between energetically sustainable and unsustainable ATP concentrations for various energetic demands. Our model illustrates how even low oxygen concentrations allow the cell to perform essential functions. We found that the oxygen level required for a sustainable level of ATP increases roughly linearly with the ATP consumption rate. An extracellular O2 concentration of ~0.007 mM could supply basic energy needs in non-beating cardiomyocytes, suggesting that increased collateral circulation may provide an important source of oxygen to sustain the cardiomyocyte during extended ischemia. Our model provides a time-dependent framework for studying various intervention strategies to change the outcome of reperfusion.
Project description:Acute coronary syndrome is a leading cause of death in developed countries. Follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1) is a myocyte-derived secreted protein that is upregulated in the heart in response to ischemic insult. Here, we investigated the therapeutic impact of FSTL1 on acute cardiac injury in small and large preclinical animal models of ischemia/reperfusion and dissected its molecular mechanism.Administration of human FSTL1 protein significantly attenuated myocardial infarct size in a mouse or pig model of ischemia/reperfusion, which was associated with a reduction of apoptosis and inflammatory responses in the ischemic heart. Administration of FSTL1 enhanced the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase in the ischemia/reperfusion-injured heart. In cultured cardiac myocytes, FSTL1 suppressed apoptosis in response to hypoxia/reoxygenation and lipopolysaccharide-stimulated expression of proinflammatory genes through its ability to activate AMP-activated protein kinase. Ischemia/reperfusion led to enhancement of bone morphogenetic protein-4 expression and Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation in the heart, and FSTL1 suppressed the increased phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8 in ischemic myocardium. Treating cardiac myocytes with FSTL1 abolished the bone morphogenetic protein-4-stimulated increase in apoptosis, Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation, and proinflammatory gene expression. In cultured macrophages, FSTL1 diminished lipopolysaccharide-stimulated expression of proinflammatory genes via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase and abolished bone morphogenetic protein-4-dependent induction of proinflammatory mediators.Our data indicate that FSTL1 can prevent myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury by inhibiting apoptosis and inflammatory response through modulation of AMP-activated protein kinase- and bone morphogenetic protein-4-dependent mechanisms, suggesting that FSTL1 could represent a novel therapeutic target for post-myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-? family cytokines have diverse actions in the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis. Follistatin-like 3 (Fstl3) is an extracellular regulator of certain TGF-? family members, including activin A. The aim of this study was to examine the role of Fstl3 in cardiac hypertrophy. Cardiac myocyte-specific Fstl3 knock-out (KO) mice and control mice were subjected to pressure overload induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Cardiac hypertrophy was assessed by echocardiography and histological and biochemical methods. KO mice showed reduced cardiac hypertrophy, pulmonary congestion, concentric LV wall thickness, LV dilatation, and LV systolic dysfunction after TAC compared with control mice. KO mice displayed attenuated increases in cardiomyocyte cell surface area and interstitial fibrosis following pressure overload. Although activin A was similarly up-regulated in KO and control mice after TAC, a significant increase in Smad2 phosphorylation only occurred in KO mice. Knockdown of Fstl3 in cultured cardiomyocytes inhibited PE-induced cardiac hypertrophy. Conversely, adenovirus-mediated Fstl3 overexpression blocked the inhibitory action of activin A on hypertrophy and Smad2 activation. Transduction with Smad7, a negative regulator of Smad2 signaling, blocked the antihypertrophic actions of activin A stimulation or Fstl3 ablation. These findings identify Fstl3 as a stress-induced regulator of hypertrophy that controls myocyte size via regulation of Smad signaling.
