Neuregulin stimulation of cardiomyocyte regeneration in mice and human myocardium reveals a therapeutic window.
ABSTRACT: Therapies developed for adult patients with heart failure have been shown to be ineffective in pediatric clinical trials, leading to the recognition that new pediatric-specific therapies for heart failure must be developed. Administration of the recombinant growth factor neuregulin-1 (rNRG1) stimulates regeneration of heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes) in adult mice. Because proliferation-competent cardiomyocytes are more abundant in growing mammals, we hypothesized that administration of rNRG1 during the neonatal period might be more effective than in adulthood. If so, neonatal rNRG1 delivery could be a new therapeutic strategy for treating heart failure in pediatric patients. To evaluate the effectiveness of rNRG1 administration in cardiac regeneration, newborn mice were subjected to cryoinjury, which induced myocardial dysfunction and scar formation and decreased cardiomyocyte cell cycle activity. Early administration of rNRG1 to mice from birth to 34 days of age improved myocardial function and reduced the prevalence of transmural scars. In contrast, administration of rNRG1 from 4 to 34 days of age only transiently improved myocardial function. The mechanisms of early administration involved cardiomyocyte protection (38%) and proliferation (62%). We also assessed the ability of rNRG1 to stimulate cardiomyocyte proliferation in intact cultured myocardium from pediatric patients. rNRG1 induced cardiomyocyte proliferation in myocardium from infants with heart disease who were less than 6 months of age. Our results identify an effective time period within which to execute rNRG1 clinical trials in pediatric patients for the stimulation of cardiomyocyte regeneration.
Project description:The human heart's failure to replace ischemia-damaged myocardium with regenerated muscle contributes significantly to the worldwide morbidity and mortality associated with coronary artery disease. Remarkably, certain vertebrate species, including the zebrafish, achieve complete regeneration of amputated or injured myocardium through the proliferation of spared cardiomyocytes. Nonetheless, the genetic and cellular determinants of natural cardiac regeneration remain incompletely characterized. Here, we report that cardiac regeneration in zebrafish relies on Notch signaling. Following amputation of the zebrafish ventricular apex, Notch receptor expression becomes activated specifically in the endocardium and epicardium, but not the myocardium. Using a dominant negative approach, we discovered that suppression of Notch signaling profoundly impairs cardiac regeneration and induces scar formation at the amputation site. We ruled out defects in endocardial activation, epicardial activation, and dedifferentiation of compact myocardial cells as causative for the regenerative failure. Furthermore, coronary endothelial tubes, which we lineage traced from preexisting endothelium in wild-type hearts, formed in the wound despite the myocardial regenerative failure. Quantification of myocardial proliferation in Notch-suppressed hearts revealed a significant decrease in cycling cardiomyocytes, an observation consistent with a noncell autonomous requirement for Notch signaling in cardiomyocyte proliferation. Unexpectedly, hyperactivation of Notch signaling also suppressed cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration. Taken together, our data uncover the exquisite sensitivity of regenerative cardiomyocyte proliferation to perturbations in Notch signaling.
Project description:Heart failure is often the consequence of insufficient cardiac regeneration. Neonatal mice retain a certain capability of myocardial regeneration until postnatal day (P)7, although the underlying transcriptional mechanisms remain largely unknown. We demonstrate here that cardiac abundance of the transcription factor GATA4 was high at P1, but became strongly reduced at P7 in parallel with loss of regenerative capacity. Reconstitution of cardiac GATA4 levels by adenoviral gene transfer markedly improved cardiac regeneration after cryoinjury at P7. In contrast, the myocardial scar was larger in cardiomyocyte-specific Gata4 knockout (CM-G4-KO) mice after cryoinjury at P0, indicative of impaired regeneration, which was accompanied by reduced cardiomyocyte proliferation and reduced myocardial angiogenesis in CM-G4-KO mice. Cardiomyocyte proliferation was also diminished in cardiac explants from CM-G4-KO mice and in isolated cardiomyocytes with reduced GATA4 expression. Mechanistically, decreased GATA4 levels caused the downregulation of several pro-regenerative genes (among them interleukin-13, Il13) in the myocardium. Interestingly, systemic administration of IL-13 rescued defective heart regeneration in CM-G4-KO mice and could be evaluated as therapeutic strategy in the future.
