Insulin-like growth factor-I and slow, bi-directional perfusion enhance the formation of tissue-engineered cardiac grafts.
ABSTRACT: Biochemical and mechanical signals enabling cardiac regeneration can be elucidated using in vitro tissue-engineering models. We hypothesized that insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF) and slow, bi-directional perfusion could act independently and interactively to enhance the survival, differentiation, and contractile performance of tissue-engineered cardiac grafts. Heart cells were cultured on three-dimensional porous scaffolds in medium with or without supplemental IGF and in the presence or absence of slow, bi-directional perfusion that enhanced transport and provided shear stress. Structural, molecular, and electrophysiologic properties of the resulting grafts were quantified on culture day 8. IGF had independent, beneficial effects on apoptosis (p < 0.01), cellular viability (p < 0.01), contractile amplitude (p < 0.01), and excitation threshold (p < 0.01). Perfusion independently affected the four aforementioned parameters and also increased amounts of cardiac troponin-I (p < 0.01), connexin-43 (p < 0.05), and total protein (p < 0.01) in the grafts. Interactive effects of IGF and perfusion on apoptosis were also present (p < 0.01). Myofibrillogenesis and spontaneous contractility were present only in grafts cultured with perfusion, although contractility was inducible by electrical field stimulation of grafts from all groups. Our findings demonstrate that multi-factorial stimulation of tissue-engineered cardiac grafts using IGF and perfusion resulted in independent and interactive effects on heart cell survival, differentiation, and contractility.
Project description:Mechanical dyssynchrony affects left ventricular (LV) mechanics and coronary perfusion. Due to the confounding effects of their bi-directional interactions, the mechanisms behind these changes are difficult to isolate from experimental and clinical studies alone. Here, we develop and calibrate a closed-loop computational model that couples the systemic circulation, LV mechanics, and coronary perfusion. The model is applied to simulate the impact of mechanical dyssynchrony on coronary flow in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) and left circumflex artery (LCX) territories caused by regional alterations in perfusion pressure and intramyocardial pressure (IMP). We also investigate the effects of regional coronary flow alterations on regional LV contractility in mechanical dyssynchrony based on prescribed contractility-flow relationships without considering autoregulation. The model predicts that LCX and LAD flows are reduced by 7.2%, and increased by 17.1%, respectively, in mechanical dyssynchrony with a systolic dyssynchrony index of 10% when the LAD's IMP is synchronous with the arterial pressure. The LAD flow is reduced by 11.6% only when its IMP is delayed with respect to the arterial pressure by 0.07 s. When contractility is sensitive to coronary flow, mechanical dyssynchrony can affect global LV mechanics, IMPs and contractility that in turn, further affect the coronary flow in a feedback loop that results in a substantial reduction of dP LV /dt, indicative of ischemia. Taken together, these findings imply that regional IMPs play a significant role in affecting regional coronary flows in mechanical dyssynchrony and the changes in regional coronary flow may produce ischemia when contractility is sensitive to the changes in coronary flow.
Project description:Circulating levels of IGF-1 may decrease under several circumstances like ageing, metabolic syndrome, and advanced cirrhosis. This reduction is associated with insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, progression to type 2 diabetes, and increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. However, underlying mechanisms between IGF-1 deficiency and cardiovascular disease remain elusive. The specific aim of the present work was to study whether the partial IGF-1 deficiency influences heart and/or coronary circulation, comparing vasoactive factors before and after of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R). In addition, histology of the heart was performed together with cardiac gene expression for proteins involved in structure and function (extracellular matrix, contractile proteins, active peptides); carried out using microarrays, followed by RT-qPCR confirmation of the three experimental groups. IGF-1 partial deficiency is associated to a reduction in contractility and angiotensin II sensitivity, interstitial fibrosis as well as altered expression pattern of genes involved in extracellular matrix proteins, calcium dynamics, and cardiac structure and function. Although this work is descriptive, it provides a clear insight of the impact that partial IGF-1 deficiency on the heart and establishes this experimental model as suitable for studying cardiac disease mechanisms and exploring therapeutic options for patients under IGF-1 deficiency conditions.
