Pathological hypertrophy reverses β2-adrenergic receptor-induced angiogenesis in mouse heart.
ABSTRACT: β-adrenergic activation and angiogenesis are pivotal for myocardial function but the link between both events remains unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the cardiac angiogenesis profile in a mouse model with cardiomyocyte-restricted overexpression of β2-adrenoceptors (β2-TG), and the effect of cardiac pressure overload. β2-TG mice had heightened cardiac angiogenesis, which was essential for maintenance of the hypercontractile phenotype seen in this model. Relative to controls, cardiomyocytes of β2-TGs showed upregulated expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), heightened phosphorylation of cAMP-responsive-element-binding protein (CREB), and increased recruitment of phospho-CREB, CREB-binding protein (CBP), and p300 to the VEGF promoter. However, when hearts were subjected to pressure overload by transverse aortic constriction (TAC), angiogenic signaling in β2-TGs was inhibited within 1 week after TAC. β2-TG hearts, but not controls, exposed to pressure overload for 1-2 weeks showed significant increases from baseline in phosphorylation of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKIIδ) and protein expression of p53, reduction in CREB phosphorylation, and reduced abundance of phospho-CREB, p300 and CBP recruited to the CREB-responsive element (CRE) site of VEGF promoter. These changes were associated with reduction in both VEGF expression and capillary density. While non-TG mice with TAC developed compensatory hypertrophy, (2-TGs exhibited exaggerated hypertrophic growth at week-1 post-TAC, followed by LV dilatation and reduced fractional shortening measured by serial echocardiography. In conclusion, angiogenesis was enhanced by the cardiomyocyte (2AR/CREB/VEGF signaling pathway. Pressure overload rapidly inhibited this signaling, likely as a consequence of activated CaMKII and p53, leading to impaired angiogenesis and functional decompensation.
Project description:During pathological hypertrophy, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator 1? (PGC-1?) is repressed in concert with reduced mitochondrial oxidative capacity and fatty acid oxidation (FAO). We therefore sought to determine if maintaining or increasing PGC-1? levels in the context of pressure overload hypertrophy (POH) would preserve mitochondrial function and prevent contractile dysfunction. Pathological cardiac hypertrophy was induced using 4 wk of transverse aortic constriction (TAC) in mice overexpressing the human PGC-1? genomic locus via a bacterial artificial chromosome (TG) and nontransgenic controls (Cont). PGC-1? levels were increased by 40% in TG mice and were sustained following TAC. Although TAC-induced repression of FAO genes and oxidative phosphorylation (oxphos) genes was prevented in TG mice, mitochondrial function and ATP synthesis were equivalently impaired in Cont and TG mice after TAC. Contractile function was also equally impaired in Cont and TG mice following TAC, as demonstrated by decreased +dP/dt and ejection fraction and increased left ventricular developed pressure and end diastolic pressure. Conversely, capillary density was preserved, in concert with increased VEGF expression, while apoptosis and fibrosis were reduced in TG relative to Cont mice after TAC. Hence, sustaining physiological levels of PGC-1? expression following POH, while preserving myocardial vascularity, does not prevent mitochondrial and contractile dysfunction.
Project description:Chronic left ventricular (LV) pressure overload causes relative ischemia with resultant LV dysfunction. We have recently demonstrated that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) improves myocardial ischemia in a pig model of chronic myocardial ischemia through enhanced myocardial angiogenesis. In the present study, we thus examined whether LIPUS also ameliorates contractile dysfunction in LV pressure-overloaded hearts.Chronic LV pressure overload was induced with transverse aortic constriction (TAC) in mice. LIPUS was applied to the whole heart three times in the first week after TAC and was repeated once a week for 7 weeks thereafter (n = 22). Animals in the control groups received the sham treatment without LIPUS (n = 23). At 8 weeks after TAC, LV fractional shortening was depressed in the TAC-Control group, which was significantly ameliorated in the TAC-LIPUS group (30.4±0.5 vs. 36.2±3.8%, P<0.05). Capillary density was higher and perivascular fibrosis was less in the LV in the TAC-LIPUS group than in the TAC-Control group. Myocardial relative ischemia evaluated with hypoxyprobe was noted in the TAC-Control group, which was significantly attenuated in the TAC-LIPUS group. In the TAC-LIPUS group, as compared with the control group, mRNA expressions of BNP and collagen III were significantly lower (both P<0.05) and protein expressions of VEGF and eNOS were significantly up-regulated associated with Akt activation (all P<0.05). No adverse effect related to the LIPUS therapy was noted.These results indicate that the LIPUS therapy ameliorates contractile dysfunction in chronically pressure-overloaded hearts through enhanced myocardial angiogenesis and attenuated perivascular fibrosis. Thus, the LIPUS therapy may be a promising, non-invasive treatment for cardiac dysfunction due to chronic pressure overload.