Project description:Cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs) have been shown to regenerate infarcted myocardium in patients after myocardial infarction (MI). However, whether the cells of the newly formed myocardium originate from the proliferation of adult cardiomyocytes or from the differentiation of endogenous stem cells remains unknown. Using genetic fate mapping to mark resident myocytes in combination with long-term BrdU pulsing, we investigated the origins of postnatal cardiomyogenesis in the normal, infarcted and cell-treated adult mammalian heart. In the normal mouse heart, cardiomyocyte turnover occurs predominantly through proliferation of resident cardiomyocytes at a rate of ?1.3-4%/year. After MI, new cardiomyocytes arise from both progenitors as well as pre-existing cardiomyocytes. Transplantation of CDCs upregulates host cardiomyocyte cycling and recruitment of endogenous progenitors, while boosting heart function and increasing viable myocardium. The observed phenomena cannot be explained by cardiomyocyte polyploidization, bi/multinucleation, cell fusion or DNA repair. Thus, CDCs induce myocardial regeneration by differentially upregulating two mechanisms of endogenous cell proliferation.
Project description:The underlying cause of systolic heart failure is the inability of the adult mammalian heart to regenerate damaged myocardium. In contrast, some vertebrate species and immature mammals are capable of full cardiac regeneration following multiple types of injury through cardiomyocyte proliferation. Little is known about what distinguishes proliferative cardiomyocytes from terminally differentiated, nonproliferative cardiomyocytes. Recently, several reports have suggested that oxygen metabolism and oxidative stress play a pivotal role in regulating the proliferative capacity of mammalian cardiomyocytes. Moreover, reducing oxygen metabolism in the adult mammalian heart can induce cardiomyocyte cell cycle reentry through blunting oxidative damage, which is sufficient for functional improvement following myocardial infarction. Here we concisely summarize recent findings that highlight the role of oxygen metabolism and oxidative stress in cardiomyocyte cell cycle regulation, and discuss future therapeutic approaches targeting oxidative metabolism to induce cardiac regeneration.
Project description:Unlike its mammalian counterpart, the adult zebrafish heart is able to fully regenerate after severe injury. One of the most important events during the regeneration process is cardiomyocyte proliferation, which results in the replacement of lost myocardium. Growth factors that induce cardiomyocyte proliferation during zebrafish heart regeneration remain to be identified. Signaling pathways important for heart development might be reutilized during heart regeneration. IGF2 was recently shown to be important for cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart growth during mid-gestation heart development in mice, although its role in heart regeneration is unknown. We found that expression of igf2b was upregulated during zebrafish heart regeneration. Following resection of the ventricle apex, igf2b expression was detected in the wound, endocardium and epicardium at a time that coincides with cardiomyocyte proliferation. Transgenic zebrafish embryos expressing a dominant negative form of Igf1 receptor (dn-Igf1r) had fewer cardiomyocytes and impaired heart development, as did embryos treated with an Igf1r inhibitor. Moreover, inhibition of Igf1r signaling blocked cardiomyocyte proliferation during heart development and regeneration. We found that Igf signaling is required for a subpopulation of cardiomyocytes marked by gata4:EGFP to contribute to the regenerating area. Our findings suggest that Igf signaling is important for heart development and myocardial regeneration in zebrafish.
Project description:Heart failure due to cardiomyocyte loss after ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States in large part because heart muscle regenerates poorly. The endogenous mechanisms preventing mammalian cardiomyocyte regeneration are poorly understood. Hippo signaling, an ancient organ size control pathway, is a kinase cascade that inhibits developing cardiomyocyte proliferation but it has not been studied postnatally or in fully mature adult cardiomyocytes. Here, we investigated Hippo signaling in adult cardiomyocyte renewal and regeneration. We found that unstressed Hippo-deficient adult mouse cardiomyocytes re-enter the cell cycle and undergo cytokinesis. Moreover, Hippo deficiency enhances cardiomyocyte regeneration with functional recovery after adult myocardial infarction as well as after postnatal day eight (P8) cardiac apex resection and P8 myocardial infarction. In damaged hearts, Hippo mutant cardiomyocytes also have elevated proliferation. Our findings reveal that Hippo signaling is an endogenous repressor of adult cardiomyocyte renewal and regeneration. Targeting the Hippo pathway in human disease might be beneficial for the treatment of heart disease.
Project description:Mammalian organs vary widely in regenerative capacity. Poorly regenerative organs, such as the heart are particularly vulnerable to organ failure. Once established, heart failure commonly results in mortality. The Hippo pathway, a kinase cascade that prevents adult cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration, is upregulated in human heart failure. Here we show that deletion of the Hippo pathway component Salvador (Salv) in mouse hearts with established ischaemic heart failure after myocardial infarction induces a reparative genetic program with increased scar border vascularity, reduced fibrosis, and recovery of pumping function compared with controls. Using translating ribosomal affinity purification, we isolate cardiomyocyte-specific translating messenger RNA. Hippo-deficient cardiomyocytes have increased expression of proliferative genes and stress response genes, such as the mitochondrial quality control gene, Park2. Genetic studies indicate that Park2 is essential for heart repair, suggesting a requirement for mitochondrial quality control in regenerating myocardium. Gene therapy with a virus encoding Salv short hairpin RNA improves heart function when delivered at the time of infarct or after ischaemic heart failure following myocardial infarction was established. Our findings indicate that the failing heart has a previously unrecognized reparative capacity involving more than cardiomyocyte renewal.