Project description:Sepsis produces significant mitochondrial and contractile dysfunction in the heart, but the role of superoxide-derived free radicals in the genesis of these abnormalities is not completely understood.The study was designed to test the hypothesis that superoxide scavenger administration prevents endotoxin-induced cardiac mitochondrial and contractile dysfunction.Four groups of rats were studied, and animals were injected with either saline, endotoxin, endotoxin plus polyethylene glycol-adsorbed-superoxide dismutase (PEG-SOD; a free-radical scavenger), or PEG-SOD alone. Animals were killed 48 h after injections. We then measured cardiac mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), formation of free-radical reaction products (protein carbonyls, lipid aldehydes, nitrotyrosine), mitochondrial function, and cardiac contractile function.Endotoxin elicited increases in cardiac mitochondrial ROS formation (p < 0.001), increases in cardiac levels of free-radical reaction products, reductions in mitochondrial ATP generation (p < 0.001), and decrements in cardiac pressure-generating capacity (p < 0.01). Administration of PEG-SOD blocked formation of free-radical reaction products, prevented mitochondrial dysfunction, and preserved cardiac contractility. For example, mitochondrial ATP generation was 923 +/- 50, 392 +/- 32, 753 +/- 25, and 763 +/- 36 nmol/min/mg, respectively, for control, endotoxin, endotoxin + PEG-SOD, and PEG-SOD groups (p < 0.001). In addition, cardiac systolic pressure generation at a diastolic pressure of 15 mm Hg averaged 110 +/- 11, 66 +/- 7, 129 +/- 10 and 124 +/- 5 mm Hg, respectively, for control, endotoxin, endotoxin + PEG-SOD, and PEG-SOD groups (p < 0.01).These data indicate that superoxide-derived oxidants play a critical role in the development of cardiac mitochondrial and contractile dysfunction in endotoxin-induced sepsis.
Project description:Maximizing baseline function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) is essential for their effective application in models of cardiac toxicity and disease. Here, we aimed to identify factors that would promote an adequate level of function to permit robust single-cell contractility measurements in a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). A simple screen revealed the collaborative effects of thyroid hormone, IGF-1 and the glucocorticoid analog dexamethasone on the electrophysiology, bioenergetics, and contractile force generation of hPSC-CMs. In this optimized condition, hiPSC-CMs with mutations in MYBPC3, a gene encoding myosin-binding protein C, which, when mutated, causes HCM, showed significantly lower contractile force generation than controls. This was recapitulated by direct knockdown of MYBPC3 in control hPSC-CMs, supporting a mechanism of haploinsufficiency. Modeling this disease in vitro using human cells is an important step toward identifying therapeutic interventions for HCM.
Project description:Tissue engineering strategies have been extensively exploited to generate functional cardiac patches. To maintain cardiac functionality in vitro, bioreactors have been designed to provide perfusion and electrical stimulation, alone or combined. However, due to several design limitations the integration of optical systems to assess cardiac maturation level is still missing within these platforms. Here we present a bioreactor culture chamber that provides 3D cardiac constructs with a bidirectional interstitial perfusion and biomimetic electrical stimulation, allowing direct cellular optical monitoring and contractility test. The chamber design was optimized through finite element models to house an innovative scaffold anchoring system to hold and to release it for the evaluation of tissue maturation and functionality by contractility tests. Neonatal rat cardiac fibroblasts subjected to a combined perfusion and electrical stimulation showed positive cell viability over time. Neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were successfully monitored for the entire culture period to assess their functionality. The combination of perfusion and electrical stimulation enhanced patch maturation, as evidenced by the higher contractility, the enhanced beating properties and the increased level of cardiac protein expression. This new multifunctional bioreactor provides a relevant biomimetic environment allowing for independently culturing, real-time monitoring and testing up to 18 separated patches.
Project description:A significant proportion of hematopoietic stem cell transplants are performed with ABO-mismatched donors. The impact of ABO mismatch on outcome following transplantation remains controversial and there are no published data regarding the impact of ABO mismatch in acute myeloid leukemia patients receiving haploidentical transplants. Using the European Blood and Marrow Transplant Acute Leukemia Working Group registry we identified 837 patients who underwent haploidentical transplantation. Comparative analysis was performed between patients who received ABO-matched versus ABO-mismatched haploidentical transplants for common clinical outcome variables. Our cohort consisted of 522 ABO-matched patients and 315 ABO-mismatched patients including 150 with minor, 127 with major, and 38 with bi-directional ABO mismatching. There were no significant differences between ABO matched and mismatched patients in terms of baseline disease and clinical characteristics. Major ABO mismatching was associated with inferior day 100 engraftment rate whereas multivariate analysis showed that bi-directional mismatching was associated with increased risk of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease [hazard ratio (HR) 2.387; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22-4.66; P=0.01). Non-relapse mortality, relapse incidence, leukemia-free survival, overall survival, and chronic graft-versus-host disease rates were comparable between ABO-matched and -mismatched patients. Focused analysis on stem cell source showed that patients with minor mismatching transplanted with bone marrow grafts experienced increased grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease rates (HR 2.03; 95% CI: 1.00-4.10; P=0.04). Patients with major ABO mismatching and bone marrow grafts had decreased survival (HR=1.82; CI 95%: 1.048 - 3.18; P=0.033). In conclusion, ABO incompatibility has a marginal but significant clinical effect in acute myeloid leukemia patients undergoing haploidentical transplantation.