Project description:We propose that the fetal heart is highly resilient to hypoxic stress. Our objective was to elucidate the human fetal gene expression profile in response to simulated ischemia and reperfusion to identify molecular targets that account for the innate cardioprotection exhibited by the fetal phenotype.Primary cultures of human fetal cardiac myocytes (gestational age, 15-20 weeks) were exposed to simulated ischemia and reperfusion in vitro by using a simulated ischemic buffer under anoxic conditions. Total RNA from treated and baseline cells were isolated, reverse transcribed, and labeled with Cy3 or Cy5 and hybridized to a human cDNA microarray for expression analysis. This analysis revealed a highly significant (false discovery rate, <3%) suppression of interleukin 6 transcript levels during the reperfusion phase confirmed by means of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (0.25 +/- 0.11-fold). Interleukin 6 signaling during ischemia and reperfusion was assessed at the protein expression level by means of Western measurements of interleukin 6 receptor, the signaling subunit of the interleukin 6 receptor complex (gp130), and signal transducer of activated transcription 3. Posttranslational changes in the protein kinase B signaling pathway were determined on the basis of the phosphorylation status of protein kinase B, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta. The effect of suppression of a prohypertrophic kinase, integrin-linked kinase, with short-interfering RNA was determined in an ischemia and reperfusion-stressed neonatal rat cardiac myocyte model. Endogenous secretion of interleukin 6 protein in culture supernatants was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.Human fetal cardiac myocytes exhibited a significantly lower rate of apoptosis induction during ischemia and reperfusion and after exposure to staurosporine and recombinant interleukin 6 compared with that observed in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes ( P < .05 for all comparisons, analysis of variance). Exposure to exogenously added recombinant interleukin 6 increased the apoptotic rate in both rat and human fetal cardiac myocytes ( P < .05). Short-interfering RNA-mediated suppression of integrin-linked kinase, a prohypertrophy upstream kinase regulating protein kinase B and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta phosphorylation, was cytoprotective against ischemia and reperfusion-induced apoptosis in neonatal rat cardiac myocytes ( P < .05).Human fetal cardiac myocytes exhibit a uniquely adaptive transcriptional response to ischemia and reperfusion that is associated with an apoptosis-resistant phenotype. The stress-inducible fetal cardiac myocyte gene repertoire is a useful platform for identification of targets relevant to the mitigation of cardiac ischemic injury and highlights a novel avenue involving interleukin 6 modulation for preventing the cardiac myocyte injury associated with ischemia and reperfusion.
Project description:Transforming growth factor beta family ligands are neutralized by a number of structurally divergent antagonists. Follistatin-type antagonists, which include splice variants of follistatin (FS288 and FS315) and follistatin-like 3 (FSTL3), have high affinity for activin A but differ in their affinity for other ligands, particularly bone morphogenetic proteins. To understand the structural basis for ligand specificity within FS-type antagonists, we determined the x-ray structure of activin A in complex with FSTL3 to a resolution of 2.5 A. Similar to the previously resolved FS.activin A structures, the ligand is encircled by two antagonist molecules blocking all ligand receptor-binding sites. Recently, the significance of the FS N-terminal domain interaction at the ligand type I receptor site has been questioned; however, our data show that for FSTL3, the N-terminal domain forms a more intimate contact with activin A, implying that this interaction is stronger than that for FS. Furthermore, binding studies revealed that replacing the FSTL3 N-terminal domain with the corresponding FS domain considerably lowers activin A affinity. Therefore, both structural and biochemical evidence support a significant interaction of the N-terminal domain of FSTL3 with activin A. In addition, structural comparisons with bone morphogenetic proteins suggest that the interface where the N-terminal domain binds may be the key site for determining FS-type antagonist specificity.
Project description:Activins and inhibins are dimeric polypeptides that belong to the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) superfamily and that bind to transmembrane receptors with serine/threonine kinase activity. The aim of this study was to characterise, in colon cancer cell lines and in normal and malignant human colon tissues, levels of expression of inhibin subunits that are involved in activin/inhibin dimer formation, and of the type I and II activin receptors (actRI and actRII).Expression of inhibin subunits and activin receptors was analysed by northern blot analysis. Inhibin betaA and activin receptor expression were also assessed by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In addition, activin A/inhibin betaA localisation in human colon samples was assessed by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation.Inhibin betaA mRNA was expressed in CaCo2 cells but not in SW 837 or SW 1463 cells whereas inhibin betaB and inhibin alpha were below the level of detection. In contrast, all four activin receptors were present in the three cell lines. Colon cancers overexpressed inhibin betaA mRNA in comparison with normal colon, and this overexpression was greatest in stage IV tumours. ActRIb mRNA levels were slightly higher in the normal colon than in cancer tissues. By immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation, activin A and inhibin betaA mRNA were present in the mucosal epithelial cells in normal tissues from patients with stage I disease but were either absent or weakly present in normal tissues from patients with stage IV disease. Conversely, they were present at weak to moderate levels in stage I cancers but at high levels in stage IV cancers.Our findings indicate that activin A is overexpressed in human colorectal tumours, especially in stage IV disease, raising the possibility that activin A may have a role in advanced colorectal cancer.
