Aortic valve endothelial cells (ECs) function in vastly different levels of shear stress. The biomechanical characteristics of cells on each side of valve have not been investigated. We assessed the morphology and mechanical properties of cultured or native valve ECs on intact porcine aortic valve cusps using a scanning ion conductance microscope (SICM). The autocrine influence of several endothelial-derived mediators on cell compliance and the expression of actin were also examined. Cells on the aortic side of the valve are characterized by a more elongated shape and were aligned along a single axis. Measurement of EC membrane compliance using the SICM showed that the cells on the aortic side of intact valves were significantly softer than those on the ventricular side. A similar pattern was seen in cultured cells. Addition of 10(-6) M of the nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside caused a significant reduction in the compliance of ventricular ECs but had no effect on cells on the aortic side of the valve. Conversely, endothelin-1 (10(-10)-10(-8) M) caused an increase in the compliance of aortic cells but had no effect on cells on the ventricular side of the valve. Aortic side EC compliance was also increased by 10(-4) M of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. Immunofluorescent staining of actin filaments revealed a great density of staining in ECs on the ventricular surface. The expression of actin and the relative membrane compliance of ECs on both side of the valve were not affected by ventricular and aortic patterns of flow. This study has shown side-specific differences in the biomechanics of aortic valve ECs. These differences can have important implications for valve function.
Experimental data on dynamic interactions between individual nanoparticles and membrane processes at nanoscale, essential for biomedical applications of nanoparticles, remain scarce due to limitations of imaging techniques. We were able to follow single 200 nm carboxyl-modified particles interacting with identified membrane structures at the rate of 15 s/frame using a scanning ion conductance microscope modified for simultaneous high-speed topographical and fluorescence imaging. The imaging approach demonstrated here opens a new window into the complexity of nanoparticle-cell interactions.
Advanced age alone appears to be a risk factor for increased susceptibility to cardiac arrhythmias. We previously observed in the aged rat heart that sinus rhythm ventricular activation is delayed and characterized by abnormal epicardial patterns although conduction velocity is normal. While these findings relate to an advanced stage of aging, it is not yet known when and how ventricular electrical impairment originates and which is the underlying substrate. To address these points, we performed continuous telemetry ECG recordings in freely moving rats over a six-month period to monitor ECG waveform changes, heart rate variability and the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias. At the end of the study, we performed in-vivo multiple lead epicardial recordings and histopathology of cardiac tissue. We found that the duration of ECG waves and intervals gradually increased and heart rate variability gradually decreased with age. Moreover, the incidence of cardiac arrhythmias gradually increased, with atrial arrhythmias exceeding ventricular arrhythmias. Epicardial multiple lead recordings confirmed abnormalities in ventricular activation patterns, likely attributable to distal conducting system dysfunctions. Microscopic analysis of aged heart specimens revealed multifocal connective tissue deposition and perinuclear myocytolysis in the atria. Our results demonstrate that aging gradually modifies the terminal part of the specialized cardiac conducting system, creating a substrate for increased arrhythmogenesis. These findings may open new therapeutic options in the management of cardiac arrhythmias in the elderly population.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is complicated by spontaneous preterm labor, fetal anoxia and unexplained fetal death. We aim to evaluate the mechanisms by which raised fetal bile acids cause placental abnormalities and fetal cardiac pathology.