Project description:Exercise training is believed to have a positive effect on cardiac hypertrophy after hypertension. However, its mechanism is still not fully understood. Herein, our findings suggest that heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) improves exercise-initiated myocardial angiogenesis after pressure overload. A sustained narrowing of the diagonal aorta (TAC) and moderately- intense exercise training protocol were imposed on HSF1 heterozygote (KO) and their littermate wild-type (WT) male mice. After two months, the cardiac function was assessed using the adaptive responses to exercise training, or TAC, or both of them such as catheterization and echocardiography. The HE stains assessed the area of myocyte cross-sectional. The Western blot and real-time PCR measured the levels of expression for heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1?) in cardiac tissues. The anti-CD31 antibody immunohistochemical staining was done to examine how exercise training influenced cardiac ontogeny. The outcome illustrated that exercise training significantly improved the cardiac ontogeny in TAC mice, which was convoyed by elevated levels of expression for VEGF and HIF-1? and preserved the heart microvascular density. More importantly, HSF1 deficiency impaired these effects induced by exercise training in TAC mice. In conclusion, exercise training encourages cardiac ontogeny by means of HSF1 activation and successive HIF-1?/VEGF up-regulation in endothelial cells during continued pressure overload.
Project description:QiShenYiQi dripping pills (QSYQ), a traditional Chinese medicine, are commonly used to treat coronary heart disease, and QSYQ was recently approved as a complementary treatment for ischemic heart failure in China. However, only few studies reported on whether QSYQ exerts a protective effect on heart failure induced by pressure overload. In this study, we explored the role of QSYQ in a mouse model of heart failure induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Twenty-eight C57BL/6J mice were divided into four groups: Sham + NS group, Sham + QSYQ group, TAC + NS group, and TAC + QSYQ group. QSYQ dissolved in normal saline (NS) was administered intragastrically (3.5 mg/100 g/day) in the Sham + QSYQ and TAC + QSYQ groups. In the Sham + NS and TAC + NS groups, NS was provided every day intragastrically. Eight weeks after TAC, echocardiography, and cardiac catheterization were performed to evaluate the cardiac function, and immunofluorescent staining with anti-actinin2 antibody was performed to determine the structure of the myocardial fibers. Moreover, TUNEL staining and Masson trichrome staining were employed to assess the effects of QSYQ on cardiac apoptosis and cardiac fibrosis. Western blots and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to measure the expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the heart, and immunohistochemical staining with anti-CD31 antibody was performed to explore the role of QSYQ in cardiac angiogenesis. Results showed that TAC-induced cardiac dysfunction and disrupted structure of myocardial fibers significantly improved after QSYQ treatment. Moreover, QSYQ treatment also significantly improved cardiac apoptosis and cardiac fibrosis in TAC-induced heart failure, which was accompanied by an increase in VEGF expression levels and maintenance of microvessel density in the heart. In conclusion, QSYQ exerts a protective effect on TAC-induced heart failure, which could be attributed to enhanced cardiac angiogenesis, which is closely related to QSYQ. Thus, QSYQ may be a promising traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of heart failure induced by pressure overload such as hypertension.
Project description:BACKGROUND:It has been demonstrated that Tongxinluo (TXL), a traditional Chinese medicine compound, improves ischemic heart disease in animal models via vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). The present study aimed to investigate whether TXL protects against pressure overload-induced heart failure in mice and explore the possible mechanism of action. METHODS AND RESULTS:Transverse aortic constriction (TAC) surgery was performed in mice to induce heart failure. Cardiac function was evaluated by echocardiography. Myocardial pathology was detected using hematoxylin and eosin or Masson trichrome staining. We investigated cardiomyocyte ultrastructure using transmission electron microscopy. Angiogenesis and oxidative stress levels were determined using CD31 and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine immunostaining and malondialdehyde assay, respectively. Fetal gene expression was measured using real-time PCR. Protein expression of VEGF, phosphorylated (p)-VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2), p-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), p-Akt, p-eNOS, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) were measured with western blotting. Twelve-week low- and high-dose TXL treatment following TAC improved cardiac systolic and diastolic function and ameliorated left ventricular hypertrophy, fibrosis, and myocardial ultrastructure derangement. Importantly, TXL increased myocardial capillary density significantly and attenuated oxidative stress injury in failing hearts. Moreover, TXL upregulated cardiac nitrite content and the protein expression of VEGF, p-VEGFR2, p-PI3K, p-Akt, p-eNOS, and HO-1, but decreased Nox4 expression in mouse heart following TAC. CONCLUSION:Our findings indicate that TXL protects against pressure overload-induced heart failure in mice. Activation of the VEGF/Akt/eNOS signaling pathway might be involved in TXL improvement of the failing heart.
