Markedly activated neutrophils or higher plasma levels of neutrophil elastase are involved in the poor response to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and the formation of coronary artery lesions (CAL) in patients with acute Kawasaki disease. We hypothesized that ulinastatin (UTI), by both direct and indirect suppression of neutrophils, would reduce the occurrence of CAL.
Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca release has been shown not to be the predominant mechanism responsible for excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling in fetal myocytes. However, most of the studies have been conducted either on primary cultures or acutely isolated cells, in which an apparent reduction of ryanodine receptor density have been reported. We aimed to elucidate the contribution of SR Ca release and Ca transporters on sarcolemmal channels to Ca transients in fetal mouse whole hearts. On embryonic day 13.5, ryanodine significantly reduced the amplitude of the Ca transient to 27.2 ± 4.4% of the control, and both nickel and SEA0400 significantly prolonged the time to peak from 84 ± 2 ms to 140 ± 5 ms and 129 ± 6 ms, respectively, whereas nifedipine did not alter it. Therefore, at early fetal stages, SR Ca release should be an important component of E-C coupling, and T-type Ca channel and reverse mode sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX)-mediated SR Ca release could be the predominant contributors. Using embryonic mouse cultured cardiomyocytes, we showed that both nifedipine and nickel inhibited the ability of NCX to extrude Ca from the cytosol. From these results, we propose a novel idea concerning E-C coupling in immature heart.
It is generally accepted that Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release is not the predominant mechanism during embryonic stages. Most studies have been conducted either on primary cultures or acutely isolated cells, in which an apparent reduction of ryanodine receptor density and alterations in the cell shape have been reported. The aim of the present study was to investigate developmental changes in Ca(2+) transients using whole hearts of mouse embryos and neonates.
CryAB (HspB5) and HspB2, two small heat shock genes located adjacently in the vertebrate genome, are hypothesized to play distinct roles. Mice lacking both cryab and hspb2 (DKO) are viable and exhibit adult-onset degeneration of skeletal muscle but confounding results from independent groups were reported for cardiac responses to different stressful conditions (i.e., ischemia/reperfusion or pressure overload). To determine the specific requirements of HSPB2 in heart, we generated cardiac-specific HSPB2 deficient (HSPB2cKO) mice and examined their cardiac function under basal conditions and following cardiac pressure overload.
A timely review series on small heat shock proteins has to appropriately examine their fundamental properties and implications in the cardiovascular system since several members of this chaperone family exhibit robust expression in the myocardium and blood vessels. Due to energetic and metabolic demands, the cardiovascular system maintains a high mitochondrial activity but irreversible oxidative damage might ensue from increased production of reactive oxygen species. How equilibrium between their production and scavenging is achieved becomes paramount for physiological maintenance. For example, heat shock protein B1 (HSPB1) is implicated in maintaining this equilibrium or redox homeostasis by upholding the level of glutathione, a major redox mediator. Studies of gain or loss of function achieved by genetic manipulations have been highly informative for understanding the roles of those proteins. For example, genetic deficiency of several small heat shock proteins such as HSPB5 and HSPB2 is well-tolerated in heart cells whereas a single missense mutation causes human pathology. Such evidence highlights both the profound genetic redundancy observed among the multigene family of small heat shock proteins while underscoring the role proteotoxicity plays in driving disease pathogenesis. We will discuss the available data on small heat shock proteins in the cardiovascular system, redox metabolism and human diseases. From the medical perspective, we envision that such emerging knowledge of the multiple roles small heat shock proteins exert in the cardiovascular system will undoubtedly open new avenues for their identification and possible therapeutic targeting in humans. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Small HSPs in physiology and pathology.
Mutations in the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2 (BMPR2) gene and the activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) gene have been reported in heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (HPAH) and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). However, the relation between clinical characteristics and each gene mutation in IPAH and HPAH is still unclear, especially in childhood. The aim of this study was to determine, in a retrospective study, the influence and clinical outcomes of gene mutations in childhood IPAH and HPAH. Fifty-four patients with IPAH or HPAH whose onset of disease was at <16 years of age were included. Functional characteristics, hemodynamic parameters, and clinical outcomes were compared in BMPR2 and ALK1 mutation carriers and noncarriers. Overall 5-year survival for all patients was 76%. Eighteen BMPR2 mutation carriers and 7 ALK1 mutation carriers were detected in the 54 patients with childhood IPAH or HPAH. Five-year survival was lower in BMPR2 mutation carriers than mutation noncarriers (55% vs 90%, hazard ratio 12.54, p = 0.0003). ALK1 mutation carriers also had a tendency to have worse outcome than mutation noncarriers (5-year survival rate 64%, hazard ratio 5.14, p = 0.1205). In conclusion, patients with childhood IPAH or HPAH with BMPR2 mutation have the poorest clinical outcomes. ALK1 mutation carriers tended to have worse outcomes than mutation noncarriers. It is important to consider aggressive treatment for BMPR2 or ALK1 mutation carriers.
Heart growth is tightly controlled so that the heart reaches a predetermined size. Fetal heart growth occurs through cardiomyocyte proliferation, whereas postnatal heart growth involves primarily physiological cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. The Hippo kinase cascade is an important regulator of organ growth. A major target of this kinase cascade is YAP1, a transcriptional coactivator that is inactivated by Hippo kinase activity. Here, we used both genetic gain and loss of Yap1 function to investigate its role in regulating proliferative and physiologic hypertrophic heart growth. Fetal Yap1 inactivation caused marked, lethal myocardial hypoplasia and decreased cardiomyocyte proliferation, whereas fetal activation of YAP1 stimulated cardiomyocyte proliferation. Enhanced proliferation was particularly dramatic in trabecular cardiomyocytes that normally exit from the cell cycle. Remarkably, YAP1 activation was sufficient to stimulate proliferation of postnatal cardiomyocytes, both in culture and in the intact heart. A dominant negative peptide that blocked YAP1 binding to TEAD transcription factors inhibited YAP1 proliferative activity, indicating that this activity requires YAP1-TEAD interaction. Although Yap1 was a critical regulator of cardiomyocyte proliferation, it did not influence physiological hypertrophic growth of cardiomyocytes, because postnatal Yap1 gain or loss of function did not significantly alter cardiomyocyte size. These studies demonstrate that Yap1 is a crucial regulator of cardiomyocyte proliferation, cardiac morphogenesis, and myocardial trabeculation. Activation of Yap1 in postnatal cardiomyocytes may be a useful strategy to stimulate cardiomyocyte expansion in therapeutic myocardial regeneration.
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