Project description:Background Myocardial infarction results in a large-scale cardiomyocyte loss and heart failure due to subsequent pathological remodeling. Whereas zebrafish and neonatal mice have evident cardiomyocyte expansion following injury, adult mammalian cardiomyocytes are principally nonproliferative. Despite historical presumptions of stem cell-mediated cardiac regeneration, numerous recent studies using advanced lineage-tracing methods demonstrated that the only source of cardiomyocyte renewal originates from the extant myocardium; thus, the augmented proliferation of preexisting adult cardiomyocytes remains a leading therapeutic approach toward cardiac regeneration. In the present study we investigate the significance of suppressing cell cycle inhibitors Rb1 and Meis2 to promote adult cardiomyocyte reentry to the cell cycle. Methods and Results In vitro experiments with small interfering RNA-mediated simultaneous knockdown of Rb1 and Meis2 in both adult rat cardiomyocytes, isolated from 12-week-old Fischer rats, and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes showed a significant increase in cell number, a decrease in cell size, and an increase in mononucleated cardiomyocytes. In vivo, a hydrogel-based delivery method for small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of Rb1 and Meis2 is utilized following myocardial infarction. Immunofluorescent imaging analysis revealed a significant increase in proliferation markers 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine, PH3, KI67, and Aurora B in adult cardiomyocytes as well as improved cell survivability with the additional benefit of enhanced peri-infarct angiogenesis. Together, this intervention resulted in a reduced infarct size and improved cardiac function post-myocardial infarction. Conclusions Silencing of senescence-inducing pathways in adult cardiomyocytes via inhibition of Rb1 and Meis2 results in marked cardiomyocyte proliferation and increased protection of cardiac function in the setting of ischemic injury.
Project description:The present study investigated whether TLR3 is required for neonatal heart repair and regeneration following myocardial infarction (MI). TLR3 deficient neonatal mice exhibited impaired cardiac functional recovery and a larger infarct size, while wild type neonatal mice showed cardiac functional recovery and small infarct size after MI. The data suggest that TLR3 is essential for the regeneration and repair of damaged neonatal myocardium. In vitro treatment of neonatal cardiomyocytes with a TLR3 ligand, Poly (I:C), significantly enhances glycolytic metabolism, YAP1 activation and proliferation of cardiomyocytes which were prevented by a glycolysis inhibitor, 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG). Administration of 2-DG to neonatal mice abolished cardiac functional recovery and YAP activation after MI, suggesting that TLR3-mediated regeneration and repair of the damaged neonatal myocardium is through glycolytic-dependent YAP1 activation. Inhibition of YAP1 activation abolished Poly (I:C) induced proliferation of neonatal cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, activation of YAP1 increases the expression of miR-152 which represses the expression of cell cycle inhibitory proteins, P27kip1 and DNMT1, leading to cardiomyocyte proliferation. We conclude that TLR3 is required for neonatal heart regeneration and repair after MI. The mechanisms involve glycolytic-dependent YAP1 activation, resulting in miR-152 expression which targets DNMT1/p27kip1.
Project description:Heart regeneration is limited in adult mammals but occurs naturally in adult zebrafish through the activation of cardiomyocyte division. Several components of the cardiac injury microenvironment have been identified, yet no factor on its own is known to stimulate overt myocardial hyperplasia in a mature, uninjured animal. In this study, we find evidence that Neuregulin1 (Nrg1), previously shown to have mitogenic effects on mammalian cardiomyocytes, is sharply induced in perivascular cells after injury to the adult zebrafish heart. Inhibition of Erbb2, an Nrg1 co-receptor, disrupts cardiomyocyte proliferation in response to injury, whereas myocardial Nrg1 overexpression enhances this proliferation. In uninjured zebrafish, the reactivation of Nrg1 expression induces cardiomyocyte dedifferentiation, overt muscle hyperplasia, epicardial activation, increased vascularization, and causes cardiomegaly through persistent addition of wall myocardium. Our findings identify Nrg1 as a potent, induced mitogen for the endogenous adult heart regeneration program.