Project description:Myocardial mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number decreases in heart failure. In post-myocardial infarction mice, increasing mtDNA copy number by overexpressing mitochondrial transcription factor attenuates mtDNA deficiency and ameliorates pathological remodeling thereby markedly improving survival. However, the functional significance of increased mtDNA copy number in hypertensive heart disease remains unknown. We addressed this question using transgenic mice that overexpress Twinkle helicase (Twinkle; Tg), the mtDNA helicase, and examined whether Twinkle overexpression protects the heart from left ventricular (LV) remodeling and failure after pressure overload created by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Twinkle overexpression increased mtDNA copy number by 2.2 ± 0.1-fold. Heart weight, LV diastolic volume and wall thickness were comparable between Tg and wild type littermates (WT) at 28 days after TAC operation. LV end-diastolic pressure increased in WT after TAC (8.6 ± 2.8 mmHg), and this increase was attenuated in Tg (4.6 ± 2.6 mmHg). Impaired LV fractional shortening after TAC operation was also suppressed in Tg, as measured by echocardiography (WT: 16.2 ± 7.2% vs Tg: 20.7 ± 6.2%). These LV functional improvements were accompanied by a decrease in interstitial fibrosis (WT: 10.6 ± 1.1% vs Tg: 3.0 ± 0.6%). In in vitro studies, overexpressing Twinkle using an adenovirus vector in cultured cardiac fibroblasts significantly suppressed mRNA of collagen 1a, collagen 3a and connective tissue growth factor, and angiotensin II-induced transforming growth factor ?1 expression. The findings suggest that Twinkle overexpression prevents LV function deterioration. In conclusion, Twinkle overexpression increases mtDNA copy number and ameliorates the progression of LV fibrosis and heart failure in a mouse pressure overload model. Increasing mtDNA copy number by Twinkle overexpression could be a novel therapeutic strategy for hypertensive heart disease.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The mechanism of cardiac energy production against sustained pressure overload remains to be elucidated.<h4>Methods and results</h4>We generated cardiac-specific kinase-dead (kd) calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase-? (CaMKK?) transgenic (?-MHC CaMKK?kd TG) mice using ?-myosin heavy chain (?-MHC) promoter. Although CaMKK? activity was significantly reduced, these mice had normal cardiac function and morphology at baseline. Here, we show that transverse aortic binding (TAC) in ?-MHC CaMKK?kd TG mice led to accelerated death and left ventricular (LV) dilatation and dysfunction, which was accompanied by significant clinical signs of heart failure. CaMKK? downstream signaling molecules, including adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), were also suppressed in ?-MHC CaMKK?kd TG mice compared with wild-type (WT) mice. The expression levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? coactivator (PGC)-1?, which is a downstream target of both of CaMKK? and calcium/calmodulin kinases, were also significantly reduced in ?-MHC CaMKK?kd TG mice compared with WT mice after TAC. In accordance with these findings, mitochondrial morphogenesis was damaged and creatine phosphate/?-ATP ratios assessed by magnetic resonance spectroscopy were suppressed in ?-MHC CaMKK?kd TG mice compared with WT mice after TAC.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These data indicate that CaMKK? exerts protective effects on cardiac adaptive energy pooling against pressure-overload possibly through phosphorylation of AMPK and by upregulation of PGC-1?. Thus, CaMKK? may be a therapeutic target for the treatment of heart failure.