Project description:Increased levels of extracellular superoxide dismutase (ecSOD) induced by preconditioning or gene therapy protect the heart from ischemia/reperfusion injury. To elucidate the mechanism responsible for this action, we studied the effects of increased superoxide scavenging on nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability in a cardiac myocyte-specific ecSOD transgenic (Tg) mouse. Results indicated that ecSOD overexpression increased cardiac myocyte-specific ecSOD activity 27.5-fold. Transgenic ecSOD was localized to the sarcolemma and, notably, the cytoplasm of cardiac myocytes. Ischemia/reperfusion injury was attenuated in ecSOD Tg hearts, in which infarct size was decreased and LV functional recovery was improved. Using the ROS spin trap, DMPO, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy demonstrated a significant decrease in ROS in Tg hearts during the first 20 min of reperfusion. This decrease in ROS was accompanied by an increase in NO production determined by EPR using the NO spin trap, Fe-MGD. Attenuated ROS in ecSOD Tg myocytes was also supported by decreased production of peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)). Increased NO bioavailability was confirmed by attenuated guanylate cyclase-dependent (p-VASP) signaling. In conclusion, attenuation of ROS levels by cardiac-specific ecSOD overexpression increases NO bioavailability in response to ischemia/reperfusion and protects against reperfusion injury. These findings are the first to demonstrate increased NO bioavailability with attenuation of ROS by direct measurement of these reactive species (EPR, reactive fluorescent dyes) with cardiac-specific ecSOD expression. This is also the first indication that the predominantly extracellular SOD isoform is capable of cytosolic localization that affects myocardial intracellular signal transduction and function.
Project description:Mitochondria are critical to cardiac injury during reperfusion as a result of damage sustained during ischemia, including the loss of bcl-2. We asked if bcl-2 depletion not only leads to selective permeation of the outer mitochondrial membrane (MOMP) favoring cytochrome c release and programmed cell death, but also favors opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). An increase in MPTP susceptibility would support a role for bcl-2 depletion mediated cell death in the calcium overload setting of early reperfusion via MPTP as well as later in reperfusion via MOMP as myocardial calcium content normalizes.Calcium retention capacity (CRC) was used to reflect the sensitivity of the MPTP opening in isolated cardiac mitochondria. To study the relationship between bcl-2 inhibition and MPTP opening, mitochondria were incubated with a bcl-2 inhibitor (HA14-1) and CRC measured. The contribution of preserved bcl-2 content to MPTP opening following ischemia-reperfusion was explored using transgenic bcl-2 overexpressed mice.CRC was decreased in mitochondria following reperfusion compared to ischemia alone, indicating that reperfusion further sensitizes to MPTP opening. Incubation of ischemia-damaged mitochondria with increasing HA14-1concentrations increased calcium-stimulated MPTP opening, supporting that functional inhibition of bcl-2 during simulated reperfusion favors MPTP opening. Moreover, HA14-1 sensitivity was increased by ischemia compared to non-ischemic controls. Overexpression of bcl-2 attenuated MPTP opening in following ischemia-reperfusion. HA14-1 inhibition also increased the permeability of the outer membrane in the absence of exogenous calcium, indicating that bcl-2 inhibition favors MOMP when calcium is low.The depletion and functional inhibition of bcl-2 contributes to cardiac injury by increasing susceptibility to MPTP opening in high calcium environments and MOMP in the absence of calcium overload. Thus, ischemia-damaged mitochondria with decreased bcl-2 content are susceptible to MPTP opening in early reperfusion and MOMP later in reperfusion when cytosolic calcium has normalized.