Cells naturally operate on the nanoscale level, with molecules combining together to form complex molecular machines, which can work together to enable normal cell function or go wrong as in the case of many diseases. Visualizing these key processes on the nanoscale has been difficult and two main approaches have been used to date; nanometer resolution imaging of fixed cells using electron microscopy, or imaging live cells using optical or fluorescence microscopy, with a resolution of a few hundred nanometers. Scanning probe microscopy has the potential to allow live cells to be imaged at nanoscale resolution and a noncontact method based on the use of a nanopipette probe has been developed over the last 10 years that allows both topographic and functional imaging. The rapid progress in this area of research over the last 4 years is reviewed in this article, which shows that imaging of complex cellular structures and tissues is now possible and that these methods are now sufficiently mature to provide new insights into important diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases are complex pathologies that include alterations of various cell functions at the levels of intact tissue, single cells and subcellular signalling compartments. Conventional techniques to study these processes are extremely divergent and rely on a combination of individual methods, which usually provide spatially and temporally limited information on single parameters of interest. This review describes scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) as a novel versatile technique capable of simultaneously reporting various structural and functional parameters at nanometre resolution in living cardiovascular cells at the level of the whole tissue, single cells and at the subcellular level, to investigate the mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. SICM is a multimodal imaging technology that allows concurrent and dynamic analysis of membrane morphology and various functional parameters (cell volume, membrane potentials, cellular contraction, single ion-channel currents and some parameters of intracellular signalling) in intact living cardiovascular cells and tissues with nanometre resolution at different levels of organization (tissue, cellular and subcellular levels). Using this technique, we showed that at the tissue level, cell orientation in the inner and outer aortic arch distinguishes atheroprone and atheroprotected regions. At the cellular level, heart failure leads to a pronounced loss of T-tubules in cardiac myocytes accompanied by a reduction in Z-groove ratio. We also demonstrated the capability of SICM to measure the entire cell volume as an index of cellular hypertrophy. This method can be further combined with fluorescence to simultaneously measure cardiomyocyte contraction and intracellular calcium transients or to map subcellular localization of membrane receptors coupled to cyclic adenosine monophosphate production. The SICM pipette can be used for patch-clamp recordings of membrane potential and single channel currents. In conclusion, SICM provides a highly informative multimodal imaging platform for functional analysis of the mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases, which should facilitate identification of novel therapeutic strategies.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy may be complicated by fetal arrhythmia, fetal hypoxia, preterm labor, and, in severe cases, intrauterine death. The precise etiology of fetal death is not known. However, taurocholate has been demonstrated to cause arrhythmia and abnormal calcium dynamics in cardiomyocytes. To identify the underlying reason for increased susceptibility of fetal cardiomyocytes to arrhythmia, we studied myofibroblasts (MFBs), which appear during structural remodeling of the adult diseased heart. In vitro, they depolarize rat cardiomyocytes via heterocellular gap junctional coupling. Recently, it has been hypothesized that ventricular MFBs might appear in the developing human heart, triggered by physiological fetal hypoxia. However, their presence in the fetal heart (FH) and their proarrhythmogenic effects have not been systematically characterized. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that ventricular MFBs transiently appear in the human FH during gestation. We established two in vitro models of the maternal heart (MH) and FH, both exposed to increasing doses of taurocholate. The MH model consisted of confluent strands of rat cardiomyocytes, whereas for the FH model, we added cardiac MFBs on top of cardiomyocytes. Taurocholate in the FH model, but not in the MH model, slowed conduction velocity from 19 to 9 cm/s, induced early after depolarizations, and resulted in sustained re-entrant arrhythmias. These arrhythmic events were prevented by ursodeoxycholic acid, which hyperpolarized MFB membrane potential by modulating potassium conductance.
The beta1- and beta2-adrenergic receptors (betaARs) on the surface of cardiomyocytes mediate distinct effects on cardiac function and the development of heart failure by regulating production of the second messenger cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The spatial localization in cardiomyocytes of these betaARs, which are coupled to heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G proteins), and the functional implications of their localization have been unclear. We combined nanoscale live-cell scanning ion conductance and fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy techniques and found that, in cardiomyocytes from healthy adult rats and mice, spatially confined beta2AR-induced cAMP signals are localized exclusively to the deep transverse tubules, whereas functional beta1ARs are distributed across the entire cell surface. In cardiomyocytes derived from a rat model of chronic heart failure, beta2ARs were redistributed from the transverse tubules to the cell crest, which led to diffuse receptor-mediated cAMP signaling. Thus, the redistribution of beta(2)ARs in heart failure changes compartmentation of cAMP and might contribute to the failing myocardial phenotype.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a common disease affecting up to 5% of pregnancies and which can cause fetal arrhythmia and sudden intrauterine death. We previously demonstrated that bile acid taurocholate (TC), which is raised in the bloodstream of ICP, can acutely alter the rate and rhythm of contraction and induce abnormal calcium destabilization in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCM). Apart from their hepatic functions bile acids are ubiquitous signalling molecules with diverse systemic effects mediated by either the nuclear receptor FXR or by a recently discovered G-protein coupled receptor TGR5. We aim to investigate the mechanism of bile-acid induced arrhythmogenic effects in an in-vitro model of the fetal heart.
Cardiomyocyte surface morphology and T-tubular structure are significantly disrupted in chronic heart failure, with important functional sequelae, including redistribution of sarcolemmal ?(2)-adrenergic receptors (?(2)AR) and localized secondary messenger signaling. Plasticity of these changes in the reverse remodeled failing ventricle is unknown. We used AAV9.SERCA2a gene therapy to rescue failing rat hearts and measured z-groove index, T-tubule density, and compartmentalized ?(2)AR-mediated cAMP signals, using a combined nanoscale scanning ion conductance microscopy-Förster resonance energy transfer technique.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.