Project description:Fibrotic cardiac muscle exhibits high stiffness and low compliance which are major risk factors of heart failure. Although heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) was identified as an intrinsic cardioprotective factor, the role that HSF1 plays in cardiac fibrosis remains unclear. Our study aims to investigate the role of HSF1 in pressure overload-induced cardiac fibrosis and the underlying mechanism. HSF1 phosphorylation was significantly downregulated in transverse aortic constriction (TAC)-treated mouse hearts and mechanically stretched cardiac fibroblasts (cFBs). HSF1 transgenic (TG) mice, HSF1 deficient heterozygote (KO) mice, and their wild-type littermates were subjected to sham or TAC surgery for 4 weeks. HSF1 overexpression significantly attenuated pressure overload-induced cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction. Conversely, HSF1 KO mice showed deteriorated fibrotic response and cardiac dysfunction upon TAC. Moreover, we uncovered that overexpression of HSF1 protected against fibrotic response of cFBs to pressure overload. Mechanistically, we observed that the phosphorylation and the nuclear distribution of the Smad family member 3 (Smad3) were significantly decreased in HSF1-overexpressing mouse hearts, while being greatly increased in HSF1 KO mouse hearts upon TAC, compared to the control hearts, respectively. Similar alteration of Smad3 phosphorylation and nuclear distribution were found in isolated mouse cardiac fibroblasts and mechanically stretched cFBs. Constitutively active Smad3 blocked the anti-fibrotic effect of HSF1 in cFBs. Furthermore, we found a direct binding of phosphorylated HSF1 and Smad3, which can be suppressed by mechanical stress. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated for the first time that HSF1 acts as a novel negative regulator of cardiac fibrosis by blocking Smad3 activation.HSF1 activity is decreased in fibrotic hearts. HSF1 overexpression attenuates pressure overload-induced cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction. Deficiency of HSF1 deteriorates fibrotic response and cardiac dysfunction upon TAC. HSF1 inhibits phosphorylation and nuclear distribution of Smad3 via direct binding to Smad3. Active Smad3 blocks the anti-fibrotic effect of HSF1.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The intracellular second messenger cGMP protects the heart under pathological conditions. We examined expression of phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5), an enzyme that hydrolyzes cGMP, in human and mouse hearts subjected to sustained left ventricular (LV) pressure overload. We also determined the role of cardiac myocyte-specific PDE5 expression in adverse LV remodeling in mice after transverse aortic constriction (TAC). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) undergoing valve replacement, we detected greater myocardial PDE5 expression than in control hearts. We observed robust expression in scattered cardiac myocytes of those AS patients with higher LV filling pressures and BNP serum levels. Following TAC, we detected similar, focal PDE5 expression in cardiac myocytes of C57BL/6NTac mice exhibiting the most pronounced LV remodeling. To examine the effect of cell-specific PDE5 expression, we subjected transgenic mice with cardiac myocyte-specific PDE5 overexpression (PDE5-TG) to TAC. LV hypertrophy and fibrosis were similar as in WT, but PDE5-TG had increased cardiac dimensions, and decreased dP/dtmax and dP/dtmin with prolonged tau (P<0.05 for all). Greater cardiac dysfunction in PDE5-TG was associated with reduced myocardial cGMP and SERCA2 levels, and higher passive force in cardiac myocytes in vitro. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Myocardial PDE5 expression is increased in the hearts of humans and mice with chronic pressure overload. Increased cardiac myocyte-specific PDE5 expression is a molecular hallmark in hypertrophic hearts with contractile failure, and represents an important therapeutic target.
Project description:The mechanisms contributing to heart failure remain incompletely understood. d-dopachrome tautomerase (DDT) is a member of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor family of cytokines and is highly expressed in cardiomyocytes. This study examined the role of cardiomyocyte DDT in the setting of heart failure. Patients with advanced heart failure undergoing transplantation demonstrated decreased cardiac DDT expression. To understand the effect of loss of cardiac DDT in experimental heart failure, cardiomyocyte-specific DDT-KO (DDT-cKO) and littermate control mice underwent surgical transverse aortic constriction (TAC) to induce cardiac pressure overload. DDT-cKO mice developed more rapid cardiac contractile dysfunction, greater cardiac dilatation, and pulmonary edema after TAC. Cardiomyocytes from DDT-cKO mice after TAC had impaired contractility, calcium transients, and reduced expression of the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase. The DDT-cKO hearts also exhibited diminished angiogenesis with reduced capillary density and lower VEGF-A expression after TAC. In pharmacological studies, recombinant DDT (rDDT) activated endothelial cell ERK1/2 and Akt signaling and had proangiogenic effects in vitro. The DDT-cKO hearts also demonstrated more interstitial fibrosis with enhanced collagen and connective tissue growth factor expression after TAC. In cardiac fibroblasts, rDDT had an antifibrotic action by inhibiting TGF-β-induced Smad-2 activation. Thus, endogenous cardiomyocyte DDT has pleiotropic actions that are protective against heart failure.