Project description:Trabeculation is crucial for cardiac muscle growth in vertebrates. This process requires the Erbb2/4 ligand Neuregulin (Nrg), secreted by the endocardium, as well as blood flow/cardiac contractility. Here, we address two fundamental, yet unresolved, questions about cardiac trabeculation: why does it initially occur in the ventricle and not the atrium, and how is it modulated by blood flow/contractility. Using loss-of-function approaches, we first show that zebrafish Nrg2a is required for trabeculation, and using a protein-trap line, find that it is expressed in both cardiac chambers albeit with different spatiotemporal patterns. Through gain-of-function experiments, we show that atrial cardiomyocytes can also respond to Nrg2a signalling, suggesting that the cardiac jelly, which remains prominent in the atrium, represents a barrier to Erbb2/4 activation. Furthermore, we find that blood flow/contractility is required for Nrg2a expression, and that while non-contractile hearts fail to trabeculate, non-contractile cardiomyocytes are also competent to respond to Nrg2a/Erbb2 signalling.
Project description:Vascularization and efficient perfusion are long-standing challenges in cardiac tissue engineering. Here we report engineered perfusable microvascular constructs, wherein human embryonic stem cell-derived endothelial cells (hESC-ECs) are seeded both into patterned microchannels and the surrounding collagen matrix. In vitro, the hESC-ECs lining the luminal walls readily sprout and anastomose with de novo-formed endothelial tubes in the matrix under flow. When implanted on infarcted rat hearts, the perfusable microvessel grafts integrate with coronary vasculature to a greater degree than non-perfusable self-assembled constructs at 5 days post-implantation. Optical microangiography imaging reveal that perfusable grafts have 6-fold greater vascular density, 2.5-fold higher vascular velocities and >20-fold higher volumetric perfusion rates. Implantation of perfusable grafts containing additional hESC-derived cardiomyocytes show higher cardiomyocyte and vascular density. Thus, pre-patterned vascular networks enhance vascular remodeling and accelerate coronary perfusion, potentially supporting cardiac tissues after implantation. These findings should facilitate the next generation of cardiac tissue engineering design.
Project description:During cancer progression the extracellular matrix is remodeled, forming aligned collagen fibers that proceed radially from the tumor, resulting in invasion. We have recently shown that different invasive breast cancer cells respond to epitaxially grown, aligned collagen fibrils differently. This article develops insight into why these cells differ in their contact guidance fidelity. Small changes in contractility or adhesion dramatically alter directional persistence on aligned collagen fibrils, while migration speed remains constant. The directionality of highly contractile and adhesive MDA-MB-231 cells can be diminished by inhibiting Rho kinase or ?1 integrin binding. Inversely, the directionality of less contractile and adhesive MTLn3 cells can be enhanced by activating contractility or integrins. Subtle, but quantifiable alterations in myosin II regulatory light chain phosphorylation on stress fibers explain the tuning of contact guidance fidelity, separate from migration per se indicating that the contractile and adhesive state of the cell in combination with collagen organization in the tumor microenvironment determine the efficiency of migration. Understanding how distinct cells respond to contact guidance cues will not only illuminate mechanisms for cancer invasion, but will also allow for the design of environments to separate specific subpopulations of cells from patient-derived tissues by leveraging differences in responses to directional migration cues.
Project description:Akt is a serine/threonine protein kinase that is activated by a variety of growth factors or cytokines in a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent manner. By using a conditional transgenic system in which Akt signaling can be turned on or off in the adult heart, we previously showed that short-term Akt activation induces a physiological form of cardiac hypertrophy with enhanced coronary angiogenesis and maintained contractility. Here we tested the hypothesis that induction of physiological hypertrophy by short-term Akt activation might improve contractile function in failing hearts. When Akt signaling transiently was activated in murine hearts with impaired contractility, induced by pressure overload or doxorubicin treatment, contractile dysfunction was attenuated in both cases. Importantly, improvement of contractility was observed before the development of cardiac hypertrophy, indicating that Akt activation improves contractile function independently of its growth-promoting effects. To gain mechanistic insights into Akt-mediated positive inotropic effects, transcriptional profiles in the heart were determined in a pressure overload-induced heart failure model. Biological network analysis of differentially expressed transcripts revealed significant alterations in the expression of genes associated with cell death, and these alterations were reversed by short-term Akt activation. Thus, short-term Akt activation improves contractile function in failing hearts. This beneficial effect of Akt on contractility is hypertrophy-independent and may be mediated in part by inhibition of cell death associated with heart failure.